The Cincinnati Reds paved the way for a 2010 spring-training move with a groundbreaking of a new Goodyear, Az. spring-training complex.
The $33-million complex, located south of Interstate 10 along Estrella Parkway, doesn't look like much now: it's basically a dusty field like so many other dusty fields in the southwestern corner of Phoenix. But Goodyear officials are hoping the move of the Reds -- coupled with the move of the Cleveland Indians to a nearby complex and ballpark in 2009 -- serves as an economic stimulus for the community.
It is speculative, to be sure; city officials want to see a new, vibrant downtown at Estrella Parkway and Yuma Road. But the economic downturn has already hit Goodyear hard: big-box retailers in the city are already shuttering their facilities, and development around the ballpark has been delayed because of disagreements between developers and the city. Using a spring-training facility as a tool for growth is always a difficult chore, something Goodyear officials will surely learn in coming years.