2/18 Mesa, Spring Training update
The Cubs have not picked an architect yet to build their new Spring Training complex but do expect to break ground in the fall and hope to have it completely ready by February 2014. Todd Ricketts, one of the team’s owners who is coordinating the Cubs’ Spring Training efforts, stopped by the team’s current facility on Friday for an update. Last November, Mesa voters overwhelmingly approved plans for an $84 million complex in the Riverview Park area.
Ricketts has met with the Cubs athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and Minor League coordinators to get their wish list for the 50,000-square foot facility. The team is still deciding whether to combine the Minor League and Major League complex, or have them separate. A 15,000-seat stadium also will be built on the site. The Cubs’ current ballpark, HoHoKam Park, seats 12,500.
Ricketts has toured all of the Cactus League facilities and taken notes. This spring, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will open their new complex.
“There has been a ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ mentality with all these Spring Training facilities,” Ricketts said. “We’re less about the glitz and we’re more about the business.
“We want a facility that will be able to help us win,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for. I don’t know if that means having a state of the art hydrotherapy table or not. We’ll have some of those things but at the end of the day, it’s simple — getting your body in shape and getting the players ready to play. It’s a simple thing — you just need a little space to do it.”
— Carrie Muskat