Cubs Park, New Spring Training Home of the Chicago Cubs, Opens
February 27, 2014
Cubs Park, the new spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, opened on Feb. 27 to a sold-out crowd. Designed by Populous, the $99 million complex, which includes a state-of-the-art ballpark, two story player development facility, six full practice fields, 12 covered batting tunnels and an enhanced Riverview Park on a 146 acre site, is now the largest development of its kind in the Cactus League. The ballpark and complex cost a total of $84 million, while the enhancements to Riverview Park cost $15 million.
“This new ballpark and player development facility will allow our players to better train and compete,” said Tom Ricketts. “To achieve our goal of winning a World Championship, we must be able to provide our players with the world-class facilities they deserve.”
The ballpark serves as the centerpiece of the facility. With a 15,000 person capacity, it is the largest ballpark in the Cactus League, and has been noted for combining the best attributes of Wrigley Field with a Southwest influence. The ballpark features brickwork, steel and ornamentation resembling that at Wrigley Field, and has made use of some of the most iconic design elements – including the main entry marquee, brick wall behind home plate and green scoreboard– to pay homage to the Cubs’ regular season home.
Inside the seating bowl, more than 60 percent of the seats are shaded from the sun. In addition, the facility integrates a number of party and patio decks and an ample amount of berm seating. The project was constructed in just 15 months, with Hunt Construction Group serving as the construction manager.
“Our priority with Cubs Park was to create a premier Spring Training experience designed with the business of sport and importance of community in mind,” said David Bower, Principal at Populous. “The Cubs are an iconic brand and their new facility is an iconic, game-changing complex. It has comfort, shade, variety and intimacy for fans. It has player development facilities that are multi-functional and top-notch for players. And it has a park and planned mixed-use development that will create a world-class, year-round destination for the community. It’s truly the next iteration of Spring Training.”
Spring Training in Mesa has had a long-lasting and consistent economic impact on both the city and state. According to a 2010 report prepared by EDP & Co, the Cubs generate an impact of nearly $138 million annually during Spring Training, and the Cactus League as a whole delivers $422 million in direct economic benefits to the state each year.
“The new Cubs Park and Riverview Park will provide a Spring Training experience like no other in Major League Baseball,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “The two parks are connected by a palm tree lined paseo with opportunities for retail, restaurant and hotel development on either side. Mesa calls March our second Christmas when it comes to sales tax numbers due to the influx of Spring Training spending. I can’t think of a better way to support the economy than to build on our success and develop the parks into a destination for all to play and stay.”
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