It was the end of an era for the Chicago Cubs on Thursday as they played their final game ever at HoHoKam Park, the team’s Spring Training stadium in Mesa, Ariz.
The Cubs have called HoHoKam their home during Spring Training ever since 1997, but the stadium has been picked up by a different team. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Athletics will take over HoHoKam, as well as the Cubs’ former training facility Fitch Park, as the Cubbies prepare to move to their brand new stadium in 2015.
While the thought of the Cubs no longer playing preseason games at HoHoKam might be a little sad, it’s really not all that surprising. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is all about making things bigger and better for his team these days, and that includes a new Spring Training facility. The team will trade in HoHoKam for Riverview Park in 2015. The Chicago Tribune reports the new stadium will include a 9,000-square-foot weight room, whirlpools, TVs, and iPod in the clubhouse, making things quite upscale compared to plain, average HoHoKam.
The sad part about about the Cubs leaving HoHoKam is that it’s completely unnecessary. With a team that’s so keen on tradition, it’s ridiculous to move to a new, upscale stadium just to make money. The Tribune claims that the Cubs are trying to replicate the Boston Red Sox‘s financial success that turned into success on the baseball field. The thought process seems to be that if general manager Theo Epstein was able to help the Red Sox, then he should be able to help the Cubs.
Once again, money triumphs tradition.
But can this new stadium make a difference in a team that hasn’t won the World Series in 104 years? Cubs manager Dale Sveum told the Tribune that the new stadium won’t help his team win, but the luxurious new park may convince other big-name players to join the team in the future.
This is what it’s come down to for the Cubs: money.
With that said, it’s time to say “goodbye” to HoHoKam and “hello” to the next Cubs era at Riverview Park.