The Cubs announced last week the new, state of the art Spring Training facility in Mesa will be called ‘Cubs Park‘ for the foreseeable future. ‘Cubs Park‘ was set to open on December 1 but the grand opening of the park and the surrounding area has been moved to January 25. The Cubs’ first Cactus League game will take place on February 27 against the Diamondbacks at the new complex near Loops 101 and 202 in Mesa in the Riverview Park area.
Players began using the new facilities about a month ago.
Justin Piper, the Cubs’ GM for Spring Training Business Operations, told The Republic that the name will remain ‘Cubs Park‘ for now but that could “certainly change.” As part of the team’s agreement with the City of Mesa, the Cubs have the naming rights for the new park and have the option selling the name to a sponsor.
Construction on the complex is now scheduled to wrap around the first of the year and both the Cubs and the City of Mesa received good news last week about the financing needed for the complex.
After lawmakers rejected, what was labeled the ‘Cubs tax’, in 2010, “Mesa said it would fund the stadium by itself rather than allow the team to move to Florida.” According to the report from AZ Central, “Mesa said it would raise the money by selling 11,000-plus acres of Pinal County farmland, purchased in the 1980s for its water rights. The city would issues bonds for the stadium until money from the land began coming in.”
In May of 2012, Farm Sources International, a worldwide agricultural company with National Headquarters in Scottsdale, decided to buy all of City’s holdings on the Pinal County property. The deal would produce $135 million in sale and lease payments over 5 1/2 years. The company recently placed $400,000 in escrow and the sale of the property is expected to close by the end of the year.
The money “will more than cover not only the $84 million baseball complex, but also $15 million that Mesa pledged for infrastructure, including reconstruction of next-door Riverview Park and its fishing lagoon.” Other proceeds from the sale will be used on two buildings in the downtown area, to renovate a former Air Force lab and put funds toward retrofitting HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park for the Oakland Athletics. The A’s move into an updated Fitch Park and HoHoKam Park in 2015.
The Cubs’ new facility features a 65,000 square foot clubhouse, six full size practice fields, a half-sized practice field, 16 batting cages with 12 of those being indoors, 22 pitching mounds, a 7500 square foot gym and hydrotherapy area.