Cubs set new Cactus League attendance mark

Cubs set new Cactus League attendance mark

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs' first season at their new Spring Training ballpark, Cubs Park, in Mesa, Ariz., set the all-time Cactus League single-season attendance record, drawing 213,815 fans. The total broke the previous record of 203,105, which the Cubs set in 2009 at HoHoKam Stadium.

Cubs Park also averaged 14,254 fans over 15 dates to set a Cactus League season average attendance record.

"This record turnout highlights the excitement our fans and Mesa residents share for Cubs baseball," Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said. "The Cubs again were the hottest ticket in the Cactus League, and we want to thank our fans and the City of Mesa for making Cubs Park and Riverview Park the most popular Spring Training destination in baseball."

Cubs Park hosted sellouts on 12 dates, and it now boasts the top 12 single-game attendance records for Spring Training.

Not only did the fans come, but they ate well. Through 15 games, fans purchased 49,674 hot dogs, 2,820 pounds of hamburgers, 440,120 ounces of soda and 10,705 pretzels.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said in a statement that the partnership with the Cubs created a long-term economic asset which will strengthen the city for years to come.

"With well over 200,000 fans enjoying Spring Training, and with many of them visiting from out of state, there is no doubt that Cubs Park and Riverview Park have made a big economic impact on Mesa and Arizona," Smith said.

Cubs Park receipts also generated new tax revenue to the region. Through the end of February, the Cubs and Ovations Food Service paid more than $600,000 in sales tax revenue to the State of Arizona, Maricopa County and City of Mesa for Spring Training games, concessions and merchandise sold at the ballpark.

Mesa hotel occupancy was up, according to Smith Travel Research, and experienced a 6 percent increase in occupancy.

Kenney said more projects are set to get underway for 2015, which will further grow Mesa's economic return. The next phase will include the construction of a 170-room Sheraton hotel near Cubs Park.

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.