Tucson and Toros at odds over Hi Corbett, UA baseball deal in jeopardy

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The battle over Hi Corbett field continues. The Tucson Toros and the City of Tucson can't seem to come to terms.

Meanwhile, time is running out for a deal with University of Arizona baseball.

If the city had its way, the Toros logo would be off the building.  But the Toros aren't going away without a fight in court this December.  And according to city officials, the U of A can't wait that long.

City leaders say the Toros are holding Hi Corbett hostage.

Jay Zucker and his Tucson Toros are suing the city for the right to stay at Hi Corbett.

"Why can we not stay here?  We have legal rights here.  We have a lease.  We're in compliance," said Tucson Toros owner Jay Zucker.

But the city says they're not in compliance and the Toros need to go so U of A baseball can move in.

"The litigation that's been filed by the Toros is throwing a wrench into that," said city attorney Mike Rankin.

On August 10 the city announced the U of A would move its baseball program into Hi Corbett. The only problem is, the Toros weren't completely out of the picture yet.

"Why should the Tucson Toros be put out of business to accommodate the city of Tucson," said Zucker.

Now both parties wait to duel it out in court, but city leaders say, in the meantime, that means the U of A deal could collapse because the university can't wait more than a few weeks as baseball season inches closer.

"It's certainly fair to say the deal with U of A is in jeopardy.  Until we're able resolve matters with the Tucson Toros, the city and the U of A aren't able move forward," said Rankin.

The Toros say that's just not true.

"There's no reason the U of A can't move in tomorrow.  We're not holding them back," said Zucker.

But city officials say the U of A is expecting sole use of the facility. That was part of the original agreement.

"That's not the use that's compatible with what the U of A needs," said Rankin.

Zucker says it's the city standing in the way.  He's open to sharing Hi Corbett, but closing down the Toros is not an option.

"What do I do with sean and fifty other employees and all the equipment and everything we have invested into this organization?  Just shut it down and write-off millions of dollars that we've put into building this brand for the community," said Zucker.

Now a judge will settle this dispute once and for all in December, but the U of A needs to have an answer in weeks because if the move were to happen there's lots of logistics, like branding and field work that would have to be done.