Updated Jan 26, 2014 - 8:11 pm
Chicago Cubs' new Mesa park nears completion
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.
Bob McClay, Reporter