Page 1




-65 s Park: 1952

 Hohokam

Park & Stad iu

m: 1979-201 3

k at Mesa R  Cubs Par

k: Opening iverview Par





4 | Cubs, community, coming together • Passion, fan support keep Cubbies in Mesa 6 | Evolution of a world-class project • Support for Cubs cross-section of Mesa business, residents 7 | Profile • Building sports magic: Hunt Construction has passion for creating world-class facilities 8 | Riverview Park, then and now • A place where memories were made 9 | Profile • Inner workings: HACI Mechanical Contractors plays key role in stadium infrastructure 10 | Riverview Park: Delivering on a dream • Plenty of amenities, attractions for fans, families


FROM RENDEZVOUS TO RIVERVIEW Cubs Training Complex Milestones



Bring on the peanuts and Cracker Jack! The picture-perfect stadium and the rest of Cubs Park is ready for February’s home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.



An aerial rendering puts all the elements of Cubs Park in perspective: six practice fields (at left), the stadium (center) and the revamped Riverview Park with expanded lake (right).




Mesa’s Rendezvous Park was the Chicago Cubs’ first spring training home in Arizona. The team played there from 1952 to 1965, moved to Scottsdale and then returned to Mesa in 1979.


In 1979, the Cubs began playing at Hohokam Park, then a two-year-old facility. Almost two decades later, in 1996, the park was demolished, rebuilt and renamed HoHoKam Stadium.

When sites were being considered for the Cubs’ new facility, Mesa’s Riverview Golf Course proved ideal, thanks to its accessibility to Loops 101 and 202. The course closed in March 2012.




Cubs’ fans saw the best the team had to offer, including outfielder Alfonso Soriano, during the team’s tenure at HoHoKam Stadium. The Cubs’ played their last season there in 2013.



A fast-track construction schedule means the 15,000-seat, Wrigley Field-inspired stadium is rising from the desert floor by August 2013.

Water towers once stood sentry over Rendezvous Park’s field, built in 1920. The downtown city park was razed in 1976 to make way for the Mesa Convention Center.

A ceremonial home plate used at the Cubs’ Park groundbreaking in July 2012. After Riverview Golf Course closed, the base was placed where the new stadium’s home plate would be located.

A February 2013 photograph taken after the golf course was razed and the 146-acre site was graded hardly gives a clue as to what’s yet to come.


| A Look Back • Mesa’s historic love affair with the Cubs | From Rendezvous to Riverview • Cubs Training Complex Milestones | Sweet home ... Mesa • Whether visitor or transplant, Mesa offers a Windy City-worthy welcome | Unearthing the past • Archaeologists find remains of prehistoric society at Riverview Park | Engineering the past • Ancient Hohokams were masterful builders 12 | Profile • Merrill Lynch: New Chicago Cubs facility is a home run 13 | Profile • ‘Hand-in-Glove’ financial relationship: RBC Capital Markets boasts home-team advantage 14 | Donning the uniform • Many big names in Cubs history have made Spring Training stop in Mesa 15 | Profile • Hitting for power: Salt River Progect is key to attacting, driving growth at Riverview Park 16 | Mays to Mantle, chronicling history • Museum showcases one of country’s unique collections 17 | Profile • ‘Heavy hitter’ steps to the plate: U.S. Bank builds on relationship with City of Mesa 18 | A history of giving back • Modern day HoHoKams continue community tradition 19 | Profile • Building a foundation: Mesa-based Rhino Masonry crafts unique look, feel for Cubs Park 19 | Profile • Law firm shares ‘tradition:’ Gust Rosenfeld has longtime ties with community, sports 20 | Thank you to our partners Produced by Republic Media Custom Publishing, a division of The Arizona Republic. 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. General Manager: CAMI KAISER, | Creative Development Director: ISAAC MOYA, Project Editor: JIM WILLIAMS, | Editorial Coodinator: NICK KOSTENKO, Sr. Managing Art Director: TRACEY PHALEN, | Design: CRAIG KURTZ,



Cheers to all who made Riverview Park project happen


ith the completion of the Chicago Cubs training complex and the new Riverview Park, the City of Mesa begins a new era in recreation, sports entertainment and much more. The vision of these two destinations became the catalyst for one of the most unique and magnificent sports facilities and parks and recreation projects in recent memory. As the Major League Baseball training complex and park renovations are completed, the new stadium and added park features will provide much-needed space for major events, community gatherings, and other outdoor activities. The park project sports, among other elements; a climbing tower, bouldering wall and a huge splash pad play area that augment recreational and play options beyond the traditional playground equipment. The lake has more than doubled in size and among other things will provide a new site for urban fishing and wildlife viewing. These additions, along with the state-of-the-art training complex, are sure to change the face of west Mesa. To say that this project is one of the most important construction projects in the recent history of the City is somewhat limiting. It is not unreasonable to suggest that these new park, recreation and sporting amenities will have one of the most significant impacts on our community and region – more than any other project of its kind to date – as the dream of a signature park and cutting-edge Major League Baseball training operation come to fruition. The completion of this major project – which was accomplished on time and on budget – for our residents, business owners and visitors, is a reflection of the tenacity,

commitment, and dedication of the community as a whole. It took not only elected officials and government leaders to make this project a reality but also the support and efforts of the hospitality industry, business leaders, community activists, civic and business organizations and the residents of the City of Mesa. This publication is intended to memorialize and recognize the efforts and hard work of all those who made this project happen as well as the history of the Chicago Cubs and Spring Training in Mesa. It also highlights the City’s Riverview Park then and now. It is a “caps off” to the community leaders and citizens who worked so hard over the last several years to not only “keep the Cubs in Mesa” but also bring the vision to a reality. It acknowledges the actual workers and key players who accomplished this great engineering and construction feat. All played an important role in making this project a regional and national story of private and public sector collaboration and commitment. Every step in the process was significant, from the decision to use a design-build strategy to the many hours of discussions between the key project players to hone in on the final design, look and feel of the stadium, player development complex, paseo and the park. Also, the ongoing input from stakeholders and interested parties was important to the overall process. All these seemingly individual factors combined to create the final project that serves as a reminder of what can be accomplished when vision, cooperation, hard work and commitment come together. The new Chicago Cubs training complex and renovated Mesa Riverview Park are truly monuments to our community’s determination and will to Build a Better Mesa. The Chicago Cubs have been a part of the Mesa community for more than 60 years.



Passion, fan support keep Cubbies in Mesa



n the box score, baseball is all about the numbers — hits, runs, errors. But when it comes to fan passion, the Chicago Cubs bat 1.000, year in, year out. “If you grew up in Mesa like I did, you’ll always have a place in your heart for the Cubs,” says Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. “I may have season tickets to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but from the beginning of February to the end of March, my blood runs Cubbie Blue. They’re like family.”

Preserving Mesa legacy

Although the Cubs have been a Cactus League institution for more than 60 years, that status was in jeopardy in 2010, when the team stated its desire to expand their operations — possibly moving to the Grapefruit League in Florida. In a save worthy of a Hall of Fame relief pitcher, the voters of Mesa overwhelmingly approved a bond initiative to build a new Cubs Park training complex. Cubs Park sits on a 140 acre property that includes adjacent Riverview Park.

“I understood the value of the Cubs to the Cactus League schedule, knowing the number of people they attract to the Valley and the games,” says Robert Johnson, vice president of Public Affairs for High Ground Consulting, which ran the campaign to keep the Chicago Cubs in their longtime winter home. “I didn’t want to see the Cactus League lose one of its legacy teams and its loyal fans. I took it quite personally,” he adds with a laugh.

Cherished tradition

“Experiencing Spring Training in Arizona is simply unparalleled, thanks to our pristine weather, countless tourist attractions and some of the best baseball fans in the nation,” says Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer. “The Cactus League and the Chicago Cubs have been a tremendous part of our longstanding and cherished tradition — drawing visitors from across the nation each year to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in Arizona. I’m proud to welcome the Cubs and

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith at Hohokam Stadium.


Cactus League leaders


Gov. Jan Brewer and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith helped make the pitch for the new Cubs stadium.

their fans to Mesa every spring, and I know that they will be thrilled with Cubs Park.” For Mayor Smith, the franchise and their fans are woven into the cultural and social fabric of Mesa. “Cubs fans come to the games and support their team unlike any others, and it’s just plain fun being around them during Spring Training,” he says. “When people come into Cubs Park, they’ll see it’s the best place to watch Spring Training in all of baseball.”

ver the past two decades, the Chicago Cubs have been at the top of the Cactus League in attendance numbers, but the team’s impact goes well beyond the clicks of a turnstile. Cactus League surveys, which are performed every three to five years, show that Cubs fans really are a significant contributor to the overall economic impact of the Cactus League to Arizona. For example, the survey indicates that more than 55 percent of the fans attending a Cubs game are from out of state, and for more than 70 percent of the fans who are visiting Mesa, the primary reason is to go to a Cubs game. The Cubs lead the Cactus League when it comes to length of stay, with more than 25 percent of the fans staying at least nine nights — and 65 percent of them staying at a hotel or resort. The Cubs in Mesa for Spring Training is a long-standing destination for “Cubbie” fans that have made the annual trek from the mid-West to sunny Arizona for generations. One can only imagine the added excitement and anticipation as new traditions evolve around the Cubs Park. With a new stadium and training complex, it is safe to assume there will be more attendance records with interest from other fans, and an even greater economic impact. It seems there is another “W” heading up the flag pole for the Cactus League and for Arizona.



Support for Cubs cross-section of Mesa business, residents



hristened Cubs Park, the new training stadium in Mesa is truly a field of dreams. Indeed, Mesa residents had a dream to keep their Cubbies in town, especially after the team was heavily wooed by folks in Florida’s Grapefruit League. According to Chris Brady, Mesa city manager, groups in Florida were enticing the team with a plethora of perks, plus the team had felt they had outgrown Hohokam Stadium. “People were putting a lot of pressure on the Cubs to go [to Florida], but residents of Mesa stood up and supported the building of the new stadium,” Brady says.

The new stadium provides fans with improved seating, parking and game-day experiences.

Top-line facilities

Scot Rigby, senior project manager for the city of Mesa, added that Hohokam Stadium’s inadequate parking lots struggled to handle the huge crowds of people attending the Cubs’ Spring Training games. “In addition, Major League teams have learned that as important as game days are, it is just as important to have top-line player training and development facilities,” he says. “The existing Cubs training facilities at Fitch Park were quickly falling behind the needs of the team. The new stadium and team facilities solve all those challenges by providing greater seating, game-day fan experience, gameday parking and access as well as top-line team-training facilities.”

Grassroots support

Coordinating the grassroots support for the park and new stadium involved a cross-section of Mesa groups including Little League teams, civic organizations, families and individuals. “But most important of all," Rigby said, "were the voters of Mesa who voted in 2010 to direct the city to move forward in constructing this new facility.” Rigby said that the general feeling around town about the park and stadium is one of excitement and anticipation. “It is a fantastic stadium coupled with a totally renovated Riverview Park,” he says. “The park will truly become a destination in and of itself with its greatly enlarged lake and unique one-of-a-kind playground amenities.”

Room to grow

Led by Visit Mesa, Mesa’s hotel industry played an integral role in helping keep the Cubs in Mesa and educating the public about the economic impact Cubs fans have on their industry annually. “The City of Mesa benefits immensely from visitor activity throughout the year, with direct visitor spending in Mesa helping keep city taxes low and helping pay


Building sports magic Hunt Construction has passion for creating world-class facilities


for essential city services such as police, fire and water,” says Visit Mesa President and CEO Marc Garcia. Visit Mesa estimates that for every dollar invested in destination marketing last fiscal year by the City of Mesa, there will be an estimated return of $12.13 in future direct visitor expenditures by leisure, meeting and sports event groups booked by the organization.

unt Construction Group is proud to have provided construction management services on the exciting new Cubs Training Facility in Mesa, Ariz. With more than 4 million square feet and 15,000 seats, the Chicago Cubs and fans alike are in for an exciting inaugural season to welcome in the new ballpark. “As builders we are passionate about sports projects; so being part of this Training Facility is exciting and all about the fan experience on opening day and beyond,” says Tab Baker, contract manager with Hunt Construction Group. “This facility will stand-out in the Cactus League as one of the best and provide the Cubs with an amazing facility to continue their long standing history in Mesa.” The facility marks another in a long line of Huntbuilt sports projects in Arizona and California. Other facilities include the recently completed Dodger Stadium renovations in Los Angeles, California; Fiesta Bowl upgrades at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; Tim’s Toyota Center, home of the CHL’s Arizona Sundogs in Prescott Valley; University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals in Glendale; AT&T Park, home of MLB’s San Francisco Giants and the well-known home to MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks – Chase Field in Phoenix. Hunt is the premier builder of sports facilities across the U.S., and is consistently ranked by Engineering News-Record as a leading builder of sports and entertainment venues. Hunt has built more than 100 sports venues since the early 1960s. Today, Hunt continues to change the industry with innovative and new techniques for delivering cuttingedge facilities that push the boundaries of sports facility construction. Hunt leads the way in retractable roof construction, were the first to install a retractable field and have incorporated some of the largest operable windows in stadiums around the country. That expertise is at work today on projects such as Golden State Warriors Arena in San Francisco, California; Atlanta Falcons Football Stadium, future home of NFL’s Atlanta Falcons; El Paso Ballpark, new home of AAA baseball’s San Diego Padres; and EverBank Stadium renovation for NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Hunt would like to congratulate the Chicago Cubs, the City of Mesa, Populous architects and everyone involved in making the Chicago Cubs Training Facility a success.


When Riverview Park opened in 1978, Mesa's population was less than 150,000. Today, it's nearly a half million.

RIVERVIEW PARK: THEN AND NOW A place where memories were made



ome of Riverview Park’s most popular amenities included the lake, softball complex and golf course.

MARK GRANT is the City of Mesa Recreation Coordinator. He coordinated recreation programs and special events in Riverview Park, including National Night Out, Evening in the Park, baseball tournaments, fishing derbies and more. He has worked for the city for 25 years. What do you think was the public’s favorite amenity at Riverview Park? Grant: “I think the urban fishing lake was the most popular amenity — many residents enjoyed fishing over the years, catching catfish, bass, sunfish and trout. Residents also enjoyed the ramadas since they provided an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and reunions.”

DONALD FLAVELL is the City of Mesa Golf Supervisor. He was the Riverview Park golf course foreman during its construction phase and for some time afterward. He has worked for the city for 26 years. What did people like most about Riverview golf course? Flavell: “Riverview was the only regulation nine-hole course in the Valley. The course was very playable and was a perfect setting to get in a quick nine before or after work. Gary Panks designed mounding on the sides of the fairways that created some challenging lies, but also helped keep the ball in play and contain it on the hole you were playing. My favorite hole was number nine because it was a drivable 282yard, par-4 with water protecting the left side of the fairway and green. If you pulled your tee shot a little and ended up in the water, what could have been an easy birdie or par was now a bogey or double-bogey.”


Inner workings

Riverview Park Fast Facts • Land acquisition: July 3, 1974 • Opening date: July 15, 1978 • Acreage: 46.78 acres, not including the nine-hole golf course • Amenities: Three-acre lake; 40,775 square-feet playground; four-diamond softball complex; two multi-use sports fields • Lake info: Installed July 15, 1981; one of the first urban fishing lakes in the East Valley; stocked throughout the year by the Arizona Game and Fish Department with catfish, trout, bass and sunfish • Golf course: Designed by Gary Panks, the 9-hole, par36 course was 3,150 yards from the blue tees. It opened November 1987 and closed March 2012

MIKE HOLSTE is the City of Mesa Parks and Recreation Assistant Director, Recreation Operations. From 1985 to 1994, Holste was involved in programming the Riverview Softball Complex. He has worked for the city for nearly 33 years. What made the Riverview Park softball complex so special to so many people from all across the Valley? Holste: “Participants liked the softball complex since it was always maintained in excellent condition and was located close to Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, etc., making it convenient for league and tournament play. During the past 35 years, the softball complex has accommodated more than 400 city league teams annually and has played host to numerous state, regional and national softball tournaments.”


HACI Mechanical Contractors plays important role in stadium infrastructure

ook around Cubs Park and you’ll actually see very little of what Rob Rarrick and the rest of the employees at HACI Mechanical Contractors did to make the facility the standout that it is. Indeed, just about the only obvious contribution is found in the ceilings of the public restrooms, which feature exposed, industrial-looking ductwork. But what folks surely will notice is the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor’s workmanship, and that will be particularly evident when the air conditioning and heating systems kick on at the appropriate times or water in the restroom sinks flows just as it should when turned on – or, just as importantly, stops running when it’s turned off. And that’s just as it should be, says Rarrick, who was pleased to help bring the facility to fruition. “Cubs Park was an exciting project that’s been on my and HACI owner Tim King’s radar the last three to four years,” says Rarrick, one of the Phoenix company’s five project managers and the one who works frequently with Hunt Construction Group. “Everybody in the office was pretty happy about the subject – Cubs baseball – we have a number of employees from Chicago.” HACI, which was founded in 1972, provided all the HVAC units and subcontracted the plumbing, system controls and mechanical insulation jobs to W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Arizona Control Specialists and Quality Mechanical Insulation, respectively. In addition, HACI brought on the Mesa-based firms of TAB Technologies Test and Balance and Fidelity Mechanical Contractors to perform all testing and balancing operations and install the clubhouse’s HVAC system. As one might imagine, enormous amounts of materials and time went into creating the mechanical systems at Cubs Park. Rarrick notes the project does boast some pretty impressive stats, including the following: • 120 HVAC units, which required… – 150,000 pounds of mechanical ductwork – 5,000 hours of labor by pipe fitters – 12,000 hours of labor by sheet metal workers • 950 plumbing fixtures, which required… – 60,000 feet of domestic water, waste and vent piping – 50,000 hours of labor by plumbers “It’s just a great, high-profile project for the City of Mesa,” he adds, “and we’re really thrilled to have HACI Mechanical’s name attached to it.”


RIVERVIEW PARK: DELIVERING ON A DREAM Plenty of amenities and attractions for fans and families



iverview Park in the heart of Mesa will be among very few like it in the nation. By combining a training stadium for the Chicago Cubs with ball fields intended for amateur play and a gorgeous park packed with dozens of stunning amenities, the newest gem in the East Valley will offer something for everyone as a true “destination” attraction. “As a parks and recreation professional, this is the most exciting and fun project I’ve ever worked on,” says Marc Heirshberg, director of Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities for the City of Mesa. “We were told to dream and dream big and we’ve been able to deliver on that dream.”

Special place

Riverview Park has been a staple in Mesa for decades, but now, with $84 million invested in building the stadium, $15 million in infrastructure and $9 million invested in park improvements, it is dazzling. The property sits on 140 acres between Dobson Road, Loop 101, Loop 202 and Rio Salado Parkway. The stadium, Cubs Park, provides fixed seating and bermstyle seating for 15,000, with the potential to expand to 20,000 depending on the event. “At the peak of the day more than 60 percent of the stadium seats are in the shade,” says Justin Piper, general manager, Spring Training Operations. The stadium includes team training facilities with Major League-size practice fields and batting tunnels. Four cityowned fields are at the far end of complex; the public can schedule tournaments and other recreational events between April and December, Piper says. The park’s old softball complex will be converted into six multi-sports fields for soccer, football, lacrosse and rugby, among others, Piper says.

Playing ball by the lake

On the park side of the development, Riverview Park Lake is the focal point, he said. The lake, which has a lighted fountain next to it, is stocked with fish, he adds. Connecting Riverview Park Lake to the stadium is the Paseo, a central street shaded with paved paths and woodgrain boardwalks connecting all of the elements of the site. Parents and their | continued, page 13

While Cubs Park is modeled after Chicago's famous Wrigley Field, it has state-of-theart amenites.


Did You Know Cubs Park ... • Seats 15,000 (most other Arizona Spring Training facilities seat around 10,000) • Several design elements of the ballpark are reminiscent of Wrigley Field, including the field size • Includes a party deck above left field, a clubhouse and a 31,000 square-foot batting cage • Has six Major League practice fields

• Boasts nearly 5,700 parking spaces • Features 1,802 tons of structural steel, 394 tons of other steel and 13,500 cubic yards of concrete • Touts 11 miles of underground utilities • Incorporates Riverview Park, an adjacent 25-acre signature park with a five-acre playground and an urban fishing lake


It might be. It could be. It is! New Chicago Cubs facility is a home run


choing Harry Caray’s famous home run call, Bank of America Merrill Lynch proudly congratulates the Chicago Cubs, the City of Mesa and everyone who helped hit it out of the park with Arizona’s newest Spring Training facility. As lead underwriter of the $94 million stadium financing, Bank of America Merrill Lynch appreciates being part of a tremendous team effort that will give the Cubs a new home and bright future in Mesa. The financing also enabled improvements to Hohokam Stadium and practice facilities for use by the Oakland Athletics, making Mesa the Spring Training home of two Major League Baseball teams. Bank of America Merrill Lynch began serving Arizona more than 120 years ago. Today, the company helps people and businesses connect with financial services in more ways than ever, from banking centers, ATMs and online banking to corporate and investment banking, wealth management, transaction services, municipal finance and specialized industry expertise. This includes a leading track record in serving leagues and teams across all major sports. Through philanthropy and volunteerism, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is connecting with Arizona communities and investing in the local economy every day. Drawing on a full range of financial capabilities, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is committed to making lives and communities better in Arizona and nationally.

Spring Training baseball in Mesa is a tradition for fans, both young and old.


‘Hand-in-Glove’ financial relationship RBC Capital Markets boasts home-team advantage


The new Riverview Park includes innovative playground equipment.

Riverview Park continued from page 10 | children can enjoy a whimsical, colorful splash pad and a children’s “adventureland” designed as “a place for kids to get lost in their imagination,” Heirshberg said. It will include a sunken playground, enclosed on one end by a 300 linear-foot climbing wall and a 75-foot zipline. “Kids can feel like this is their own place and space,” Heirshberg says. Adjacent to the kids’ area is a Ramada with a 360-degree view that lets parents watch their children enjoy playing on rolling hills. “Until you see this beautiful new place,” Heirshberg says, “you don’t realize how cool it is.”

mployees in the Phoenix office of RBC Capital Markets enjoy assisting cities around Arizona with the financing of all kinds of capital projects, but it’s probably safe to say many of them unabashedly relished their involvement with the Cubs Park project in Mesa. “It’s not like the Cubs finance a Spring Training facility that often, so there certainly was a level of intrigue,” said Nick Dodd, director of the 12-member municipal finance group, explaining the special type of home team advantage. “And, almost half of the entire office has some connection to Illinois.” The native Canadian, for example, later moved to the Land of Lincoln and attended high school and college in the southern part of the state, occasionally finding his way north to the Friendly Confines, Wrigley Field’s nickname. Kurt Freund, the finance group’s managing director, hails from the Chicago area and said that, as a kid, he “grew up going to Wrigley Field.” Hometown pride aside, Dodd and Freund said RBC has enjoyed a hand in glove relationship with the City of Mesa for more than a decade, and they couldn’t be more proud that the company’s expertise in financing public infrastructure led to it being selected to underwrite the municipal bonds for the training facility. Freund noted RBC is a fully diversified global banking institution recognized as the sixth largest retail brokerage firm in the country and the top governmental financing institution in Arizona; it also has a wealth management arm, with offices in Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson. He said the firm’s also coordinated financing for a wide variety of statewide projects, such as buildings for Mesa Public Schools, several sports facilities – including the Arizona Cardinals’ University of Phoenix Stadium, several Cactus League stadiums and state university stadiums – and roads, like Arizona State Route 24, or Williams Gateway Freeway, and those found in the new community of Eastmark. “We are very thankful to be able to work not only with Mesa, but many other communities, over the years,” he said, adding RBC and its predecessor firms have been in Arizona’s marketplace since the 1930s.

14 14


Many of the biggest names in Cubs history have made a Spring Training stop in Mesa



14-time All-Star, Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks was memorialized with a statue outside his North Side Chicago home, Wrigley Field, in 2008. Who is to say that at least part of the foundation was not laid right here?

50s to 70s, early success

Banks spent every spring of his Hall of Fame career in Mesa, winning the National League MVP awards in 1958 and 1959. His favorite saying is, “Let’s play two.” But his crowning individual achievement could be summed up with, “Let’s win two.” It is safe to say, of course, that Banks would have traded one or both of those awards for a chance to play in a World Series just once. Banks, still active in Cubs community affairs and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 20, 2013, is one of the many superstars who made Mesa their destination every spring. The Cubs this spring will move into an architectural gem, the start-of-the-art Cubs Park, about three miles west of Hohokam Stadium that hosted so many players … and memories. Ferguson Jenkins, who won 20 games and had at least 20 complete games with the Cubs every year from 1967-72, remembers the tennis courts that were near Rendezvous Park, the original stadium, and the fans who flocked to the park for autographs or just to say hello. “It was a great Spring Training site,” says Jenkins, who won the National League Cy Young award in 1971. The Cubs, Giants and Athletics were the only teams to train in Arizona at the time, which made it a calmer setting. At the same time, there were drawbacks. “I had to face Willie Mays and Willie McCovey all the time,” Jenkins said with a chuckle. Jenkins was not the only Cubs’ Cy Young winner to use Spring Training as a springboard, just as Banks was not the only MVP.

“Let’s play two”: A pair of Cubs legends, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks.

70s to 90s, plenty to cheer about

Closer Bruce Sutter, who popularized the bearded look before it became a current trend, won the National League Cy Young in 1979 with his patented split-finger pitch. Greg Maddux, who was elected to the Hall of Fame this year, won the award in 1992, the first season he won 20 games. Cubs’ legend Ryne Sandberg won the 1984 MVP award, and was followed by Andre Dawson (1987) and Sammy Sosa (1998). Ron Santo, who finally made the Hall of Fame posthumously in 2012, honed his Gold Glove skills in Mesa, as did Banks, Sandberg, Dawson and Maddux. So did Ken Hubbs, Randy Hundley, Glenn Beckert, Don Kessinger, Bob Dernier, Jody Davis, Mark Grace, Derrick Lee and Darwin Barney.

Up and comers

For all the famous names who trained at Hohokam Stadium, more will be seasoned at Cubs Park. The Cubs had several prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League, and will count on one of baseball's strongest farm systems to bring up more talent to the big club this season.

15 15

A winning pitch for Arizona Salt River Project is key partner in driving economic growth


Clockwise from lower left: Andre Dawson, Ron Santo, Ferguson Jenkins, Greg Maddux.

s thousands of baseball fans flock to Mesa to watch the Chicago Cubs play their inaugural Spring Training season at their new ballpark, a new era has begun. An era filled not only with the aroma of fresh cut grass, homeruns and strikeouts, but one filled with the potential for robust economic development for the city and its residents. Economists are predicting a steady, moderate growth for Arizona in the coming years, and developments like the Chicago Cubs Training Facility at Riverview Park will help attract economic growth and jobs to the local economy while providing fun activities for residents and their families. That benefits all of us. Over the last century, Salt River Project (SRP) has partnered with multiple entities across the state to advance well-planned economic growth and help attract, expand and retain high-value economic development opportunities. Today, SRP serves more than 970,000 customers. As the largest provider of water and power to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, SRP is a key stakeholder when it comes to local business development initiatives. In fact, SRP’s affordable and reliable electricity, water and telecom services have been key components in helping businesses thrive in Mesa and throughout the region. Economic success is a team effort that is achieved with SRP’s many partners, including the City of Mesa, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and the region’s many chambers and municipal economic development entities. So, sit back, grab a bag of peanuts and enjoy the sunshine, the new stadium and a great Cubs game in the Valley of the Sun. To learn how SRP continues to play a valuable role in supporting new business opportunities, visit


Museum showcases one of country’s unique collections



ats, balls, Buckhorn Baths and more are part of a priceless collection of baseball memorabilia that chronicles a half century of the Cactus League Spring Training experience in Mesa and has inspired plans for a new museum in Arizona. “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” at the Mesa Historical Museum, 51 E. Main St., features unforgettable moments in the league’s history and provides a peek into the private lives of legendary players who have made Mesa home for Spring Training.

Joltin’ Joe, Ted Williams, too

The exhibit includes photos of Willie Mays getting a massage, Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio at Mesa’s famous Buckhorn Baths motel, pitcher Gaylord Perry on a fishing trip in Arizona and other fan favorites including Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams. “It is the only existing collection of Cactus League history in America,” says Robert Johnson, board member for the Mesa Historical Museum. The show has been on view in various venues around the Valley over the past five years and is inspiring plans for a new museum that organizers say may be bigger than The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. “Our goal is to make it the biggest National Hall of Fame in the country,” continued Johnson. The Cactus League officially started in Arizona in 1947. The collection includes 4,000 pieces with photos, films, programs, original art, signed memorabilia and rare items from teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox. Many pieces provide insights into the off-field fun players had including their annual outings to the Buckhorn Baths motel in Mesa to experience the magical healing powers of the hot mineral baths. “The history that has come from the Buckhorn Baths has never been viewed Rendezvous Park by the public,” Johnson says. “It was was the first home basically lost in time until now. The of the Chicago pieces on display are irreplaceable.” Cubs when they came to Mesa Baseball in Arizona in 1952. The show will send fans back to another season in baseball to ponder the people and places their favorite players interacted with in the area. “It is documenting their time training in the desert,” says Lisa Anderson, president and CEO of the Mesa Historical Museum. The museum was incorporated in 1966 to preserve the rich history of Mesa. “From 1940 to the present day we have


‘Heavy hitter’ steps to the plate U.S. Bank builds on relationship with City of Mesa


Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience

Equipment and jerseys are on display throughout the Spring Training Museum.

Want to learn more about Spring Training in Arizona? Visit the Mesa Historical Museum on Main Street, home of the Arizona Spring Training Museum and Cactus League Hall of Fame. • Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday • 51 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 • 480-835-2286 •;

documented every team, stadium and community. It is a story of how unique the environment is in Arizona for baseball.” Arizona hosts 15 major league baseball teams in 10 ball parks each year. More than 1.7 million fans came out to root for a roster of teams in 2013. In 2015, Mesa will have two ballparks and two Spring Training teams. “It’s iconic Arizona,” Anderson says. “There are few things to associate with Arizona and Spring Training is one of them.”

hen the City of Mesa sought a municipal trustee for the Cubs Park bond transaction, only the heaviest of hitters would do, and U.S. Bank Global Corporate Trust Services was chosen right off the bat. “U.S. Bank is one of only a few entities that does corporate trust work, and it’s the No. 1 ranked municipal trustee in the country,” says Rob Von Hess, vice president of the division’s Arizona office, explaining why the choice was an easy one. “U.S. Bank’s Arizona global corporate trust services office, which opened in 1995 and has aided city, county and state government representatives ever since, is proud of its long relationship with Mesa. Our partnership on the stadium transaction supports this strategic relationship for years to come.” “As trustee, we will be involved from the time the deal closes all the way through the lifetime of the bond issue,” says Von Hess. “Over the next 20 years, we will work with the City of Mesa and their bondholders to make sure that all the bond provisions are followed.” Brian Schwallie, Arizona market president for U.S. Bank, shares that “U.S. Bank has been a part of the Arizona business community since opening our first Arizona branch in 1989. We have expanded throughout Arizona over the past 25 years and today we have 83 branch locations, including our Mesa branch, and more than 700 employees in Arizona, all with the goal of serving our customer’s financial needs. Along with great customer service, U.S. Bank — the fifth largest bank in the country, as measured by assets — also provides great community service, bettering the places it serves.” During 2012, U.S. Bank provided more than $5.6 million in investments to Arizona. Those investments provided affordable housing, encouraged self-sufficiency and fostered economic development. For example, U.S. Bank supports the Small Business Leadership Academy in Phoenix, which is aimed at teaching small business owners how to improve efficiency, streamline operations, and increase profits. “U.S. Bank applauds its bank employees who together volunteered more than 2,300 hours to nonprofit organizations in Arizona in 2012. By giving employees up to 16 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer, we encourage them to support organizations they have a passion for — to spend their time, not just their money, on great causes in their communities,” Schwallie says.



Modern day HoHoKams continue community tradition



or some 26 years, Mike Whalen’s civic duty meant he skipped spring break vacations with his family to work as a ballpark janitor, but the truth is he was glad to make the sacrifice. He knew, after all, that his efforts and those of his fellow 165 Mesa HoHoKams volunteering year after year at Cubs’ Spring Training ball games and other events at Hohokam Stadium would pay off nicely in the form of generous donations the group could give to local youth athletics groups. In 2013, for example, the venerable Mesa charity donated about $148,000 to area organizations. “I believe it’s important for us to give back to the city,” says the former Mesa city councilman and former assistant chief of the Mesa Police Department, who, since he couldn’t take off during the day to volunteer with the HoHoKams, would go after hours and work as the night janitor. “I was a cop for the city for 28 years and the City of Mesa was very good to me, and a lot of my success in life is a result of that career.”

Community ambassadors

Ever since Mesa rancher and builder Dwight “Pat” Patterson — also a longtime sports fan — formed the Mesa HoHoKams in the early 1950s to encourage the Chicago Cubs to make Mesa their Spring Training home, the civic-minded group comprised of local business leaders has been promoting and supporting Spring Training throughout the Valley. They began volunteering at Rendezvous Park when the Cubs first came to town in 1952, and they’ve been a welcoming

The HoHoKams gather at the Buckhorn Baths in this undated photo.

presence in red jackets for decades at both Hohokam Stadium and its earlier incarnation, Hohokam Park, serving as ushers, parking attendants, program vendors and even janitors and de facto city ambassadors.

Building excitement

Whalen, the HoHoKams’ current president, says the members are also thrilled to be on the volunteer roster for work at the new Cubs Park; the group’s been offered a five-year contract to continue their traditional services. The only thing that’s different now is the group, which has about 60 full-time, active members and another 100 life members, will be paid a flat fee for their efforts rather than having to run their operations Gov. Rose Moford as a business. greets HoHoKam “It certainly takes the risk away from us having to founder Dwight handle the whole thing and having to make a profit,” “Pat” Patterson Whalen says. and his wife. And it means the HoHoKams can keep doing the charitable work they thrive on, including hosting an annual track meet at Westwood High School, an annual citywide championship swim meet at Kino Aquatic Center and an annual golf tournament. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” he says.


Law firm shares Spring Training Tradition

Foundation worthy of great American pastime

Gust Rosenfeld has longtime ties with community, sports

Mesa-based Rhino Masonry crafts unique look, feel for Cubs Park


he details of how Gust Rosenfeld assisted the City of Mesa in financing Cubs Park might be too “inside baseball” for most folks, but one thing is clear: the venerable law firm is continuing its tradition of ensuring that spectacular, publicly funded projects around the state succeed. Scott Ruby, a partner at Gust Rosenfeld, explained that the firm has a longtime tie with baseball and spring training. The full-service law firm acted as the lead financing attorneys when then-Bank One Ballpark (now Chase Field) was constructed, and it was on board for the financing of several spring training facilities in Scottsdale, Goodyear and Peoria. Additionally, Gust Rosenfeld served as bond counsel on hundreds of occasions for a wide range of projects, from the CAP canal to a domed athletic facility in the Round Valley school district. Ruby noted that the firm has a long standing relationship with the City of Mesa, having worked with that city since the mid-1940s. The law firm’s roots in Arizona and its preeminence in bond law go back to the 1920s. In 1921, the firm of Gust & Smith merged with Kibbey & Bennett, which was established in 1909 in Arizona and makes Gust Rosenfeld the oldest law firm in the state. John L. Gust was Arizona’s first bond lawyer. Fred W. Rosenfeld joined the firm in 1924 and he developed the municipal bond practice, which continues to be nationally respected today. His son, Fred H. Rosenfeld, joined the firm in 1964 and currently practices in the areas of municipal bonds and government law. Fred is a co-founder and charter member of the American College of Bond Counsel. With offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Wickenburg, Gust Rosenfeld’s current team of 65 attorneys handles the full spectrum of legal issues, from commercial law to litigation, and it even represents one of the largest retailers in the world. It also supports a culture of giving back to the community. Gust Rosenfeld attorneys and staff offer countless hours, both as volunteers and through providing pro bono services, to support professional and non-profit organizations. And, of course, they still find time to cheer on the Cubs.


or Bob and Judy Ahlers, the opportunity to have their Mesa-based company perform all the masonry work at the new Cubs Park was like hitting a home run, both professionally and personally. “This was the all-American job,” says Judy, vice president of Rhino Masonry, the family-owned business the couple founded in 1993. “I jumped for joy when I heard we’d gotten the contract.” Bob, the company president, said his crew of 25 masons constructed nearly every building – from the concession stands and souvenir shop to the ticket booths and Left Field Building – using approximately 315,000 concrete blocks tinted a custom-blended hue created specifically for the project. For a decorative flourish, blocks on the bottom third of each building’s exterior were polished smooth. “The idea was to have concrete blocks that sort of look like marble,” Bob said, and that goal was achieved as the result is a visually pleasing surface revealing the textural mix of rock, aggregate and cement within the block. The only Cubs Park structure not built of block is the stadium itself, but the handiwork of Rhino Masonry’s artisans is also incorporated there in two meaningful features: a 110-foot, curved red brick wall behind home plate and a stretch of red brick wainscoting outside the stadium’s suite level. While these brick accent pieces represent a small fraction of the work his crews performed, Bob said loyal Cubs’ fans understand their importance: they’re a not-so-subtle nod to the ivy-covered, red-brick outfield wall at Wrigley Field, the team’s much-loved Chicago home. In fact, he said the red bricks at Cubs Park are replicas of those used at the Windy City site and were made by the original South Carolina manufacturer. Now, after more than a year devoted to the training facility, the Ahlers and their staff are excited for the public to see the venue they helped create in the city they love. “We’re so proud to be a part of this project because it’s part of Mesa,” Judy said.


Cubs Park Grand Opening  

Publication for the grand opening of the new Chicago Cubs Training Complex in Mesa, Arizona.