In February, the Chicago Cubs will begin their final Spring Training at Hohokam Stadium and Fitch Park in Mesa, Arizona. Across the city, work will continue on their new facilities – an $84 million, state-of-the-art ballpark, practice facilities, training facilities, and other amenities – which should be ready to open in 2014.
Construction on that facility is already humming along, according to Arizona Central:
As you pass the future Chicago Cubs complex on Eighth Street in northwest Mesa, it’s still hard to guess what it will look like in just a few months.
But City Engineer Beth Huning expects an explosion of progress as the new year nears, leading to completion as soon as next October or November.
Already, Hunt Construction Group has gone vertical with the walls of a large clubhouse that will house the big-league team’s training facilities and offices. And before long, the steel skeleton of the stadium itself should begin to poke from what used to be Riverview Golf Course.
“There’s a lot of things going on all over that site right now,” Huning said — and that includes work at Riverview Park, which will be even fancier than originally planned after voter approval in November of a park-bond package.
I’d imagine, then, that there will be a bit to see for folks who make it down to Mesa for Spring Training this year.
The Arizona Central report notes that the ballpark will be sunk into the ground, which immediately makes me think of Michigan Stadium, one of the largest in the country, which looks totally unimposing – borderline small – when you approach it. But then you walk through the gates, and you see why they call it “The Big House.” It’s a cool effect, and one that I look forward to checking out in 2014.
The exterior design of the park, however, is not yet complete. It looks like they’re toying with a visage that would evoke Wrigley Field (and, remember, the park, itself, will mirror Wrigley’s layout and dimensions, which is awesome). Here’s a picture from the Arizona Central report:
Ah. It gives me the smiles. You should check out the report for other pictures on the actual construction (which, concededly, looks like most other construction sites – still, it’s cool to see the progress).