Hohokam Stadium and Fitch Park History
General Information and Facts
Hohokam and Fitch Parks are the sites for the City of Mesa’s baseball fields
and training facilities, with the centerpiece being Dwight W. Patterson Field at
Hohokam Park, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.
Major league baseball first came to Mesa for spring training in 1952, when the
Cubs set up camp at Rendezvous Park. That park was razed in 1976, replaced by a
new stadium at Hohokam Park. That facility, in turn, was demolished in
1996, and was replaced by a new and enlarged stadium and training facility which
opened in February 1997.
The stadium seats 12,500 and includes one practice field and one practice
infield. The stadium was designed by HOK Architects of Kansas City, Mo.,
designers of Baltimore’s Camden Yards, Cleveland’s Jacobs Field, and Coors Field
Supplemental training facilities at Fitch Park also were rebuilt, including four
practice fields, one practice infield, and a new 25,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Hohokam Park is located at 1235 N. Center St., between Brown and McKellips roads
in northwest Mesa. Fitch Park is located less than one mile south, at the
corner of Center and 6th Streets.
Mesa is located in central Arizona’s “Valley of the Sun,” approximately 10 miles
east of Phoenix, and 20 minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport.
With a population in excess of 450,000 residents, Mesa ranks as the third
largest city in Arizona, behind Phoenix and Tucson.
Hohokam Park Facts and Figures
Hohokam Park (Dwight W. Patterson Field) comprises 48.45 acres
Self-rising seats: 5,000
Grandstand seats: 3,000
Modern press facilities
7 concession stands
Two souvenir stores
First aid office
3,000 parking spaces
5 soccer fields
80' x 40'
Home locker room with 60 lockers
Visitors locker room with 40 lockers
Shower & restroom facilities
Umpires locker room with 4 lockers
Coaches locker room with 12 lockers
Managers office with locker
Visiting coaches locker room with 8 lockers
Hohokam Park - Ancient History
Hohokam Park (pronounced “HO-HO-COM”) takes its name from some of the
earliest residents of the Valley of the Sun: the Hohokam Indians, who occupied
this region from the year AD 1 until the mid-1400s. The name “Hohokam” is
a derivative from a Pima Indian word for “all used up” or “those who are gone.”
The Hohokam were one of the world’s most advanced prehistoric civilizations, and
were able to flourish in central Arizona’s desert region for more than a
thousand years by developing a sophisticated system of irrigation canals,
totaling more than 125 miles. These canals were so effective that much of
today’s canal system follows along the same pattern engineered by the Hohokam
Hohokam Park is located just a few blocks east of the Mesa Grande Ruin, at the
corner of Date and 10th Street, believed to contain the remnants of one of the
key Hohokam temples and gathering structures. This site was purchased by
the City of Mesa in the late 1980s for future preservation and study.
The reasons for the sudden disappearance of the Hohokam Indians around 1450 are
still subject to debate, although many theories (drought, disease, warfare with
neighboring tribes) have been proposed. Many artifacts from the Hohokam
civilization, as well as replicas of Hohokam dwellings, are on permanent display
at the City of Mesa’s museum of history, the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
Baseball in Mesa - an abbreviated history
Baseball has been a part of Mesa since the very beginning. In fact,
back in 1876, just as Albert Spalding and William Hulbert were organizing the
National League, a party of 84 men, women and children gathered in St. George,
Utah, to embark on a 49-day journey to the south to establish the first
settlement in an area just a half-dozen miles up the road from where the stadium
The success of local amateur teams like the Mesa Jewels led the community to
build their first permanent baseball field in 1921, at the corner of 2nd Street
and Sirrine. With the development of the nearby Rendezvous Hall, for
social events, and Rendezvous Pool, the ballpark gradually became known as
The Chicago Cubs first expressed interest in training in Mesa as early as 1942,
when a contingent of Cubs officials met with City officials to evaluate the
ballpark and lodging facilities. But it was not until 1952 that the final
decision was made for the Chicago Cubs to use Mesa as their spring training
home. Six major league exhibition games were played in Mesa that season,
against the Cleveland Indians, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and
crosstown rival Chicago White Sox.
Amenities at the old Rendezvous Park were somewhat less than ideal. The
clubhouse was too small to accommodate the players’ luggage; the trunks were
moved outside each morning and returned to the clubhouse at the end of the day.
Extra bleachers were rented to accommodate the large number of spectators, and
500 wooden chairs were acquired from Los Angeles Wrigley Field, to serve as “box
Improvements were made to Rendezvous Park over the years, with the Cubs training
at the site through 1965. After a three-year absence, spring training
returned to Mesa when an agreement was reached with the Oakland A’s. Mesa
was Oakland’s spring training site for 10 years, including their three
consecutive world championship seasons from 1972 to 1974.
Rendezvous Park finally fell victim to the wrecking ball in November 1976,
replaced by the first stadium at Hohokam Park, dedicated in 1977. The A’s
continued training at this new facility until 1979, at which time the Chicago
Cubs relocated back to Mesa from Scottsdale. It was during the mid-1980s that
the Cubs enjoyed unprecedented attendance, ranking as the Cactus League’s
largest draw, and at or near the top of all major league teams in spring
This support from area residents and winter visitors played a large role in the
development of the expanded Hohokam Park in 1997. With the addition of outfield
berm seating and increase of 1,000 new reserved seats, capacity of the stadium
Mesa Baseball Chronology
|AD 1 thru 1450
||The Hohokam Indian civilization dominates central Arizona.
||The first party of Utah settlers establishes camp in what is now
||Mesa’s first community ball field, Rendezvous Park, is constructed
at what was then the corner of 2nd Street and Sirrine.
||Professional spring training first comes to Mesa, with the minor
league Oakland Oaks.
||The Mesa HoHoKams civic organization is formed to promote and
support spring training baseball in Mesa.
||The Chicago Cubs bring major league spring training to Mesa.
||The Cubs relocate spring training operations to southern California,
leaving Mesa with no “spring season” for three years.
||Major league spring training returns to Mesa with the Oakland A’s.
||The A’s bring home three consecutive world championships.
||Rendezvous Park is demolished, and construction of Hohokam Park
||The new stadium at Hohokam Park is completed, tying in with Mesa’s
city centennial observation.
||The Oakland A’s relocate spring training facilities to Scottsdale,
and the Chicago Cubs return to Mesa.
||The stadium at Hohokam Park is officially named Dwight W. Patterson
Field, after the local rancher who played a key role in bringing major
league baseball to Mesa.
||Preparations for a new, expanded facility at Hohokam Park begin,
with demolition of the previous park taking place immediately following
||The new Dwight Patterson Field, Hohokam Park, and Fitch Park
facilities pen for the 1997 major league baseball spring training
||Arizona State University calls Hohokam Park home while Packard
Stadium on campus is renovated.
||Chicago Cubs set major league record for Spring Training attendance
with 189,692 fans going through the turnstiles.
||Cubs extend major league record for Spring Training attendance with
||Cubs set Cactus League single game attendance record of 12,906
||Cubs set a MLB spring training attendance record of 203,105, with 19
home games played at Hohokam Stadium. Average per game attendance
was 10,690 - leading all of MLB. Another spring training record was set
with seven games having an attendance of more than 13,000.
Rental and Event Information
Hohokam Stadium is best known for Spring Training baseball, but is also the
perfect unique venue for your special event - whether your players wear caps and
cleats, or suits and heels! From meetings to weddings, and concerts to
festivals... we invite you to visit and see for yourself!
Skybox and Patio rentals
Hohokam Stadium's outdoor 3rd Base Patio, Suite and Budweiser Tent offer your
group an exciting location for viewing the game, or holding special gatherings,
weddings, birthday parties, receptions or anniversaries.
|Third Base Patio
||100 - 200 people
|Indoor Suites - adjacent to Third Base Patio
||up to 100 people
(during Spring Training season only)
|200+ on two levels
Take your team meetings to a new level at Hohokam Stadium! The Stadium
can accomodate small and large corporate functions, such as meetings, lectures,
team building activities and more.
Coaches are available for instruction, skills contests can be organized for
you, and you can have use of the electronic scoreboard and PA system to make
your function a big league event!
No outside food or beverage may be brought into the stadium, but
Ovations Food Services will be pleased to cater your special event or outing to
your personal specifications. From a black tie dinner, to a ballpark buffet or
concession stands for a festival, Ovations can take care of all your needs at
Rental fees at Hohokam Stadium vary based on the type of event you are
planning, number of attendees, areas, duration and type of use. Please
contact us for details and pricing
regarding your specific event.