Chicago Cubs owner expected in Florida today to talk spring training

Bringing Cubs to Naples

Tourism leaders look to create a public-private ...

Craig Bouchard, CEO of the Naples Bath & Tennis Club, speaks to Naples residents Jeannie Hautmann, left, and John Geshay at the conclusion of a press conference about the possibilities of the Chicago Cubs conducting their spring training in Naples on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club. David Albers/Staff

Photo by DAVID ALBERS

Craig Bouchard, CEO of the Naples Bath & Tennis Club, speaks to Naples residents Jeannie Hautmann, left, and John Geshay at the conclusion of a press conference about the possibilities of the Chicago Cubs conducting their spring training in Naples on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club. David Albers/Staff

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Editor's note: If you see the Ricketts or Cubs representatives in Collier County please contact us at cdesk@naplesnews.com.

The Chicago Cubs will once again be in Florida.

Tom Ricketts, the team's owner, and Crane Kenney, the team's president, will visit Florida today to discuss possible spring training locations in Collier County. Ricketts visited Collier County in September to scope out sites for a spring training stadium.

Three Collier County properties have been identified as possible sites, none of those locations are inside the city of Naples.

The project would include a 15,000-seat stadium, the club’s main offices, with coaching and player development and assessments operating 11 months out of the year. It would require 120 contiguous acres near transportation and utilities.

Collier County is competing with Mesa, Ariz. -- the team's current spring training home – for spring training. Team officials were in Arizona earlier this month scouting possible locations. It was the first time Ricketts visited Arizona since taking over the team.

The team can opt out of its 20-year-agreement with Mesa next year and leave the city by 2012 for $4.2 million.

Earlier

Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, will visit Naples next month.

Craig Bouchard, vice chairman of Esmark Inc., said in an e-mail this afternoon that Ricketts and team president Crane Kennedy will be in town Dec. 1 for “private discussions related to our proposal.”

Esmark has teamed up with Fifth Avenue Advisors to lure the team to Naples for spring training. The team currently trains in Mesa, Ariz.

Bouchard could not comment any further on the visit.

Continue to follow this story at naplesnews.com.

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