Tag Archives: the chicago cubs

The Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium - Play Ball

The Chicago Cubs' Hope Continues

The Chicago Cubs aren’t called “The Lovable Losers” for nothing.

However, when it comes to spring training, they’re one of the biggest draws in the Cactus League. Even with their 103-year World Series drought, they continually sell out their games and have set attendance records at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa for years.

With a new vice president of baseball operations (Theo Epstein) and new manager (Dale Sveum), the Cubs are optimistic about the 2012 season. Fans in the Windy City are hoping that the dynamic duo of Epstein and Sveum can help snap the Cubs’ unlucky losing streak once and for all.

Some notable players in Cubs’ lineup at Hohokam this spring inlcude Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, Carlos Pena and Marion Byrd. Additions include pitchers Travis Wood and Chris Volstad, third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielder Dave Sappelt.

The Chicago Cubs are scheduled to play 16 home games at Hohokam, 17 road games in Arizona and two games against Texas in Las Vegas. The Cubs wrap up spring training on  April 3 at Hohokam  against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs were once known as the Chicago White Stockings, then became members of the National League in 1876. This makes them one of the oldest active major sports teams among those in North America. The first game they played was April 25 of that same year.

In 1907, the Cubs won their first World Series against the Detroit Tigers. They won their second and last World Series in 1908 in a rematch against Detroit.

The Cubs have trained in Mesa since 1952. Back then Hohokam Park was called Rendezvous Park, which was less than ideal in accommodating the players. However, the new state-of-the-art Hohokam Stadium took its place. Since then the Cubs have played their games at Hohokam as a member of the Cactus League.

Hohokam was built in 1997 and seats 13,074 fans. An interesting fact about this 48-acre stadium is that its scoreboard is the largest in the Cactus League, measuring a whopping 12 by 16 feet. The stadium features one practice field and one practice infield, with additional training facilities at Fitch Park that include four practice fields, one practice infield and a 25,000 square-foot clubhouse.

So grab your Cracker Jacks and baseball mitts, practice your rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and get ready for an exciting spring training. Who knows, maybe if we keep cheering. our “Lovable Losers” on they might just get a name change.

Centennial Photos Then and Now, Mesa - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Centennial Series: Photos Then And Now — Mesa, Ariz.

The saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” aptly describes the relationship the city of Mesa and the Chicago Cubs share.

Major League Baseball first came to Mesa for spring training in 1952. Back then, the Cubs made Rendezvous Park their home until it was razed in 1976 and replaced with a new stadium at Hohokam Park. In the almost 60 years since the Cubs starting playing in Mesa, the city has evolved dramatically. But one thing hasn’t changed — Downtown Mesa remains a buzz of activity on days when the Cubs play, and the streets around the stadium are lined with carloads of die-hard fans.

Just how popular are the Cubs in Mesa? In 2009, they set an MLB spring training attendance record of 203,105. Average per game attendance was 10,690, leading all of baseball.

Big changes are on the horizon, however. In 2016, the light rail is expected to make its way to Downtown Mesa. And by the end of 2011, Mesa and the Cubs hope to break ground on a new spring training facility and retail area known as Wrigleyville West at Riverview Park at Dobson Road and the Loop 202.

Besides the light rail and the Cubs’ new home, Mesa continues to expand its residential and business base.

Incorporated in 1883, Mesa has a population of almost 470,000, making it the third-largest city in Arizona and the 38th-largest city in the United States.

Then:

Mesa, Ariz. mid-1950, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Now:

Robson & Main, Mesa, Ariz., 2011, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011