City looks to build new stadium for Rockies

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Hi Corbett Field, the "other" focal point of professional baseball in Tucson, may soon take a back seat to a newly proposed, two-team stadium and practice complex to be built within the city.

The need for the new complex stems from a clause in the city's contract with the Colorado Rockies, the National League team currently using Hi Corbett as its spring training home.

The Rockies are in their third year of a five-year deal. Terms of the contract include the city building a new stadium for the Rockies' to compete in Arizona's spring training Cactus League.

The UA baseball team is scheduled to play the Rockies in an exhibition game Mar. 29 at Hi Corbett.

Plans for the new complex were proposed last week at a press conference held by the Southern Arizona Sports Development Corporation. The SASDC is hoping a new expansion team in the Phoenix area would become the second Arizona team to have consistent sellouts during spring workouts.

But in baseball, especially these days, there are no guarantees.

"Before promises are made, I wouldn't count on expansion," Rockies manager Don Baylor said. "Maybe a team that's already established would be better."

No matter which team is picked to fill the stadium, the Rockies management will be happy to be able to cut down on travel.

"It would be a great thing if each team could play each other six or seven times," Rockies assistant manager Don Zimmer said. "Last year we were on the highway all the time."

An empty Hi Corbett leaves the opportunity for yet another team to come to Tucson for spring training.

The Tucson Toros, who belong to the Pacific Coast League, are the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, making the Astros a top candidate.

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