I thought briefly about filing this under "Good News" instead of "Regular News" but I still have never been to Peoria so I don't want to come off as sounding presumptuous. As of this morning, theand have officially agreed to extend their spring training deal with Peoria for another 20 years. The old agreement wasn't quite up just yet, but when you have a chance to commit yourself to a city like Peoria, Arizona, you don't waste any time. There might come a day eventually when the Mariners train somewhere else, but given this extension, many of us wouldn't be alive to see it.
The Mariners started training in Peoria in 1993, and I believe they started actually playing there in 1994. Before Peoria, they hung out in Tempe, but then something something business deals. According to this article from the Kingman Daily Miner, which is very different from the Kingman Daily Minor, Tucson wanted the Mariners as well, but Peoria won out. At that point the Mariners as a franchise were a teenager, so the competition for their commitment seems a little skeevy.
I think spring training is the reason why the Mariners and the Padres are rivals. Designated rivals, I mean, because they're obviously not real rivals. They can't be real rivals because they don't directly compete against one another. But because they train in the same place, and because they've trained in the same place for so long, they've been able to kind of crane their necks and look at the other guys on the other fields. That can foster more indirect, passive competition. The Mariners and Padres have spent a lot of time growing up together, so even though they subsequently play in different circles, they're like sibling rivals. You don't hate the other, but you want to be better. Or something. This is such a weird subject. Whatever the Peoria Sports Complex has meant for the relationship between the Mariners and the Padres, it will continue to mean that, for at least an extra 20 years.
Personally, I'm always thankful for the existence of Peoria, Arizona because it allowed me to learn of the existence of Peoria, Illinois. Peoria, Illinois is the home of Caterpillar Inc. and the country's 153rd-largest radio market! Additionally it turns out there is a Peoria, Colorado, a Peoria, Ohio, a Peoria, Oklahoma, and two Peoria, Indianas. The Peoria are a tribe of Native Americans, and while we've historically been really shitty to Native Americans, at least we've named a lot of shitty places in their honor. There I go, pretending to know something about Peoria, Arizona again. But if Peoria, Arizona loves the Mariners and Padres so much, how good could it be?