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Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
Tucson went 15 years without a college football bowl game and is working on eight years without spring training baseball.
The Milwaukee Brewers are looking for someone to pay them zillions for a spring training home, and Pima County has made preliminary contact, offering the dated Kino Sports Complex, but I'll be batting cleanup for the Yankees before that ever happens.
There will be no spring training baseball in Tucson unless a new facility is built to please at least two teams, and that would cost in excess of $100 million.
Beyond that, it might be more difficult to find two teams willing to move to Tucson than to come up with the money and facilities.
In contrast, the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl recently moved into a new headquarters downtown, and last week donated $200,000 to local charities. It has joined forces with CBS Sports Network for a Dec. 29 afternoon game. Talk about trending up.
The key to these sports enterprises is the force of personality and drive to get it done. That's how Roy Drachman and Burt Kinerk and Greg Foster and the Tucson Conquistadores, among others, made it possible for spring training, the PGA Tour, FC Tucson and the Copper Bowl to make Tucson home.
The Arizona Bowl works because Tucson attorney Ali Farhang and mortgage kingpin Jon Volpe have put the time, money and vision required to get it done.
Anything short of that will keep spring training out of Tucson for decades.
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