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Friday, Jul 25th

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Peoria to spend $48 million on upgrading spring-training complex

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Peoria Stadium

Peoria (Az.) will spend $48 million on upgrading the spring-training complex for the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners as part of a lease extension running through 2034.

Spring training has become a big business, with demanding -- and receiving -- first-rate complexes. The Peoria Stadium complex was considered state of the art when it opened in 1994, but since then high-end facilities like Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and the Goodyear Ballpark complex have raised the stakes for cities in the Phoenix area and across Florida.

In Peoria, the city will spend money on a variety of features designed to benefit both players and fans. The biggest chunk of the complex improvements -- some $30 million -- will go to improve clubhouses, work that should be performed next next after spring training winds down. In addition, $6 million will be devoted to upgraded seating, better lighting and a new party deck. The new lease was approved today.

After that, Peoria would be on the hook to spend $12 million down the line, closer to the end of the 20-year lease.

Though the Padres and Mariners seem happy enough training in Peoria, there are plenty of outs in the new lease. For instance, if that $12 million isn't spent by year 15 of the lease, either team could walk. In addition, agreement for clubhouse and stadium improvements. From the Arizona Republic:

Either team may terminate the agreement before the term's end by providing a notice of intent two years before the termination. In return, the team would have to pay off all remaining financing costs of its clubhouse, a one-time penalty of $5 million to $20 million, depending on which year of the agreement they choose to opt out, find a replacement Major League Baseball team for the complex and pay the city the difference between its ticket and parking revenues and those generated by the replacement team, if they are lower, staff said.

Should either the Mariners or Padres opt out early and be unable to get a replacement major-league team, they would have to shell out $10 million each year the ballpark is short a team during the 20-year term.

RELATED STORIES: Seattle, San Diego extend Peoria Stadium lease

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