Chicago Cubs' new Mesa spring training facility taking shape

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by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 3:45 PM

MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs’ new spring training home in Mesa is about halfway completed, following the groundbreaking last July.  Wednesday, Cubs top brass and Mesa city officials showed off the construction progress at Riverview Park.

Inside the 15,000 capacity stadium, the seats, dugouts, bullpens and infield are taking shape.  The clubhouse is also enclosed and ready for interior work, including a 9,000 square foot workout facility that will be the largest spring baseball weight and training room in the major leagues, according to the Cubs.

“It is a world class place for our players to train,” said Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations.  “It's a facility that we think will be a part of our organization for the next 30 years.

The entire facility including a city park, stadium, clubhouse and practice diamonds, carries a price tag of $99 million.  The City of Mesa pitched in $84 million as part of the agreement to keep the Cubs in Arizona instead of allowing a threatened move to Florida.

A large chunk of that money will be spent on an expansive city park complete with a man-made lake and promenade leading up to the stadium. 

According to city leaders, Cubs baseball already brings about $140 million annually to Mesa’s economy.  Mesa Mayor Scott Smith hopes to entice restaurants, retail and lodging businesses to the lakeside areas withing one to two years to further augment the financial benefits on the city’s investment.

“We believe that if we create something special, create something unique which we're trying to do, the economic impact will be above that,” said Smith, referring to the $140 million figure.

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