House panel approves bill aimed to increase tourism in southern Arizona
An Arizona House panel voted to allow for the creation of a Southern Arizona Sports, Tourism and Film Authority, with the aim of expanding tourism in lower Arizona.
The bill is designed around the prospect of attracting baseball teams that play in the Florida Grapefruit League to Southern Arizona. The Colorado Rockies, the Chicago White Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks used to play spring training games in Tucson before moving to Phoenix because it was closer for all the teams.
Sen. David Gowan says that impacted southern Arizona’s revenue.
"We were losing our baseball teams down south. We had three of them for the Cactus League. And they all came up here. And, as such, the southern region lost a tremendous amount of infusion of dollars as you can imagine," Gowan said,
The measure provides half a million dollars for the authority to get started and will head to the full House for a vote.