Groundbreaking of new baseball stadium announced
The City of Mesa and Chicago Cubs announced today a July 11 groundbreaking event to officially kick off the construction of the new spring training baseball facility and stadium that will be the western headquarters for the Chicago Cubs. The city and Cubs, along with ASU, also announced that they are in final stages of an agreement that will make the complex the new home for the ASU baseball program.
Officials also released initial renderings of the new stadium indicating that more specific and detailed renderings will be displayed as part of the July 11 event.
"This is an exciting step for all three organizations as we work on this unprecedented partnership to bring together one of the most beloved and storied Major League Baseball teams and one of the finest college baseball programs into a state-of-the-art facility," Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. "What an amazing opportunity for the City of Mesa to work with the Cubs and ASU on this historic collaboration."
The $99 million project located at the southeast corner of the intersection of the Loop 101 and 202 freeways in Mesa was approved overwhelming by Mesa voters in 2010. The stadium will boast a 15,000 fan capacity and include a video board, shaded seats and luxury suites, as well as improved concessions and restrooms. The stadium design will incorporate some of the unique features of Wrigley Field, as well as distinctive aspects from the State of Arizona, while equally creating the exciting atmosphere that goes with college baseball.
"This new facility will provide the best fan experience in Spring Training and offer world-class training and development facilities for our players year round," said Mike Lufrano, Cubs executive vice president. "We look forward to bringing this new ballpark to Mesa and continuing our commitment to work together on a stadium which will make the community proud."
Arizona and Illinois have always had a special relationship, as the Phoenix metro area is home to one of the biggest populations of Illinois residents outside of Chicago, and this shared facility will enhance that connection while providing ASU with a direct line to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country.
The association with Mesa and the Cubs also will offer ASU an opportunity to expand its scope both locally and nationally while increasing its long-term revenues and boosting the program's recruiting efforts, which have already secured the nation's top-ranked recruiting class for next season.
The new complex will include a shared playing field, seven full-size practice fields, one of which is proposed to be would be used solely by Arizona State, and one infield-only natural turf practice field. There would also be a separate clubhouse for ASU.
"Arizona State has an innovative and unique opportunity to align with one of the world's most recognizable sports brands in the Chicago Cubs, while also increasing the university's reach by enhancing its presence in both the City of Mesa and Illinois," said Steve Patterson, vice president for ASU Athletics and athletics director. "Our baseball program's rich past and loyal following provides the perfect complement to the Cubs' renowned history and loyal fan base."
More information regarding the July 11 groundbreaking event, as well as further details on the spring training complex and stadium, will be available in late June. For more information about the project visit mesaaz.gov.
Editor's Note: The two renderings are not the final versions, especially the signage elements as those will change significantly. The majority of the scoreboard signs will actually be advertising signage and not Cubs or ASU, so the logos are primarily there as placeholders.