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A Bit Of Baseball

And who doesn't need that on a day when it's 23 degrees here in Chicago and snowed all day?

As you know if you have read this blog since last spring training, I have consistently ranked Ho Ho Kam Park as the worst of the spring training parks in the Phoenix area, and one of the main reasons is the food -- poor quality, poor selection and high prices.

One of my friends, Ron, who also goes to spring training regularly, got the idea that some of us who are regular visitors to the Valley of the Sun, should write to the City of Mesa and see if we could get some public groundswell behind changing the concession menu at Ho Ho Kam.

So, having been well armed with the e-mail addresses of Mayor Keno Hawker (and with a name like that, what's he doing in Arizona instead of Nevada?) and the Mesa City Council, I sent one off, and received the following reply from the "Assistant to the Mayor" (yeah, sure, like the mayor could ever actually respond to an e-mail):

Mayor Hawker read your message and requested that I respond. He appreciates your e-mail and shares your concern regarding the concession contract at Hohokam Stadium.

The City of Mesa currently contracts with Cactus Concessions for food and beverage provision at Hohokam. The City entered into a 10-year contract with Cactus Concessions that expires after the 2006 spring training season. The contract the City agreed to states that no outside food or beverage will be allowed in to the stadium on event days. However, the City negotiated a provision to allow one bottle of water per person recently, but it costs the City of Mesa to allow this provision.

The Mayor agrees with you and would also go as far to say that the concession prices for spring training games are high. Prior to each season the concession prices are compared to all of the other Cactus League facilities. They are all higher than he would like for a simple hot dog and drink.

Thank you for your comments; the Mayor will keep them in mind when the contract is up for renewal. Despite the issues, the Mayor is really looking forward to Spring Training and having the Cubs back in Mesa. This season is sure to be one of the best and he'll be volunteering as an usher on the 3rd baseline, so please stop by and say hello.

Julie Rice
Assistant to the Mayor

Well, at least my message got read. I read into this reply that the city of Mesa (not to mention the Ho Ho Kams themselves, who were in part behind the impetus for some sort of changes) is counting the days till they can get rid of Cactus Concessions as the food and drink supplier at Ho Ho Kam Park.

That'll make the spring training experience so much better, and will absolutely change my opinion of going to games at Ho Ho Kam.

35 days till the first spring game...