Sure, there are changes in the ballclubs that populate Arizona's Cactus League, as those teams begin to mold themselves into contenders. But the biggest change this spring may be the new Cubs Park in Mesa.
The park is part of the league's consolidation trend for the Phoenix area: The Chicago team's new home is at the busy junction of Arizona 101 and 202 loop highways on the Tempe-Mesa border.
Some design elements will remind you of the Cubs' historic Wrigley Field. The left-field party deck is modeled after the famous rooftops of the Chicago neighborhood surrounding Wrigley. There's a replica of the Cubs' iconic neon-illuminated Wrigley marquee on which fans can post announcements (and pose in front of for photos). Some differences, naturally: It's not 2 below zero, and a panoramic mountain vista extends beyond the outfield wall.
Cubs Park is adjacent to the Mesa's Riverview Park, complete with a man-made lake fully stocked for fishing, and a scenic walkway that serves as an entry to the facility.
The development plan calls for a surrounding Chicago-themed commercial district, featuring satellite locations of restaurants and bars, and the addition of a new Sheraton resort hotel.
The Dodgers will make their only visit to Cubs Park on March 14 for a 1:05 p.m. game. The Angels arrive three days later for a St. Patrick's Day game (also at 1:05 p.m). The Angels and Cubs play there again on March 25.
Tickets info for Cubs Park: lat.ms/1bHaayA.