At Sloan Park, Cubs fans embrace spring training

Mesa’s Sloan Park is the home of the Chicago Cubs during spring training. (Photo courtesy of Jason Wise/

Arizona in Focus is a podcast from Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. Each season we dive deep into a particular topic or story to bring you stories you haven’t heard elsewhere. Check out the rest of our episodes here, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Soundcloud.

Spring training brings millions of fans to the Phoenix area every year. When other league’s preseason games tend to struggle to attract fans, spring training thrives. At Sloan Park, home of the Chicago Cubs, nearly 14,000 fans attend each day.

Even with the Cubs having one of the most rabid fan bases in baseball, a number that high is still impressive. Some MLB teams struggle to get as many fans in the regular season as the Cubs do in spring training. Miami, for example, averaged 10,013 fans per game in 2018.

What makes Sloan Park so attractive to fans? In this podcast, reporter Garrett Otto talks to fans about what makes spring training so special, and how Sloan Park stands out among the rest. As fans make their way to the Cactus League, so does their money. We’ll discuss the impact that spring training has on the area and hear some of the iconic sounds that come with any baseball game.

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