New construction at Chicago’s spring training home has turned ugly.
According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times, the White Sox have found themselves in the middle of a legal dispute with the city of Glendale, Arizona. The question at the center of it all … who pays for the women’s locker rooms being built at Camelback Ranch?
“Camelback Spring Training, the venture jointly formed by the teams to run the facility, and the White Sox demanded Nov. 4 that the city of Glendale, Ariz., submit to binding arbitration over the locker room issue.
For now, city manager Kevin Phelps said, the White Sox want the city to pay $200,000 for a women’s locker room. Phelps said he anticipates the Dodgers will submit a similar demand.
Camelback Ranch general manager Matt Slatus declined to comment. But the lease for the Dodgers and White Sox appears clear: The teams pay for maintenance, and the city pays for renovations, specifically including “changes or improvements to the facility to meet … the requirements of Major League Baseball.”’via Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times
Over the last couple of years alone, Major League Baseball has seen a rise in women around the game. In 2021, Major League Baseball finally mandated that all thirty teams provide separate locker rooms for women at all facilities. This includes major league stadiums, minor league stadiums, and spring training facilities.
As Shaikin explains, it appears that both the White Sox and Dodgers might have a case here based on the verbiage of their current lease. It clearly states that the city is to pay for renovations, and the only thing the teams need to handle is maintenance.
On the other hand, Glendale charges each team just $1 per year to use Camelback Ranch after the city spent $200 million to build it. A part of Glendale’s case is that they could not have foreseen these renovations being needed when signing the original lease, especially with no women really holding coaching positions at the time. So from their perspective, it would make sense to ask each club to help defray the costs even though it goes against the original agreement.
“Ultimately, what I would be hopeful for is that our two teams, which are important partners for us, would acknowledge they have got a great situation, that the city of Glendale and its citizens built them a phenomenal facility,” Phelps told the City Council last week. “We get $1 a year, so we can’t go much lower on the lease.”via Bill Shaikin/Los Angeles Times
No matter how this one ends, neither the city nor the teams will come out as winners considering the situation in question.
To read the full Los Angeles Times report on the legal dispute, click here.
For more updates, follow us on social media @SoxOn35th.
Featured Photo: © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports