The Colorado Rockies have sent a letter to Tucson mayor Bob Walkup stating they will pay their rent for 2011 at Hi Corbett Field although the team will be spending spring training at a new complex near Scottsdale.
With the letter, dated Tuesday, the major-league baseball team sent a $40,000 check for the first installment of rent. The Rockies plan to pay the remainder of the installments - about $200,000 in rent and other fees paid to the city - on or before March 15, according to the letter.
"I'm glad they put something on the table, so we can try to resolve this," city attorney Mike Rankin said Thursday.
Rankin said he expects to discuss the Rockies' proposal at the mayor and council meeting Tuesday in executive session.
The Rockies' lease at Hi Corbett runs through the 2011 spring training season.
"I think they put it pretty plainly; it's pretty clear they're not going to be here for spring training, and they want to honor the agreement to the extent of paying the lease they would have paid if they were here, and they want to know our reaction to that," Rankin said. "It's my responsibility to take it to the mayor and council and say, 'OK, folks what do you want to do?'"
The team had trained at Hi Corbett since the franchise's inception in 1993. The team and the Arizona Diamondbacks - who trained at Kino Stadium, formerly Tucson Electric Park - are moving their spring training operations to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community reservation. The teams will begin training at the new facility near Scottsdale next month.
"In recognition of the difficult financial situation facing the City of Tucson, coupled with our immense appreciation of the support to our organization throughout the years, the Rockies are choosing not to terminate its Spring Training Lease Agreement," Rockies owner/chairman and CEO Richard L. Monfort wrote in the letter addressed to Walkup. "Rather, the Rockies will continue to pay its rent obligations for the 2011 season."