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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).

  • Big Daddy

    A lot of people on here talk about how cheap Ricketts is, but then you see this. I still believe he is a cubs fan at heart and if we are patient he will let team Theo build a winner.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

      Ricketts isn’t paying for this. He convinced the government to have the good taxpayers of Arizona pay for it.

      • Cubbie Blues

        He did build the one in the DR though.

        • CubFan Paul

          The DR facility was already planned and budgeted for also before Ricketts came in. Yes, it came out of the budget but i’m tired of people pointing to that as a defense of the low payroll (you didnt, but in genereal)

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        up to $84M of the (anticipated) $99M project.

      • MightyBear

        The citizens of AZ will make that money back tenfold. Mostly from Chicagoans going to spring training. The least the idiots running Chicago could do is return the favor and renovate Wrigley and get some Arizonans to come up and spend their money in Chi. Instead of milking it with no input for 100 years. But let’s renovate the cell because nobody goes to see the Sox anyway. Chicago/Washington DC, not a huge difference.

        • CubFan Paul

          good points MB.

        • JoeyCollins

          Or even better lets build a DePaul a new stadium.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

          It will take some awfully fancy math to get $800 million in city revenue from 150k spring training tickets a year.

          • DarthHater

            This might be true if the city had to recover its revenue all at once and only from ticket sales. But hey, I’m sure the city loves throwing its money away without considering whether it will ever get anything back for its investment, because that’s just the way cities work.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

              Politicians are people, and people like shiny things.

              • MightyBear

                Politicians like votes and votes are easier to get when you’re doing something, especially increasing revenue without raising your taxes.

                • Pat

                  “Politicians like votes and votes are easier to get when you’re doing something, especially increasing revenue without raising your taxes.”

                  Since you are a bear I will assume you were hibernating in November.

                  • MightyBear

                    Well you got me on that one.

                  • Ron

                    I believe the promise was to raise other peoples taxes.

                    Actually reading a link below from the city of Mesa was sortof interesting on how this was funded. Mostly tourism associated taxes (non locals) and selling city property over the nrxt 25 years. The link indicated that the city has done this 3 or so times before.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                They also like creating ways to generate tourism dollars. They are some the most popular dollars in places like Mesa.

          • North Side Irish

            1000% entertainment tax.

          • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

            Well, maybe they won’t get tenfold, but you’re also being pretty disingenuous, seeing as people will a) fly to Arizona, b) stay in hotels, c) eat food, d) rent cars, and e) buy merchandise. The cost of the spring training ticket is easily the smallest benefit the people who come to watch the games are providing.

            • MightyBear

              Thanks Myles. Somebody on here gets it. Stick to baseball K-Man, city planning’s not your game.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

              Same problem.

              The Cubs sell 150k spring training tickets a year, and the vast majority of those are repeat buyers or locals

              If we insanely generously estimate that 20k people visit Arizona because of the Cubs, you need $210 in tax revenue per person per spring to make a measly 5% yearly return on your investment.

              I’m not going to go line-item on your average trip, but they probably aren’t getting that much tax revenue per person.

              • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

                “The Cubs sell 150k spring training tickets a year, and the vast majority of those are repeat buyers or locals”

                So, people who are still going to the stadium, buying concessions and merchandise, and flying out/driving in some cases?

                The locals that might even comprise the vast majority of these tickets is actually another great reason why this makes sense: the tax is taken from these very same locals to provide them with services (like entertainment via, say, a new baseball facility). If the locals use the service, it’s likely a net positive to them without respect to how much they “paid” for it.

                It also prevents the Cubs from moving, to say, Tucson. If they moved to a different city, the city of Mesa just lost out on plenty of jobs (and those people pay income taxes).

                In summary, the city will certainly make some of that money in revenue just from the tourism. They’ll make some of that money by way of income taxes from jobs generated by this stadium (and the security that this stadium provides). They’ll make some of that “money” up by the positive externality of a great place for entertainment. They’ll make still more by the increased value that the Mesa brand will no doubt get (as a tourist destination in general). I seriously doubt that the average Mesa resident is getting too much of a raw deal here.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                  If someone wants to show me a good accounting of all those “somes” that adds up to more than the opportunity cost, I’ll be impressed.

                  • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                    If the numbers at the link below are assumed accurate, Cubs fans (assuming the only Cubs fans from out of town are those that are above the league wide average) account for an extra $6(ish)M in money spent in Mesa.

                    Assuming standard inflation, the City would have to be able to earn 6.5% on that $85M to beat the revenue from the Cubs in providing value to the community.

              • Spriggs

                No the vast majority are out of state tourists who spend an average of 6 days there. Staying at hotels, shopping, eating, supplying a need for temporary jobs, and being impressed enough to come back in the future.

            • Pat

              The city only gets the taxes and fees on those items. Which is pretty minimal considering the small number of people involved.

              • MightyBear

                “Minimal” and “number of people involved”. What are those figures? Ted Williams had a minimal batting average in 1941.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                “The city” gets a handful of tax revenue, you’re right. But “the city” is actually a collection of people who do jobs and live in Mesa. They get a lot of that money, too.

                • MightyBear

                  The state of AZ gets plenty of money as well from this project and they will in turn give money to the citizens of Mesa and so on and so on.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                  I’d guess someone in the city is really good buddies at the country club with whoever’s doing the construction work on the stadium.

                  • MightyBear

                    Probably true but does that mean you shouldn’t build it? No clue. You folks have no clue.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      heaven forbid a city should provide for any rock fesitvals within their limits…THINK OF THE OPPORTUNITY COST!!!!

                      Never mind that one of the top factors in where young people decide to settle is the availability of leisure activities.

                  • Spriggs

                    In fact, general contractors and sub-contractors have to be Arizona based. It was part of the deal. It’s already supplied a lot of work for a lot of people.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I should amplify this, because I think some of you are really missing a fundamental issue here: the stadium is being built with public money, which comes from the citizens by way of a tax. Citizens pay taxes to their city so that the city does things to benefit their lives. Ensuring that the Cubs stay in Mesa benefits the lives of many Mesa citizens by way of tourism dollars (job creation, “nice-ness,” better wages, etc.) … which is part of the reason those citizens pay taxes in the first place.

                  In other words, saying that the tax revenues generated by the stadium will not “pay back” the money outlaid to build it really misses a fundamental reason the government exists.

                  • MightyBear

                    Not only is it fundamentally beneficial, it’s economically beneficial.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                    If the city of Mesa has successfully solved all of its governance problems that rank ahead of “it’d be nice having a baseball team train there in the spring,” then I’m very impressed with them.

                    I’ll check with all the policemen and teachers Mesa has laid off in the last five years and see how much they like going to exhibition baseball games.

                    • MightyBear

                      Ask them how many would have jobs in the first place without spring training baseball. I was in Mesa in 1972 and it was a little crap town with nothing but a few houses and minor league baseball stadium. I was there a few years ago and it was much more than that. Ask yourself this: Would you have heard of Mesa, AZ if the Cubs weren’t there? Would you be writing about it?

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      So if the city didn’t pay for the Cubs’ new spring training facility, it would have created a space-time anomaly that wiped out 40 years of history and replaced it with an alternate history where the Cubs never went to Mesa?

                      That does sound serious.

                    • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

                      Just because something isn’t a top priority doesn’t mean it’s not a priority or that you can’t do something about it.

                      America’s top priority right now is probably the fiscal cliff, so do you get furious every time they talk about immigration?

                    • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

                      “So if the city didn’t pay for the Cubs’ new spring training facility, it would have created a space-time anomaly that wiped out 40 years of history and replaced it with an alternate history where the Cubs never went to Mesa?

                      That does sound serious.”

                      No, if the city didn’t pay for the Cubs’ new spring training facility, they might have moved and went somewhere else, taking those jobs and externalities with them. While you’re out canvassing policemen and teachers, go ahead and canvas the restauranteurs, rental car places, the airport, the construction workers, the seasonal staff, and merchandisers if they’d like to keep their jobs too.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      I could prop up a lot of restaurants and rental car businesses with $84 million.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Yeah, that point completely flew past you – or, more accurately, you decided to focus on a teeny, tiny part of it in order to advance your argument. Good talk – I know a roadblock when I see one.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      It didn’t so much fly by me as a used it for a jumping off point for a sweet emotional non sequitor.

                    • Spriggs

                      The facts are that the good taxpayers of Mesa (not Arizona) voted overwhelmingly to approve the Cubs project up to $99 million (84 million for the facility and 15 million for any needed infrastructure). The Cubs are on the hook for overages, which there are likely to be plenty of.

                      FYI: about 66% of all spring training tickets are sold to tourist from out of state.

                    • Spriggs

                      If you look into – you will find that the Police were in support of the Keep the Cubs movement!

                  • Pat

                    “it really misses a fundamental reason the government exists.”

                    The governemt exists to protect and enforce the constitution. Not to make our lives better. That is up to people as a whole.

                    I’ll ignore the argument of whether government is even capable of making our lives better, that would be getting political. But show me anywhere in the consitution or writings of the founding fathers where it’s the governments place to decide to take our money to spend on a fucking baseball team or equivilent thereof.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      “general welfare.”

                    • Pat

                      Not sure if serious..

                    • Pat

                      If serious. It was not mean to try to legislate “general welfare”, it was an expected result of the constitution. That’s pretty easy to find if yoou doubt it.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Let me be clear that I’m making no argument as to what I think the government *should* be (this ain’t the place). But if you think your tax dollars are being used solely for the purposes of “protection” and “enforcement of the constitution,” you live in a reality divorced from the one in which the rest of live – and pay taxes. And, since that is the reality, we might as well accept it, and discuss this Spring facility within those contours.

                    • Pat

                      That’s fine. I would avoid the phrase “fundamental reason” something exists, if that’s not what you mean.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      If you are talking about the line out of the US Constitution, that actually has limited scope here. That is talking about the federal government, not the city of Mesa.

                    • Frank

                      “General welfare” is pretty fundamental. So is the power to regulate commerce in conjunction with the necessary and proper clause–and the expansive powers with which those two clauses endow the government. In fact, in the Constitution, those powers are about as fundamental as it gets.

                    • Noah

                      You do realize the difference between state government and federal government? And the different role envisioned by the the Constitution for state government and federal government? And that the Constitution places extremely limited restrictions on what state government can do, right? That’s one of the big purposes behind the 14th amendment; prior to that, it wasn’t even clear if the Bill of Rights applied to actions taken by states against the populace.

                      So whether or not you think states should be spending on money on sports stadiums or not (personally I’m against it), it has absolutely nothing to do with discussions about the limits of the federal government pursuant to the United States Constitution. Seriously, read the Federalist Papers.

                  • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                    Great way to put it Brett and tax revenue aside, the money that is being spent to actually build this place is also getting spread around to help people. Sales and gasoline taxes, construction permits, inspections, etc…

                    The Mesa project was funded by the city selling land it owned, the Cubs project would be funded by future growth in the amusement tax. Neither of these items are coming via a tax on the general populace.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      Broken window fallacy

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      Subjective theory of value

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                    Maybe those business owners who directly depend on the Cubs should pony up the money, and not ask the government in general to do it.

                    The public land they sold to pay for this belonged to all the citizens of Mesa, but only a select few own businesses, or are even employed by them, that stand to profit from the investment.

                    Nice work if you can get it.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      In a way they are, they collect the taxes that pay into the City of Mesa. Also, many of them spend the extra money they earn in other parts of Mesa.

                    • MichaelD

                      However, it is pretty well been shown that government spending on sports teams/arenas are a bad deal. It is one of the findings in the economics literature where there is actually pretty close to complete consensus:

                      http://econjwatch.org/articles/do-economists-reach-a-conclusion-on-subsidies-for-sports-franchises-stadiums-and-mega-events

                    • Spriggs

                      Remember, the plan was explained about selling the land and the people of Mesa voted overwhelmingly that they were in support of selling this idle land to help finance the Cubs project. They gave their seal of approval.

            • Toby

              From the website Cubs Win in AZ:

              “An economic impact study shows the Chicago Cubs contribute $138 million annually to Arizona. If the Cubs were to leave, an estimated 1,600 jobs would be lost. The Cubs are a valuable asset not just to Mesa, but to the entire Cactus League and Arizona. ”

              http://www.cubswininaz.com/preserve-the-cactus-league

              • King Jeff

                Nice find Toby. Going by the numbers in the article, the Cubs bring in almost double the amount the cost of the stadium every year. Pretty interesting.

                • Pat

                  Nobody believes economic impact studies. Not the people who do them, not the people who comission them, and not the people who present them.

                  You will notice that the actual studies themselves are almost never available for review. This is because they are so far out in fantasy land that even the most horribly match impared realize almost immediately something is wrong.

                  It is simply something a business often has to present when they are looking for breaks of some sort at a municipal or state level.

                  Just look at the 1,600 jobs number and attempt to justify it.

                  • King Jeff

                    That’s why I said “going by the numbers in the article”. I understand that there is probably a fair amount of exaggeration in those numbers. It does give you a decent idea of how much impact baseball has on the community there, and despite anyone’s feelings on the governments role in building stadiums, this looks to be a pretty good reallocation of property and funds for the city of Mesa.

                  • BT

                    So we ignore it completely? Or do let everyone just assign a random value to it to justify their viewpoint? Regardless of the impact study is off by even a factor of 30 percent, its overall point that the state benefits greatly from having the Cubs in Mesa can’t just be thrown out.

                    • Pat

                      It could easily be off 90%. I’d put 50% as an absolute minimum, but that’s with quadruple counting the money. For instance if you buy a beer for $5. That is counted as tourist money spent, counted again as income for the bar, counted again as salary for the server, etc.

                      Essentially it should be thrown out as meaningless if they won’t provide details on how they came up with those figures.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Using the link of 4,000 more fans coming to Cubs homes games over 15 home games and their stated money spent ($300 per party per day, I am assuming 3 per party so $100 per person per day) and assuming they are the only non-locals who come to the games I came up with $6M in revenue each year just for the Cubs.

                      Factor that in to the equation and the city would have to earn 6.5% on their $85M investment over the next 15 years to equal the revenue brought into Mesa by the Cubs.

                      One thing I have never seen is a study done by those refuting the claims that shows the economic impact of a team. Clearly having the Cubs in Mesa does not bring in $0.

                  • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                    http://www.cubswininaz.com/stats/#money-spent-in-arizona

                    If the Cubs were replaced by a team with “average” game attendance (6,716 in 2010), the 2010 season total attendance would have dropped by over 112,752 fans.

                    In 2008:

                    •49% of fans stayed in the southeast Valley for the duration of their stay; 31% stayed in Mesa.
                    •The typical fan from out-of-town spent 5.7 nights in metropolitan Phoenix during their visit; for those who stayed in Mesa the figure was 7.3 nights.
                    •The typical out-of-town fan’s party spent $305 per day during their visit with 33% of the parties surveyed spending over $400 per day.

                    Some figures from the study for you to look at.

                    • King Jeff

                      Do you know if that includes road games Joe? I am pretty sure they are the highest drawing road team in Arizona.

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      from reading the site it appeared to be just home games.

                      Average Cubs Home Game Attendance: 10,892
                      Average Non-Cubs Home Game Attendance: 6,716

                      I’d say they are a fairly big deal but I guess I could be wrong and EVERYONE in Mesa goes to a significant number of games. A town with a population of 450,000 vs. 2010 attendance of 1.4M.

                    • Pat

                      So just to be clear (from also on the stats page), total money generated by the entire cactus league in 2009 was 360 million “•Cactus League fans spent an estimated $359.5 million, a 7% increase over last year”.

                      And somehow the Cubs account for 138 million (or 38.3% percent) of that? Maybe CPA boy can show how that’s possible but I sincerely doubt that 6.5% of the teams accounted for 40% of the revenue.

                    • Toby

                      @Hansman1982 – you must’ve overlooked this part of the piece:

                      An incredible 152,493 fans attended 14 Cubs home games in 2010. The Cubs finished second in Cactus League attendance, just 3,326 behind the San Francisco Giants who played one additional home game.

                      http://www.cubswininaz.com/stats/#money-spent-in-arizona

                      So you’re right that the Cubs didn’t lead the Cactus league in overall attendance, but they probably would have, all things being equal. Don’t forget that the team that did is from a neighboring state.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Pat, the Cubs are a CLEAR favorite draw in Mesa. Nearly every game the Cubs play is a sellout. It isn’t implausible that the Cubs account for that much of the revenue, it would actually be a pretty good example of the 80/20 rule. Here 80% of the revenue would come from 20% of the teams.

                      Toby, I was attempting to boil down to the LEAST amount of economic impact the Cubs would have. Assuming that locals or people in the area anyway would account for the “average” attendance what do the Cubs bring in above that. I have little doubt that my estimate is as low as the “Keep Cubs in Mesa” study is over.

          • MightyBear

            You’re obviously not an accountant.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

              I’m a journalist. I’m not even legally allowed to do math under the terms of my degree.

              • MightyBear

                No kidding? Boy I would’ve never guessed that.

          • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

            over 20 years that works out to $40M a year that is $270 a person. I bet that’s not too far off.

        • Pat

          Or they could renovate the Cell instead, because, you know, they own it? Do you actually have a difficult time deciding if it would be a better idea to replace your own roof or your neighbors? If so, I’m heading to yoour neighborhood.

          • MightyBear

            Fixing both roofs helps me. Do you see that? If not, I’m NOT going to your neighborhood.

            • Pat

              How does fixing your neighbors roof help you? This is not figurative, this is literal. But hey, if that’s your choice that’s cool. Just don’t ask me to pay for it.

              • MightyBear

                Because your neighborhood is better with better houses and your property value goes up. Your house is worth more.

              • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                In the case where your neighbor has people who come look at his house and spend money at your kids lemonade stand.

                • Pat

                  So you’re going to spend 4 grand to buy a guy a new roof so that your kids can make $7 at their lemonade stand?? I think I asked this before, but are you sure you don’t work for the government?

                  • MightyBear

                    No I’m a CPA and I have a degree in economics from the finest educational institution in the world – the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana.

                  • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                    And again you have taken what I said to the absolute extreme.

                    In my analogy the City of Chicago is me (well actually, the Cul-de-sac would be me). The Cubs are my neighbor who has a nice house people come to look at.

                    Now, thankfully, in the past I have been able to go in and take a portion of the money he collects when people come and look at his house. Over time this amount has increased. I can see that it is more likely that this amount will continue to increase (and I could always just grab a bigger handful when I stop over to collect). So what I am going to do is take some money so that my nieghbor can have a new roof.

                    Since I depend on my Son selling lemonade and that tax I collect from my neighbor as part of me paying the bills, I make sure to tell Sally the Loudmouth that my neighbor will have a lovely new roof soon and everyone should come and look at it.

                    Thankfully, in the cul-de-sac there is someone who replaces roofs and someone who sells shingles,, someone else sells ladders, and another person sells food to the workers when they are up on that roof (not to mention little Johnny can sell some additional lemonade) now when these things happen, I get a percentage of all of those transactions and they get increased income to spend. Maybe 1 of them didn’t have a job before and was dependent on me to provide some services for them.

                    Now, all of that is a small, small portion of everything, but then my neighbor opens his doors to the public and an extra couple hundred thousand people come there, pay their way in, buy food from Tim and lemonade from Johnny. They also buy gas, pay to stay in my other neighbors house and I get a cut of all of this.

                    Small potatos, yes, except that all of this is on top of everything I spent because the neighbor with the new roof is going to pay for it through the additional taxes he collects from those hundreds of thousands of people and people into the future.

                    Hooray, I just pumped most of that $4,000 back into my cul-de-sac during a rather tough time.

                    I want to make another analogy but that’s better left unsaid.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      And again you have taken what I said to the absolute extreme

                      Don’t you hate it when people do that?

                    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

                      I do hate that…thank goodness I never do that……..

          • King Jeff

            You don’t own all the land and property around your neighbors house do you? You don’t collect taxes and revenue when they go to your bar, eat at your restaurant, stay in your hotel, or pay your ridiculous entertainment tax, do you? It’s not the same thing.

    • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

      And he’s trying to convince the government to have the good taxpayers of Chicago pay for a Wrigley Field renovation. If cheap sticks, wear it. He’s a far from being a L.A. Dodgers type owner.

      • Cubbie Blues

        He’s a far cry from having that kind of bank. The Dodgers got PAID on that TV deal.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Difference between millionaires and billionaires? Millionaires act like billionaires and billionaires act like millionaires.

        And the middle-class suburbanites try to outspend both of them.

      • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

        Yeah, but we are not asking for a 200M+ payroll. But if your going to slash payroll and put out a marginal product, the least your could do is reduce the cost of tickets to coincide with a lower payroll. Anything else just appears disingenuine.

  • Cubbie Blues

    I would love to go to spring training for a week. Does anyone know what there is for young kids to do besides baseball? They would watch a game or two, but they would probably be done after that.

    • DarthHater

      Young kids aren’t allowed in the Mesa area. You have to be over 60 to get in. ;-)

      • Cubbie Blues

        Haha

      • scorecardpaul

        The weather is great. The kids will love the pool at the hotel, and there is the Grand Canyon thing. That is well worth the trip all by itself. Spring training is one of the best vacations we ever took. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that all areas in the region are warm all the time. A little hint, check the elevation were you plan to stay. There is a reason why the neighboring cities are giving away hotel rooms during spring training. The top of really big mountains is really cold in the spring!!

        • Cubbie Blues

          Thanks Paul. We are going to Disney World this year, but I might have to talk the wife into Arizona after that.

  • PKJ

    Stadiums are ‘spensive.

  • emrac

    very nice stadium should be packed for every game

  • Toby

    Mesa’s website for the project includes lots of elevations and overall renderings of the park:

    http://www.mesaaz.gov/bettermesa/cubs.aspx

    If you want to get a peek via webcam the construction company has 2 of them:

    https://www.hunt-connect.com/cubsspringtraining/Pages/webcam.aspx

  • Justin

    Do they need a batter’s eye in spring training fields? If not and with the crowd sitting in center that would be pretty tough to hit

  • Big Daddy

    Have any of you been to spring training in Mesa? I would love to go, but I wonder if I should go to Hohocam or the new park. I went to Rosenblatt to see the college world series, but the new park just isn’t the same atmosphere. I was just wondering what the atmosphere at Hohocam is like.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hohokam is plenty nice, but, if you can take only one trip in, say, the next few years … wait for 2014.

      • Big Daddy

        Thanks Brett.

    • Spriggs

      I agree with Brett. You’ll be glad you went whenever you go, but the new stadium might be worth the wait, if you had to chose this year or next…

  • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

    That render of the stadium looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m kind of sad that I never got to see HoHoKam, but I wouldn’t mind making my first trip to Arizona be this one :)

    • Spriggs

      It’ll still be there… in 2015 the A’s will almost certainly be using it.

  • Corey

    All I wanna hear about when it comes to building is the Triangle building. It will be awesome if it’s ever put into motion!

  • Toby

    One thing that is missing that the Cubs were to have paid for or otherwise provided funding for is a Wrigleyville type area that would have had restaurants, shopping and other businesses. I wonder when that went by the wayside.

  • TSB

    In Arizona, like most desert areas, the day time and night time temperature can be 40-50 degrees apart . It might be 80 in the afternoon, and 30 at night. Once the sun goes down so does the warmth.

  • cubsklm

    I usually go every spring. Great time.

    If you haven’t been, wait for the new stadium, it should be awesome. You can always go to Hohokam, because I think the A’s are going to move in, once the Cubs move out.

  • King Jeff

    Personally, I think the Bears should use the Packers scheme and sell “fake” shares of the team to fans. How many Cubs fans would pony up to say that they own part of the team? My guess is it would be enough to take a big dent out of the Wrigley renovation bill. The Packers charged 250 dollars a share and covered almost the entire cost of the Lambeau renovation. This way, the people who want to support the team and rebuilding effort get that opportunity, and nobody else has to pay an extra cent of taxes.

    • cRAaZYHORSE

      Awesome!

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      I think this would be feasible, the Cubs could offer up 1 million shares to Wrigley Field ownership at $350 a piece. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that 500K of them would sell like hotcakes to average fans, businesses and rich people would scoop up a large portion of the remainder for the “privilege” of owning a portion of the Field.

  • Stu

    I’m curious when cities like Chicago get the idea that teams should have to pay a license fee to the citizens of Chicago for the use of their city name.

    The whole build it with the tax dollars has been refuted by many economists as simply a transfer payment from one entertainment to another. I like baseball and watching a competitive baseball game (not the Cubs this year with the hope that they will win someday attitude).

  • Rob

    For a second I forgot if I was reading comments at Bleachernation.com or Fox news/CNN!

    A lot of focus on the cost/benefit analyis from the perspective of the city of Mesa, but I for one care a heck of a lot less about a city in Arizona I’ve never been to and a lot more about the direction of the Cubs. Aside from the team getting nice new facilities, I think the biggest point from the article/comments is how much (or how little) of Ricketts’ own money is going into the project. Take that, in conert with the Dominican complex being planned before he arrived and the *seeming* refusal to add pieces that look like they are for any purpose other than flipping, and it makes me nervous about our willingness to spend when the time comes.

    Plus, I’m a season ticket holder as of this past Saturday (nose bleeds, baby!!) and would like to feel more confident than I do that the team will be a little more competitive by 2014, or at least 2015, which would be year 4 for Theo & Company.

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      Congrats on getting season tix!!!

      If you need to sell any/give some away – there is a section in the message board for it.

  • AP

    So are they building the park to mirror the exact dimensions of Wrigley, or are they building the park to try and replicate how Wrigley plays? The latter may be impossible, but I think would be an awesome way to do it.

  • cRAaZYHORSE

    This is a link with that i came across – about Wrigley Field ,The Mayor , The Quinn and that 300 million enjoy! http://www.fieldofschemes.com/category/chicago-cubs/

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      well, any website titled “Field of Schemes” earns #1 props in my book for being unbiased.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

        I felt the same way about “Cubs Win In AZ.”

        Confirmation bias is a helluva drug.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          Yup, hence the reason for me skewing the numbers to something reasonable.

  • daveyrosello

    Spring training to see the Cubs is a blast, I go out there with my uncle nearly every year for a week (I’m a university professor, so spring break always coincides with spring training, nice!)

    If you’re a golfer like me, spring training is an awesome vacation. Endless golf courses, we usually get an early AM tee time (7-ish) and are done before noon. A quick lunch, and it’s off to the ballpark. Good times.

    Quick tip for HoHoKam at least: get the outfield berm seats with your ticket. They’re dirt cheap (less than 10 bucks). The ticket gets you in the ballpark, and with the great weather, we spend most of the game walking all around the park anyway. We’ll usually spend a few innings standing by the outfield fence, drinking beer of course. By the 5th or 6th innings, if you want to sit down bad enough, there are always seats open on the benches along the LF and RF lines.

  • ssckelley

    I think the citizens of Mesa are more qualified to know how they want to spend their money. Not a bunch of blog trolls who want to push their political views.

    • Spriggs

      Amen, brother. And vote, they did. It’s kind of informative and just a little funny that the main opposition group to keeping the Cubs in Mesa was led by a former South-sider and Sox fan.

  • http://windycitysportswonk.blogspot.com/ Myles – WCSW

    I like how this Cubs blog had a 126 responses to an article and 0 of them related to the Cubs.

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