We have never been baseball fans, although we have had fun attending farm team games in affordable stadiums near where we've lived. But to go to downtown Chicago and pay big bucks to watch a game that moves so slowly it's like watching paint dry has never been worth it to us. However, it's hard to ignore the many people all around us whose passion for the Cubs and Sox is generations deep. When we still worked, there was always someone scheming to go to Florida or Arizona for spring break to watch some preseason games in the sunshine. So when we read in the Tucson paper, that a new Cubs arena was about to open for business in Mesa, we decided it was time to go and see what all the fuss was about. I got online and struggled to visualize the various ticket choices, and finally chose the roof top seating for a whopping $8.
As we approached the park we couldn't believe the crowds and as we got closer we could see that the game was sold out. We didn't see many IL license plates, but there were fans from all over the country. 15,000 people spent a sunny Tuesday afternoon watching the Cubs lose 0 - 13. At least that was the score by the time we left. It easily could have gotten worse in the final inning. All those fans might justify all the money Mesa spent on the stadium, practice fields, and training facility - a cool $84 million in all according to the local paper. The Cubs had threatened to move to Naples, FL after being here since 1979 unless the local tax payers built them a new house. They used to play half their games at HoHoKam Stadium which is being renovated this year for the Oakland A's. It will be good enough for the A's, but not good enough for the Cubs. Hope it will be worth it.
The new Cubs Park was designed to be a mini Wrigley Field. The Cubs Park clock is Wrigley-styled, the light standards and cantilevered roofs match those seen in Chicago and a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee is located in the main concourse. The field has the same dimensions as Wrigley and brick walls circle the playing field. All that was missing was the ivy covered walls. If they can get ivy to grow in the Arizona heat, I'm sure they will.
There wasn't a bad seat in the house. We enjoyed being in the replica of roof top seating, although we couldn't see the score board which was over our heads. When you consider the score, that may have been a good thing. There was lots of pale skin sitting on the grass in the sunshine beneath us. Some folks must be sporting nasty sun burns tonight. If the Cubs don't get some new pitching help, it will be another long, long season. We'll leave it to the true fans to hope and cheer.