Sloan Park attracting Cubs fans, but still behind on entertainment development

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Play ball in Mesa!

Sloan Park is expected to sell out all Cubs games, bringing over 250,000 baseball fans to this part of the Valley alone.

“You know in Mesa, March is everyone’s favorite month of the year,” said John Giles, Mayor of Mesa.

Sloan Park is one of the nicest parks in the Cactus League, but fans say there is nothing to do around it, and they want to see more Chicago-style restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues surrounding the field.

“Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria would be great around here! So would Portillo’s, places like that,” said Rick Netzel, a Chicago native who now lives in Arizona.

Fans like Netzel want that Wrigley Field experience in Mesa, and the original city plan called for the Cubs to build that kind of entertainment around Sloan Park. But after the recession, that fell through, and so far the city has only built the Sheraton hotel on the property, which opened three years ago. But Giles says the city is receiving development offers left and right to compete with nearby cities.  

“What you're going to see unfold over the next few years is development very similar to what you’re seeing at Tempe Town Lake,” said Giles.

“I just like being around people around baseball fields and baseball fans!” said Diane Mazanec, who is visiting from Chicago just to watch her Cubs play.

The mayor hopes that in the near future, Sloan Park will be the premier destination for Cactus League Fans.

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Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMY awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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