Ricketts tours spring training facilities

MESA, Ariz. -- Chicago Cubs executive Todd Ricketts took a tour of the new Diamondbacks and Rockies state of the art spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Friday. He was doing his due diligence in preparing for the Cubs’ new facility, which is due to be ready in either 2013 or ’14.

“We’re narrowing down the list of architects, who will put their qualifications forward in the next few weeks,” Ricketts said. “We should have an architect chosen sometime soon.

“We’re also putting together [a request For qualifications] for the contractors that we’re going to send out in the next week to 10 days.”

Groundbreaking for the Cubs facility is expected sometime later this year.

“We are hoping to be in the ground by this fall,” Ricketts said. “Then however long it takes.

"I hate to commit to 2013, but 2014 for sure.”

Although having the finest complex is something that all baseball teams envision, the Cubs may be more inclined to move on the side of practicality with their new endeavor.

“I think there’s been a little 'Keep up with the Joneses' mentality,” Ricketts said. “We are less about the glitz and more about the business. We want a facility that could help us win. That’s what we’re looking for.

“I don’t know if that means having a state of the art hydrotherapy table. But at the end of the day, it’s simple, you get your bodies in shape, you get your players ready to play, and we just need a little space to do that.”

Ricketts said the ownership group has not gotten into naming right at this point. But he did say down the road that it’s a distinct possibility.

The new stadium will hold close to 15,000, which is 2,500 more than the capacity at Ho Ho Kam Park.

Ricketts was asked about this year’s team and the baseball management group led by Jim Hendry.

“I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction,” Ricketts said. “There’s a single-mindedness to the team that will benefit us during the season.”

The Cubs have viewed every spring training facility in the Cactus League.