The Cleveland Indians began moving into its new training facilities in Goodyear last week, 16 years after the Major League Baseball team left Arizona to train in Florida.
The Phoenix suburb issued $75 million of sales tax bonds, backed by a promise of tax revenue from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, late last year to complete the financing for a $108 million spring training facility that will include a 10,000-seat stadium. Goodyear sold $10 million of general obligation bonds in June 2007 to finance infrastructure improvements at the site.
An intergovernmental agreement between the city and the authority signed in January 2007 calls for AZSTA to provide up to half the financing for the spring training complex from the revenue it receives from a tax on hotel rooms and car rentals in Maricopa County.
However, the money from AZSTA is currently dedicated to debt service on its outstanding sports facility bonds, and won’t be available until 2019.
The Cincinnati Reds are expected to join the Indians and move into Goodyear’s spring training complex in 2010.
The Indians trained in Arizona from 1947 until the end of the 1992 season.
Goodyear’s debt has underlying ratings of A-plus from Standard & Poor’s and A1 from Moody’s Investors Service.