Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] }

Cubs Park debuts to record crowd

Cubs Park debuts to record crowd play video for Cubs Park debuts to record crowd

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs drew a Cactus League-record crowd of 14,486 on Thursday when they christened their new spring stadium, Cubs Park.

The crowd topped the old Cactus League single-game attendance mark of 13,721, set last March 23 in Glendale between the White Sox and Dodgers.

"The park is beautiful," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, whose team lost the debut game, 5-2, to the D-backs. "They saw their Cubbies back in action."

The fans made themselves heard.

"I don't really take a panoramic view of everything -- and when I played, I never looked in the stands -- but I could hear them, I heard the buzz, which was nice," Renteria said.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith saluted the citizens of Mesa, who voted to approve the $84 million project on the site of the former Riverview Golf Course. While campaigning for the project, Smith said he was amazed at how many Arizona residents "bleed Cubbie blue."

Asked to describe the new stadium, Smith said: "Wow."

This is the Cubs' 36th consecutive spring in Mesa, the longest active streak in the Cactus League. It's the first at Cubs Park after 17 years at HoHoKam Stadium, which the Athletics will take over in 2015.

"I have no complaints about the field," Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson said.

Young third baseman Christian Villanueva liked the new park immediately. He hit a home run in the intrasquad game on Wednesday.

"It's awesome," Villanueva said.

"It's a big difference from HoHoKam," outfielder Darnell McDonald said.

There is a clock on top of the video scoreboard that's a replica of the one at Wrigley Field. McDonald suggested they add a scoreboard like the one at Wrigley as well. Plus, Cubs Park needs ivy, he said.

"That's a staple," McDonald said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español