Mesa mayor, Arizona legislator surprised by opposition to Cubs plan, newspaper reports

Florida Governor Charlie Crist met with supporters to bring the Chicago Cubs to Naples on Friday afternoon in Cambier Park in Naples.  At the news conference, Gov. Crist said the owner of the Chicago Cubs told him Thursday evening that no decision has been made about whether the baseball team will stay in Mesa or move to Collier County. Erik Kellar/Staff

Photo by ERIK KELLAR

Florida Governor Charlie Crist met with supporters to bring the Chicago Cubs to Naples on Friday afternoon in Cambier Park in Naples. At the news conference, Gov. Crist said the owner of the Chicago Cubs told him Thursday evening that no decision has been made about whether the baseball team will stay in Mesa or move to Collier County. Erik Kellar/Staff

— Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and a key Arizona legislator say they were taken by surprise at the level of opposition to a plan to keep the Chicago Cubs from moving their spring training operations to Florida and blamed the reaction on a lack of understanding about what the bill actually does.

House Majority Leader John McComish, R-Ahwatukee Foothills, said he will meet with Cactus League teams and others who have criticized his funding bill to hear their alternative proposals.

Meanwhile, Smith said he believes he is close to an agreement with Goldwater Institute lawyer Clint Bolick, who has said efforts to help the Cubs and other Cactus League teams could violate the Arizona Constitution.

The legislation would add a $1 surcharge to car-rental fees in Maricopa County and an 8 percent surcharge to all Cactus League tickets.

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