PHOENIX -- It's official. Arizona State University baseball will be taking over the winter home of the Oakland A's in the 2015 season.
City and university officials made the announcement at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Tuesday.
"Today is a continuing celebration of the partnership between the City of Phoenix and Arizona State University," says Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "Every time the City of Phoenix has partnered with ASU, magical things have happened for the people of this community."
On Feb. 6, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the 25-year lease agreement that allows the team to have priority use of the stadium. ASU will also cover all operating expenses and capital improvements to the facility under the revenue-sharing agreement.
“This is a win-win for the City of Phoenix and ASU. We have collaborated on many successful projects in the Downtown area," says Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos. "This agreement is part of our growing partnership, and I look forward to our next project together."
Bringing ASU baseball to its new home has been in the works for some time. When the Cubs move to their new stadium, the A's will move to Hohokam Field, and ASU will move to Phoenix Muni.
City officials hope the move will also help revitalize the whole area. “This is the beginning of a bigger picture for the entire area," says Sal DiCiccio, District 6 Phoenix councilman. "This bigger picture will bring more life to the area and will also enhance important organizations like the Phoenix Zoo and the Arizona Botanical Garden."
Packard Stadium at ASU holds 4,000. But Phoenix Muni, which has been the Spring Training home of the Oakland A’s since 1982, has a seating capacity of nearly 8,000.
As for Packard Stadium, the plan is to demolish it and expand the main campus.