Cubs Spring Training
|2016 First Practice Dates
|Pitchers & Catchers:
|Year ||Total ||Average
|* The Cubs played at another stadium in Mesa prior to 2014
Spring Training Info
| Chicago Cubs Spring Training
||Area Info - Mesa
Spring Training home of the Cubs since 2014
2330 West Rio Salado Parkway
Mesa, AZ 85201
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Unlike where the Cubs trained previously in Mesa, their new home is in a bustling area of the city with close access to two of the region's major freeways. Loop 202 (aka the Red Mountain Freeway) is visible from Sloan Park, while Loop 101 (aka Pima Freeway) is not much further away. Both busy roads offer quick access to Mesa's Riverview Park area, which contains a sizable shopping strip and an actual park. The Cubs' complex is the third piece of the Riverview puzzle and is a short walk from the family-oriented park.
Directions From the east/west: Take Loop 202 to the Dobson Road exit (#10). Travel south on Dobson for 0.7 miles, then turn right onto West Rio Salado Parkway. The stadium is a very short distance ahead on the right.
From the north/south: Take Loop 101 to the Rio Salado Parkway exit (#52). Go east and almost immediately upon exit the Cubs' complex will be visible on the left hand side. The stadium itself is a half-mile from the 101 overpass.
Just beyond right field begins a big grass field that is split into two halves by a palm tree-lined walkway. That's the general parking lot, while the paved lot along the stadium's first base side is reserved for VIPs and those with handicapped permits. While the cost to park in any stadium space is the most expensive in the Cactus League, there are a couple of free park and ride options provided by prominent local shopping centers. Mesa Riverview and Tempe Marketplace both offer free baseball parking and then shuttle the welcome freeloaders to and from Sloan Park via a trolley. The Riverview shopping center is across the street from the ballpark's big lot while the Tempe option is just 1½ miles away.
Stadium Cost: $5 or $10
A taste of Wrigley came West with the debut of Sloan Park in 2014. Featuring a pair of light towers on its roof that mimic those of its inspirational counterpart in Chicago, the Cubs' winter home in Mesa has a few touches that pay homage to Wrigley Field, none more cleverly integrated than the outfield berm, which is shaped and sloped to match the look of Wrigley's iconic bleachers. While the brick backstop was easy to replicate, the ballpark's designers at Populous got creative when creating the Cubs' Arizona version of Wrigleyville's rooftops and that's how the left field-spanning rooftop party deck came into being. It's a bleachers and beer area that is on top of a big building that contains bathrooms and concessions. Food options here are plentiful and so too are seats in the shade. That makes for a pleasant day at the ballpark for many, and more people can attend a game here than anywhere else in Cactus or Grapefruit league history, as the 15,000-person capacity of Sloan Park makes it the largest venue ever built for spring training, a fact that's not likely to change anytime soon. Also a record-breaking and hard to beat large number is $99 million, which was the cost to Mesa taxpayers to build the Cubs their complex with its centerpiece stadium on 140 acres of city land that was previously home to a public golf course. The $99 million spent to replace what was a 9-hole course is record-setting for the public funding of a spring training facility. Some of that money was used to spruce up the adjacent Riverview Park but the bulk was spent on retaining the Cubs, who have trained continuously in Mesa since 1979. They're now guaranteed to remain in Arizona's third largest city through at least 2043 thanks to Mesa's generosity in building a replacement for Hohokam Park, the just 16-year old ballpark at the time that the Cubs left it behind to move a few miles west, where the team fully pockets the proceeds for the naming rights to what was simply known as "Cubs Park" until January 8, 2015, when it was announced that the Sloan Valve Company, a commercial plumbing manufacturer located in a Chicago suburb, paid a significant but undisclosed amount to gain brand recognition for their products, which most notably include flush valves for toilets, via the Cubs' splendid home in the American Southwest.
Fast Facts Fans enter the ballpark at street level through gates named for their location: home plate, first base, right field, center field. The right field gate is the most used, since it's nearest to the biggest parking lot on the complex grounds.
The main ticket office is adjacent to the first base gate. Of the eight windows found there, two are used for Will Call. There are also two small (two window) box offices from which game day tickets can be bought. They are located near the right and center field gates.
The concourse is open to the playing field and goes all the way around the field. It's covered for much of the portion that is above the seating bowl.
A play place for kids is close to the center field gate, but the "kids zone" contains just a turfed wiffle ball field.
The bullpens are fan accessible, as they can be looked into from the berm. Each team's bullpen is at field level and adjacent to a foul pole: the Cubs' in left field and the visitors' in right field.
The large score and information board is in left-center field, where it was placed behind the rooftop deck. Being such a distance away makes it hard for some older eyes to see, but isn't an issue for most. To satisfy the folks who can't see the main scoreboard at all -- those sitting in the left field side of the berm and the left field-spanning rooftop deck -- a simple line scoreboard is affixed to the edge of the third base grandstand. It, however, doesn't provide any info besides the score.
The famous marquee that you see outside of Wrigley Field has been replicated but placed inside of Sloan Park. Furthermore, the Mesa version of the marquee is interactive, meaning a ballpark employee can post something personalized on its message board. Other than time spent in line, there's no cost to see your name or message on the Sloan Park marquee, which is behind section 118 and just inside of the first base gate.
Same as in years and ballparks past, the Mesa HoHoKams serve as ushers, program sellers and parking lot attendants. The Cubs' previous spring training stadium in Mesa, Hohokam Park, was named in honor of the civic organization, which donates proceeds from their efforts back into the local community.
There are a few team shops in the stadium. Small walk-in ones are near the home plate and center field gates, while the main store, simply named Cubs Team Shop, is in a big building between the first base and right field gates.
Practice Fields The Cubs make use of two practice fields that are adjacent to the ballpark's third base side. The field closest to the home plate gate at Sloan Park is where the Cubs take the bulk of their pre-game batting practice. Fans are restricted to watching BP from beyond the dugout on the first base side of that field, where some bleacher seats are available for fans who don't want to stand alongside the chain link fencing or on the grassy hill that overlooks the area.
Cubs minor leaguers practice and play on the four fields found on the other side of the clubhouse building, which actually has a sponsored name: Under Armour Performance Center. The minor league fields are simply numbered 3-6. All minor league fields are fan accessible and have covered bleacher seating behind their backstops.
Types of Seating Stadium seats: 9,198
Bleachers: None in the grandstand, but the rooftop deck has a pair of small sets on each end.
Berm: Can hold up to approximately 4,200 people and has a stadium-style rise, as the grass on which people sit was designed to match the slope of Wrigley Field's outfield bleachers.
All fixed seats have backs and armrests. A berm extends the entire outfield. Behind the lawn seating in left field is a second-story party deck that mimics the rooftops that Chicago's Wrigleyville is famous for.
Notes about the seating The Cubs dugout is on the third base side. To make sure you're on the home side of the stadium, buy your tickets in sections 100-111. And to be very technical, seats 1-19 in section 111 are on the Cubs' side of the park while seats 20-38 are just barely on the visiting team side.
All seats in the seating bowl have cup holders.
Handicap accessible seating and seats for those with limited mobility are all on the concourse, ringing the top of the seating bowl. Open, dedicated space for wheelchairs with accompanying folding seat chairs for companions can be found at the top of these sections: 101, 105, 108, 111, 113-114, 117-118, 121-122. Atop another 14 sections on the concourse is a special row of seats that are sold as ADA accessible and which are there to seat less mobile fans and senior citizens that have neither a wheelchair or walker. That row is #24 and it's above the last row of seats in these sections: 102-104, 106-107, 109-110, 112, 115-116, 119-120, 123-124.
The backstop netting behind home plate is very unobstructive and extends from the middle of section 109 through the majority of section 113.
Standing room is plentiful, by design, on the wide concourse servicing the foul pole to foul pole grandstand, where drink rails are stationed behind many of the sections. More standing can be done (in the sun) at the back of the berm in left and right field.
Sections and rows Rows for stadium sections range as follows:
17 to 23 in section 100; 13 to 23 in section 101; 9 to 23 in section 102; 5 to 23 in section 103; 2 to 23 in section 104; 1 to 23 in sections 105-106; 5 to 23 in sections 107-108; 4 to 23 in section 109; 1 to 23 in sections 110-113; 5 to 23 in sections 114-116; 1 to 23 in sections 117-121; 5 to 23 in section 122; 11 to 23 in section 123; 19 to 23 in section 124
Tickets Sections 100-102 and 121-124 are sold as Bullpen Reserved.
Sections 103-105 and 118-120 are sold as Outfield Reserved.
The upper half (rows 12 & above) of sections 106-117 are sold as Infield Reserved.
The lower half (rows 11 & below) of sections 106-117 are sold as Infield Box.
Space on the outfield berm is sold as General Admission Lawn.
Tickets for the left field rooftop deck are sold as Budweiser Rooftop.
Children 2 and under are allowed free admission.
Seats to avoid
Stay away from the front rows in sections 100-104 and 121-124 as the green padded railing in front of those outfield line sections is an obstacle that must be partially or fully looked through, depending on your height, for fans sitting behind it. Other lower row seats are affected to some degree by the railing in the 9 listed sections, but for certain be sure to avoid the lowest numbered row in each section (which varies as they taper) and be aware that a limited number of seats in the rows behind the first one could also have obstruction issues due to the metal rails.
Seats in the shade
All seats in sections 110-116 are shaded for the duration of day games. All but the first row or so of seats in sections behind the Cubs' dugout will be in the shade by first pitch, so you'll always be out of the sun in rows 6 & up of sections 107-109. Other all-game shade (assuming a 1:05 starting time) can be found in rows 8 & up of section 106; rows 9 & up of section 105; rows 11 & up of section 104; rows 12 & up of section 103; rows 14 & up of section 102. By 2:35, all seats in sections 102-116 are shaded. The least shaded portion of the grandstand are the sections past the first base-side dugout that extend down the right field line. However, while shade generally cannot be found in sections 118 and 124, many seats in the upper rows of sections 117, 119-123 do have shade cast upon them thanks to a pair of angled structures (cantilevered roofs) that stand on the concourse and were put there to block some of the sun on the stadium's first base side.
There are six suites on the stadium's second story but, strangely enough, they are not available for season or single game rental. Instead, the suites are reserved for exclusive use by the Cubs (for their corporate sponsors) and City of Mesa. So groups must make do with the covered party decks, which include two tiers of deck chair seating, that are along the first and third base line. The minimum group size for both decks is 20 people and the expansive patio area of each has food stations, as the basics like hot dogs and hamburgers are included for "free" for the only folks allowed in the upper portion of the grandstand besides those with suite and press passes. The ballpark also has another party deck out in left field, but it's not private like the first and third base decks are. While access is restricted to ticket holders, the EIGHTEEN|76 deck, as the Budweiser-sponsored left field deck goes by, is an inexpensive general admission area that has regular old bleacher seats mixed in with a couple of covered places that groups can use.
The ballpark's gates open at 11:30 a.m. And if a game is scheduled for a time other than 1:05, ballpark gates simply open 90 minutes prior to that game's start time.
Food, drink and bag policy One factory-sealed plastic bottle of water can be brought into the ballpark by each person.
Bags are permitted, so long as they don't exceed the size limit of 16" x 16" x 8".
The following items are prohibited: cans and glass containers, folding chairs, hard-sided coolers, inflatables like beach balls, noise makers, thermoses and umbrellas.
There's one place to be before, during and after the game, and it's outside of the stadium, where a dirt path with pretty minimal restrictions connects the Cubs' clubhouse to a side door to the stadium through which players enter. Designed to be the official "autograph path" for the complex, the lengthy walkway is lined with far from mature oleander bushes until it crosses over Clark Street and then the remaining short distance has bicycle rack-high barricades set up to allow players to enter through a door near the home plate gate without having to walk through fans in the plaza. Alongside the barricades is the best place to be positioned for as many autograph opportunities as possible, as players comes closest to fans there and sign the most often there before the game, generally between 12:15 and 12:40 prior to the typical 1:05 p.m. start. The "autograph path" is a two-way route, as players walk or golf cart ride on it after they have been removed from the game to return to their clubhouse. The path is, obviously, least crowded during the game. Fans inside the ballpark can get hand-stamped to go outside of the ballpark and later re-enter at any gate if they wish to try for autographs from the players heading "home" during the game, which is when most of the starters return to the clubhouse. Post-game the path will be trod by plenty of players, but plenty of fans will be vying for signatures then too.
The confines of the Cubs' park aren't very autograph friendly so don't expect to get many items signed inside of the stadium, where it's hit and mainly miss in the areas you'd expect before the game: the sections of seats that are closest to the dugouts. For the Cubs, that means standing in the front rows of sections 105-106, with section 106 more preferable since it's closer to the Cubs' dugout. Sloan Park is a bad ballpark in general for getting autographs from the visiting team, whose bus parks in a non-fan accessible area in the left field corner, so hopefuls are left to hang at field level in sections 117-120, with 117 the closest to the other team's dugout. Autograph activity is even more limited in the stadium following the game. There is an entrance/exit tunnel for the Cubs within section 109. For slim pickings, wait at its left side railing, but where that walkway leads -- to the path back to the clubhouse outside of the stadium -- is where fans should really wait, as in Mesa the complex grounds are easily better than the stadium confines when it comes to getting 'graphs.
Cubs Spring Training Autographs
A photo gallery of where to get them
Unique ballpark fare
You need to come to a season's worth of games just to try everything once, as the quantity and quality of offerings is impressive for a venue that only draws large lunch (or dinner) crowds about 15 times per year. Certainly, authentic Chicago flavor is found at the Cubs' park, as an Italian beef sandwich headlines the menu that includes a Chicago-style hot dog and pizza at the two "A Taste of Chicago" stands. Elsewhere, some typical non-native fare is given Chicago-themed names, hence you'll find menu listings for things such as the Millennium Park chicken sandwich and O'Hare wings. Burger Prime (in left field) and Windy City Dog (third base) get creative with the most common of stadium cuisine, with four signature burgers and four specialty dogs offered at their respective locations. Healthier food is easy to find too as most main concession stands sell salads, fruit & yogurt (served together), and vegetable crudité. For the record, this is the first spring training ballpark to ever offer a crudité, which is the French method of serving raw vegetables on a platter. Another spring training first is the dedicated food truck area that Sloan Park has along its perimeter fence in right-center field, where lots of picnic tables reside near a grove of citrus trees. While the oranges on the branches in the "Citrus Grove" can be seen every game there's changeover among the food trucks, so those parked at the ballpark can vary from game to game. The variety of soft drinks comes from the Pepsi family. This is an Anheuser-Busch ballpark, so beers on draft come from that brewing company's stable. In the ballpark's debut year, the main stands tapped kegs of Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob AmberBock, Shock Top, Land Shark, Goose Island IPA and 312, with the last two mentioned coming from the Chicago-based craft brewery that Anheuser-Busch acquired in 2011. As for "Chicago's beer," you might be able to find Old Style here if you search hard enough, but since it's made by an Anheuser-Busch competitor (Pabst) it's not very well promoted or stocked, as only tradition -- Old Style has been sold at Wrigley Field since 1950 -- has ensured it still has a presence at the spring and summer home of the Cubs.
2016 Cubs Spring Training Schedule
(only home games at Sloan Park are listed)
* Single game tickets went on sale Saturday, January 9. Links in calendar are to TicketNetwork inventory.
See the full 2016 Cubs Spring Training schedule
Ballpark Area Info
The Cubs' previous home in Mesa was in a dull part of the city, so much so that Hohokam Park was most notable for being across the street from the city's cemetery. The new location is very much alive and is as vibrant as the previous stadium spot was, well, dead. Situated at the crossroads of the 101 and 202 loops, which are the Phoenix metro's equivalent of big city Interstate bypasses, Sloan Park is the big league drawing card for Riverview Park, an as an innovative-as-they-come green space area with unique playground options for kids and a fishing pond for all ages. The park is on the southern end of the plot of land on which the ballpark stands, where Sloan Park replaced what had long been the Riverview Golf Course. Across the road (Dobson) from Riverview Park is the Mesa Riverview shopping center, which has major restaurants and retail shops, a movie theatre and plenty more. A short drive north of the ballpark on Rio Salado Parkway is Tempe Marketplace, which is an even larger eat, play and shopping center, featuring the likes of Dave & Buster's, Best Buy and Chicago's Portillo's, a famous in Illinois eatery known for its hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches that decided to debut their Chicago-style of cuisine in Arizona in 2013. Because Sloan Park is so close to the Mesa-Tempe line it's actually equidistant (about 5 miles) to the downtowns of both cities, which are decidedly different. Mesa's Main Street caters more to families and those who enjoy art galleries and museums, while Tempe's Mill Avenue district is the choice for those of the current college-aged generation thanks to its notable night life and the steady influx of partygoers provided by nearby Arizona State University.
Travelers' notes Two major highways, the 101 and 202 loops, can be accessed from less than a mile of the ballpark's address.
There's a strong security presence here, so the Cubs' complex and entire Riverview area is safe.
The Cubs' spring training ballpark in Mesa from 1997-2013, Hohokam Park, is 3.3 miles east of the team's new digs. That ballpark endured a one-year spring training hiatus in 2014, but the Oakland A's are set to move into Hohokam and its nearby minor league complex in 2015 following a $21 million renovation and rebranding of the stadium that has an address of 1235 North Center Street. So the Cubs' technically aren't done there; they'll just be the visiting team in future years when playing games at Hohokam Park, which is currently in the process of being bathed in green and gold as part of the plan to make it look like an appropriate home for its soon-to-be tenant.
Attractions of note for out-of-towners to visit in downtown Mesa include the Mesa Arts Center, which is home to four theaters and five art galleries, and three museums near it: the Arizona Museum for Youth, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, and "Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience," a Mesa Historical Museum project that chronicles the history of spring training baseball in Arizona, with an emphasis given to the Cactus League's tenure in Mesa.
Hotels close to Sloan Park
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|Distance ||Hotel ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|4.3 miles ||Best Western ||250 W Main St ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-834-9233
|4.6 ||Marriott ||200 N Centennial Way ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-898-8300
|7.2 ||Hyatt House Old Town ||4245 N Drinkwater Blvd ||Scottsdale, AZ 85251 ||480-946-7700
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Restaurants close to Sloan Park
|Distance ||Restaurant ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|0.9 miles ||Chick-fil-A ||905 N Dobson Rd ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-834-0573
|0.9 ||IHOP ||913 N Dobson Rd ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-610-0792
|0.9 ||Panda Express ||921 N Dobson Rd ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-834-3689
|1.0 ||Wingstop ||937 N Dobson Rd ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-964-6600
|1.1 ||Cracker Barrel ||1007 N Dobson Rd ||Mesa, AZ 85201 ||480-668-4780
|1.5 ||Portillo's Hot Dogs ||65 S McClintock Dr ||Tempe, AZ 85281 ||480-967-7988
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Airports close to Sloan Park
|Distance ||Airport ||Airport Code
|7.4 miles ||Phoenix Sky Harbor International ||PHX
|120 ||Tucson International ||TUS
|195 ||Yuma International ||YUM
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