When Mesa Mayor John Giles wrapped up his Jan. 31 State of the City Breakfast with, “We’re very honored to have the Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President Michael Lufrano with us today to make an exciting announcement,” everyone knew it was going to be a great kick-off to the 2016 championship team’s spring training in Mesa at Sloan Park later this month.
“The World Series trophy has been on tour and we’re bringing it back to Mesa on Feb. 24 to celebrate right here,” Lufrano said. “We think (Sloan Park in Mesa) is the best in the Cactus League and has given us the edge to do what we did in 2016 and we want to continue that success.”
It was the perfect platform to announce the community rally on Feb. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway. The rally will celebrate the return of the now reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs to Mesa for the kick-off of their 2017 baseball season. This celebration will not only feature speakers such as Manager Joe Maddon and several Cubs players but will also the World Series Trophy, its only public stop in Arizona on the State Farm Trophy tour.
“Our partnership with Mesa is part of our success,” Lufrano said. “We worked together to build the best spring training center in baseball and something that we think gives us an edge.”
The event will begin with a special program honoring the team led by Mayor Giles and the unveiling of the 2016 World Series Champions Trophy.
“This is an exciting time for our community with more than 50 years invested in this team and a long history of working to improve the fans’ experience while staying in Mesa,” Giles said. “They came through with a World Series win as promised by Cubs owner Tom Ricketts when we cut the ribbon on their new stadium in 2014.”
Gates will open at 10 a.m. with live music, food and beverages starting at 11 a.m. There will be photo opportunities with the trophy for a limited number of fans after the rally ends at 12:30 p.m. Details will be announced at www.sloanpark.com.
Those attending the event should treat it as a game day with parking off Dobson Road and Rio Salado Parkway and bag checks on entry into the event area.
– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at email@example.com.