The Cactus League’s newest stadium is the 146-acre Sloan Park, a 15,000-capacity ballpark owned and operated by the World Champion Chicago Cubs.
Address: 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa. See it on a map.
Parking: $10 (reserved) or $5 (general) per vehicle or motorcycle. Buses or RVs are charged $14. General lots are located to the east of the ballpark. Spots are available on a first-come basis. Parking lots open four hours prior to game time.
A free trolley also operates from the north side of Tempe Marketplace by Thirsty Lion. It runs every half hour, and you can reserve a time. Spring Training ticketholders should wander the shops before and after the game; in many cases, they can get special deals and discounts.
Tickets: $14 to $75 (depending upon opponent), available at mlb.mlb.com/chc/mesa
Best place to sit: The Bleacher Bum atmosphere lives on in the outfield lawn seating, but, even better, it houses the Budweiser Rooftop, which features bleachers, shaded trellis seating and high tops tables all overlooking left field.
Concessions: Windy City Dog and A Taste of Chicago are among the six different concession areas that have themes tying to Chicago or the Southwest.
Best Pre-Game/Post-Game Spots
Cubs fans unite
Two miles west of Sloan Park is a staple of the Chicago homeland. Portillo’s famous hot dogs are a true taste of Chi Town in the Valley. The popular joint also boasts a varied menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches and shakes.
Address: 65 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe
Shop ’til you drop
Sloan Park nestles between shopping Meccas. On the east side is Mesa Riverview, packed with stores like Marshall’s, Walmart and Bass Pro Shops. To the west you’ll find Tempe Marketplace, an outdoor mall surrounded by household names like Target, Best Buy, Ulta, Ross and JCPenney.
Address: Loop 202 and Dobson Road, Mesa
Address: 2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Head over to Tempe Town Lake for one of the college town’s most beloved spots. Take a walk alongside the man-made lake, play in the park and attend one of the many events held nearly every weekend. Or wander south along the always fun Mill Avenue.
Address: Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe