Spring (training) fever! Check out the Cubs' Sloan Park in MesaPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- February means more than great weather here in Arizona. It's also the time when the Valley prepares for spring training!
On Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, Ryan O'Donnell visited the home of the Cubs in Mesa!
The newest stadium built for MLB spring training is now called Sloan Park, after a recent naming-rights deal. The spring training home for the Chicago Cubs opened in February 2014, and is owned and operated by the Cubs.
"When you walk in the gates here, you know it's a Cubs facility," says Justin Piper, GM of spring training operations. "We have artwork around the ballpark; we've added new artwork. All the elements around here scream 'Cubs!' And obviously, the replica of the famous Wrigley marquee sits in the concourse."
With a capacity of 15,000, Sloan Park is the largest spring training stadium by capacity in Major League Baseball, surpassing Camelback Ranch in Glendale (coincidentally, spring training home of the Cubs' in-city rival the Chicago White Sox) by 2,000 seats.
Even though the park is new and still in pristine condition, there are already a few small improvements around that fans will notice. "You can look for a re-formatted video board with more player statistics and background information," says Piper. "More areas around the ballpark with shade and tables for people to take in an inning and relax."
Fans will also enjoy some new food and beverages, including a new deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style! "Giordano's has partnered up with the Cubs," says Jay Satenspiel with Ovations, which handles all the concessions at Sloan. "We are now going to import, directly from Chicago, Giordano's Pizza, which will be available at two locations here in the ballpark."
Spring Training baseball under the warm Arizona sun has been a tradition for devoted fans since 1947, when just two teams, the Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants, came here to prepare for the rigors of the long regular season.Today, 15 teams train in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the greatest concentration of professional baseball facilities found anywhere in the United States.
For more information visit cubs.com.
2330 West Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ
202 Freeway & Dobson Rd.