Mesa Mayor John Giles sees sunny days ahead with spring training around corner

Feb 15, 2023, 2:00 PM

(Visit Mesa Photo)...

(Visit Mesa Photo)

(Visit Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX – The return of a full schedule of spring training has Mesa Mayor John Giles as giddy as a kid waiting for Santa Claus.

“We call it Christmas in March,” Giles said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“Our sales tax, it literally spikes to Christmastime levels [during spring training],” he said.

After several years of spring slates disrupted by the COVID pandemic or labor issues, Cactus League games are set to run Feb. 24-March 28.

“We’re so excited. It’s been since 2019 that we’ve had a normal spring training,” Giles said.

“We are very well prepared. All, the restaurants, all the hotels have been looking forward to this for years.”

Giles’ city is home to two teams – the Chicago Cubs, who play at Sloan Park, and the Oakland Athletics, who play at HoHoKam Stadium.

Baseball is a big part of the history of the city, Giles said – the Cubs have trained there since 1952 – and besides the economic impact, there’s the simple fun of going to a game.

“I grew up in Mesa, I have amazing memories of sitting with my dad at spring training games as a young man,” he said.

“If you live in Arizona, if you live in Mesa, if you live in Phoenix, for heaven’s sakes, take your kids to a spring training game. They’ll remember that for the rest of their lives.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix Fire...

Occupant dead after vehicular crash leads to flames in Phoenix

One person died and two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries after a vehicle crash sparked a fire in Phoenix, authorities said. 

29 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

2 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

3 hours ago

In this Sept. 30, 2011, file photo, solar panel installation continues at a rapid pace at the Mesqu...

Associated Press

Over 1 million Arizona customers to see rooftop solar fees increase

About 1.4 million customers in Arizona will be paying more for electricity now that regulators have approved a rate hike.

4 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in west Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in west Phoenix.

6 hours ago


David Veenstra

Arizona gets $10.3M in federal funding to restore ecosystem

The U.S. Department of the Interior is investing $10.3 million to restore Arizona's lands and waters this year.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Mesa Mayor John Giles sees sunny days ahead with spring training around corner