Cubs open spring training facility Cubs Park (photos and info)

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Today saw the completion of Cubs Park, the new Chicago Cubs Spring Training ballpark, with a two-story player development facility and a rebuilt and enhanced Riverview Park on a 146-acre site. So goodbye Ho Ho Kam park

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the recently named Cubs Park, Cubs board members Tom and Laura Ricketts, front office executives Crane Kenney and Theo Epstein and Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins joined a host of State and City officials including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and more.

“This new ballpark and player development facility will allow our players to better train and compete,” said Tom Ricketts. “To achieve our goal of winning a World Championship, we must be able to provide our players with the world-class facilities they deserve.”

The new ballpark’s seating capacity of 15,000 is the largest in the Cactus League, and Cubs park is anticipated to be one of the biggest attractions during Spring Training.

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Said Governor Brewer: “I’m proud to welcome the Cubs and their fans to their second home every spring, and I know that they will be thrilled with the new Cubs Park right here in Mesa!” Last December, the City of Mesa and Yost Development recently announced a plan to build a 170-room Sheraton hotel north of Cubs Park.

Here are the first of some Twitter pics of Cubs Park and the Cubs Park ribbon cutting ceremony via the account of Cubs Tribune beat Writer Mark Gonzalez

Cubs Park Features

When Cubs fans enter Cubs Park for the first time, they will notice a few features reminiscent of Wrigley Field, including the brick wall behind home plate, green scoreboard with the Wrigley Field-style clock, arched steel work on the light standards and cantilevered roofs. A replica of the Wrigley Field Marquee is located in the main concourse where fans can pose for a photo with their own name digitally displayed on the sign.

 

Throughout the bowl, there are a number of party and patio decks that allow fans and groups to take in different views and experiences of the action on the field. There are also party decks located on the first and third base sides of the ballpark. Near the right field gate, there will be a party/tent bar for fans who want to watch the game from above the outfield playing area.

 

Behind the lawn seating, a citrus grove with picnic tables and a small field serve as a family and children’s play area. The Cubs also will have food trucks in this area to compliment ballpark fare with unique or specialty offerings on game days only.

The first game at Cubs Park is Thursday, Feb. 27, at 1:05 p.m. when the Chicago Cubs open their inaugural season at Cubs Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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