Tucson eyes Japanese team for spring

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tourism officials want to bring a Japanese club to play up to 15 spring training games in Tucson by 2010 to replace the Chicago White Sox, who have moved their spring-training base to the Phoenix area.

Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority chairman Tom Tracy said Wednesday the Baseline Group also has proposed using the Tucson Electric Park facility as a year-round international player development center.

Tracy says Major League Baseball is open to the concept of a Japanese team playing in Arizona, and the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are receptive to more spring training competition in the city.

The White Sox, who shared Tucson Electric Park with the Diamondbacks, have moved their spring training camp to Glendale.