ASU breaks off stadium talks with Cubs

Arizona State has broken off negotiations with the Chicago Cubs and city of Mesa on playing its baseball games at the Cubs’ new spring training facility being built in Mesa.

ASU released a statement saying the Cubs had demanded changes to a preliminary agreement that rendered a deal “impossible.”

“The changes the Cubs demanded show that they do not value the partnership with ASU,” the statement said.

“The new terms became far too costly to the university, imposed too many restrictions on ASU’s use of the facility and exposed the university to too great a level of financial liability for the entire complex.”

The Cubs issued a statement through Julian Green, vice president for communications and community affairs, taking exception to ASU’s claims:

“We believe the remaining issues could have been resolved, but to suggest the Cubs acted in bad faith or did not want to conclude the deal is baseless. We invited ASU to play in a rent-free stadium.  Unfortunately, this was not enough to meet the university’s needs.  While we are disappointed, we look forward to continuing to work with the City of Mesa on building a great facility for baseball.”

The university said it will being to pursue other stadium options for its baseball program, which currently plays its games on campus at Packard Stadium. It’s been speculated that Phoenix Municipal Stadium could become an option for the Sun Devils.