New pitch: Cubs will focus on ticket surcharge to secure Arizona money for new spring stadium, paper reports

Collier not giving up on Chicago Cubs

Owners say Cubs will stay in Mesa, ...

The first pitch of the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics baseball spring training season is thrown during the first inning of a game Thursday, March 4, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The first pitch of the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics baseball spring training season is thrown during the first inning of a game Thursday, March 4, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

— Arizona lawmakers want to more than double the amount of money raised for the Valley’s spring training facilities as part of the latest financial plan to keep the Chicago Cubs in Mesa.

The plan will now raise $185 million over 30 years for stadium improvements by charging a ticket surcharge on spring training games. The 10 percent fee is up from 8 percent in the original plan, and lawmakers are scrapping a $1 rental car fee after strong objections from the tourism industry.

The bill is set for a vote to clear the Arizona House today, sending it to the Senate.

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Naples-based Fifth Avenue Advisors and Chicago-based Esmark, Inc. teamed up last year to bring the team to Collier County for spring training. The Cubs in January announced the team planned to stay in Mesa, Ariz., its spring training team for more than 50 years.

“I'm going to try and pay attention,” Gary Price, a partner in Fifth Avenue Advisors, said about today's scheduled House vote in Phoenix. “I'll be watching with interest to see what happens.”

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