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Updated Jan 26, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Chicago Cubs' new Mesa park nears completion

The new field at Cubs Park is shown. (KTAR Photo/Will Argeros)

MESA, Ariz. -- Construction is still underway, but the new Cactus League home of the Chicago Cubs will be ready for spring training.

Cubs Park near the Loop 202 and Dobson Road in Mesa won't be an exact replica of Chicago's Wrigley Field, but will have several things that remind fans of the famous ballpark.

"The high batter's eye berm in center field is meant to mimic the scoreboard and bleacher areas of Wrigley Field," said Cubs Spring Training General Manager Justin Piper.

Other features that mimic Wrigley are the "light standards, a lot of the steel work, and of course the signature Wrigley Field brick behind home plate," Piper said.

Cubs park will have its' own version of the famous sign that welcomes fans to Wrigley Field.

"We're going to have a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee," said Piper. "Our plan is to have fans put their name on the marquee and then take photos of the marquee."

A clock that is atop the outfield scoreboard is similar to one at Wrigley. There will be advertising messages boards on either side of the scoreboard.

Cubs Park will seat 15,000 fans, about 2,500 more than Hohokam Stadium, the Cubs' old Cactus League home.

The stadium features several party decks. One on the third base line will seat over 420 people. Another on the first base side seats 200. There are also party areas in left and right field that mimic the famous rooftop seats that are on apartment buildings outside of Wrigley Field.

Piper said that the dimensions of the playing field are about 15 feet larger than those at Wrigley.

The Cubs' clubhouse has seating for 64 players. It's separated from the stadium by a walkway where fans can get a look at their favorite players. Fans will also be able to watch the team take batting practice on one of the six practice fields on the 140-acre site.

Cubs Park will open on Feb. 27 when the Cubs take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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