The Cubs' new spring-training facility is almost complete, right on schedule, and Saturday, they had an open house for spring-training season-ticket holders. My friend George Wiseman is one of those people, and he was in Mesa for the unveiling and sent me some photos. (If I had known ahead of time that he'd be there, I would have asked for more pics!)
Mike McAdams, the Cubs' director of sales for spring-training operations, and other Cubs employees were there to guide about 200 people who showed up through the new facility. I think it looks great, from what I can tell from George's photos. There will be an LED scoreboard with fixed ads surrounding it, and though it isn't in place yet, there should be a large hitter's background in center field.
Unlike HoHoKam Park, where the Cubs' dugout was on the first-base side (because that's the side where they built the home clubhouse!), the new park will have the Cubs' dugout on the third-base side, just as it is at Wrigley Field. In order to accomodate season-ticket holders who always had seats by the Cubs' dugout, those people had their seats relocated to the other side of the field. The Cubs, though, are also accomodating people who wanted to stay where they are by having relocation events for Mesa season-ticket holders this week. (I'm a spring-training STH, too, and did get offered a place at a relocation event, but since I have lawn tickets, the relocation doesn't matter to me.)
One thing this really attractive new stadium doesn't have is a name. Until it gets one -- and time's running a bit short -- I'll keep calling it Cubs New Spring-Training Facility, or CNSTF for short. Doesn't really roll off the tongue, but it's all we've got, for now.
Looks great and I really look forward to seeing it in person.