Cubs’ Stadium Is a Big Draw in Mesa, Arizona

By Eric Brandner, November 20, 2015

The iconic marquee outside Wrigley Field routinely stops traffic, whether it’s gawkers slowly driving down North Clark Street or tourists spilling out in front of cars to get the best angles for their photos. About 1,700 miles away, the Chicago Cubs have created an experience reminiscent of Wrigley (minus the dangerous traffic) for their fans willing to migrate southwest for the winter.

Sloan Park, the Cubs’ $99 million spring training home in Mesa, Arizona, opened in 2014. While the field isn’t a complete replica of Wrigley—the outfield seating is grass, not bleachers, and there aren’t any L trains zooming beyond the right field wall—its rooftop lights and brickwork behind home plate are a clear homage to the Cubs’ legendary Chicago facility.

And then there’s the marquee.

“We have a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee, but it sits on the concourse,” says Justin Piper, general manager of spring training business operations for the Cubs, who adds that custom marquee messages can be displayed for guests to take a photo with.

It’s all part of a fan experience the Cubs are banking on to create repeat customers— and a lot of them. At 15,000 seats, Sloan Park is the largest stadium in the 15-team spring training Cactus League.

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