This Spring, The Boston Red Sox came to Arizona for the first time for two concluding games against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa.
“This is the first time we’ve ever hosted the Red Sox ever for Spring Training,” Justin LaLone, Assistant Director of Ticketing and Business Development, said. “And this is the first time we’ve ever hosted them in Arizona.”
Tickets for the concluding games on March 25 and March 26 have been sold out since January due to the popularity of both teams. The Boston Red Sox, winners of last year’s World Series, nine World Series in total, were the host for the two most popular games at the Cub’s Spring training ground, Sloan Park.
Built in 2014, Sloan Park is operated and owned by The Cubs. The park is rented out for local use when it’s not being occupied for its most notable and well-attended purpose of Spring training.
“Spring training is really the warm up to the regular season for Major League baseball.” LaLone said. “Usually around the first of April is when the regular baseball season starts, around 162 games per each team.”
During Spring training, teams will play an average of thirty games for practice. These training grounds are held in either Arizona or Florida. The Boston Red Sox have trained in Florida’s
JetBlue stadium for years. The only two games that will be held outside of JetBlue this season, will be the two games held at Sloan Park.
This not only appeals to the Sox and Cubs players, and fans, but also brings tourism to Sloan Park and to Mesa.
According to a 2017 survey of Sloan Park Spring Training attendance, 60 percent of the audience identify as Arizonans, or having a primary address in Arizona.
“About 40 percent identify as having their primary zip code outside of Arizona,” LaLone said and confirmed that fans come from all over the country to attend these games, three quarters of this audience from Illinois.
No doubt this season’s survey will show a large percentage of that attendance hailing from Boston.