The Oakland Athletics have entered into an exclusive negotiating period with the city of Mesa for a move to HoHoKam Park in 2015, once the Chicago Cubs shift to a new facility.
The Athletics currently play spring matches at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and train at nearby Papago Park. Neither set of facilities approaches state of the art, although Phoenix Muni has been upgraded in recent years and was slated for further upgrades before the A’s withdrew from negotiations before a final City Council vote.
Though HoHoHam Park (shown above) is about 50 percent larger than Phoenix Muni in terms of seating capacity, it’s hard to argue it’s actually nicer: Phoenix Muni benefits from a more scenic locale, while HoHoKam features some 13,000 seats, a larger press box and a much more spacious grandstand and berm area. Fitch Park, the actual training facility, is probably nicer than the Papago Park facility, though the A’s never seemed to stress upgrading those training facilities during talks with Phoenix.
The team’s lease at Phoenix Muni and Papago Park ends after Spring Training 2014. The exclusive negotiating period runs through May 15, 2012.