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Latest News in Mesa, AZ

TikTok In the Mix: Ultimate guide to the music festival at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ

TikTok's first global live music event, In the Mix, is headed to Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, on Sunday, Dec. 10, with headlining sets by Peso Pluma, Cardi B, N...

TikTok's first global live music event, In the Mix, is headed to Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, on Sunday, Dec. 10, with headlining sets by Peso Pluma, Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta, Charlie Puth and the recently added Reneé Rapp performing in the round.

The lineup also features up-and-coming talents Isabel LaRosa, Kaliii, Lu Kala and Sam Barber from the TikTok Elevate emerging artist program, with activities inspired by TikTok's For You feed.

The whole thing will be streamed around the world through TikTok Live with video and event production designed by award-winning director Hamish Hamilton and Done+Dusted.

Here's everything you need to know before you go to TikTok In the Mix at Sloan Park, a spring training baseball facility in Mesa.

In the Mix:Why TikTok chose to stage its 1st big music festival in Mesa, Arizona

What is TikTok In the Mix?

TikTok In the Mix is a new music festival at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

TikTok In the Mix set times

Here's the lineup and order of performance for the TikTok In the Mix music festival:

TikTok In the Mix tickets

As of Thursday, Dec. 7, all general admission and reserved seats for TikTok In the Mix were sold out.

When is TikTok In the Mix?

TikTok In the Mix is Sunday, Dec. 10, 2024.

What time does TikTok In the Mix start?

Doors at Sloan Park in Mesa open at 2 p.m. The concert starts at 4 p.m. .

Where is Sloan Park?

Sloan Park is at 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa.

How to find your gate at Sloan Park

Directions to TikTok In the Mix at Sloan Park

From the north:

Take Loop 101 south to Loop 202 east. Exit Loop 202 at Dobson Road (Exit 10). Entrance to parking lots is about 0.4 mile ahead on the right-hand side.

From the south:

Take Loop 101 north to Loop 202 east. Exit Loop 202 at Dobson Road (Exit 10). Entrance to parking lots is about 0.4 mile on the right-hand side.

Alternate route from the south:

Take Loop 110 north to Rio Salado Parkway (Exit 52). Merge onto Price Road. Turn right (east) off the exit and onto Rio Salado Parkway. Ballpark is 0.7 mile past the exit on the left-hand side.

From the east:

Take Loop 202 west to Dobson Road (Exit 10). Entrance to parking lots is 0.4 mile ahead on the right-hand side.

From the west:

Take Loop 202 east to Dobson Road (Exit 10). Entrance to parking lots is 0.4 mile ahead on the right-hand side.

Parking at TikTok In the Mix

Parking costs $10-$20 per vehicle on a first-come, first-served basis. Pricing varies per lot. ADA parking is available for purchase in the Blue Lot.

Credit cards only; cash is not accepted. Parking lots open four hours prior to the start of the event.

Taking rideshare to TikTok In the Mix

Rideshare drop-off and pick-up is near the Right Field Gate, at the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Paseo Lago Vista.

Taking public transportation to TikTok In the Mix

Take the Valley Metro Light Rail to the Sycamore/Main Street station and connect to bus route 96 - Dobson. This brings fans within 3/4 of a mile to the ballpark. Visit valleymetro.org to plan your trip.

Eating at TikTok In the Mix

These local restaurants will be selling food at the event: AZ Taco King, Meltz, Tap Truck, Churros Locos, Fogo & Soul, Kingpin BBQ and Tikiz Shaved Ice.

Can I bring water in Sloan Park?

Factory-sealed plastic bottles may be brought into Sloan Park.

Sloan Park bag policy for TikTok In the Mix

The following types of bags will be permitted:

Mesh is not considered clear.

The following types of bag are not permitted:

What else is prohibited at Sloan Park?

These items cannot be brought into Sloan Park:

What can I expect at security at Sloan Park?

Everyone will be screened prior to entry. Guests do not have to remove items such as mobile phones, wallets and keys before passing through the metal detector.

All bags are subject to inspection. Sloan Park reserves the right to reject any item deemed hazardous or suspicious, including any item capable of being used as a projectile.

Following the screening process, a guest’s mobile ticket, available exclusively via the MLB Ballpark app, will be scanned.

Tailgating at Sloan Park

Tailgating is not permitted.

Sloan Park reentry policy

No reentry is allowed at Sloan Park.

Sloan Park is a cashless venue

All purchases are cashless and require a credit card.

Reverse ATMs are available for fans to convert cash to a credit card that can be used for purchases at Sloan Park and elsewhere.

Reach the reporter at ed.masley@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

Fake alligators at Mesa park fooling people into calling 911 to report the danger

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — There’s some fear and confusion at a park in the East Valley where some fake alligators are having people do a double-take.There’s no reason for anyone to panic, but you wouldn’t know it from the 911 calls that have come in to report alligators in the lake at Riverview Park in Mesa.“I think there’s an alligator inside one of the water areas,” said o...

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — There’s some fear and confusion at a park in the East Valley where some fake alligators are having people do a double-take.

There’s no reason for anyone to panic, but you wouldn’t know it from the 911 calls that have come in to report alligators in the lake at Riverview Park in Mesa.

“I think there’s an alligator inside one of the water areas,” said one caller to a 911 dispatcher. “There’s like 3 alligators in here,” said another 911 caller. “It actually bit my boyfriend’s fishing line and we had to cut it,” said a third caller.

For the past several weeks, several park visitors have been fooled into thinking real alligators are swimming beneath the surface, ready to pounce on a small child walking by. It turns out the rugged reptiles are not real. “It looks so stinking real,” said park visitor Diane Fuerte. “It does. It freaks me out because I hate alligators. I hate them.”

Arizona’s Family has learned that the crocodile and alligator in the lake are nothing more than foam islands that give ducks, birds and turtles a place to hang out and soak up some sun.

Andrea Moore is the director of Mesa’s Parks and Recreation Department. She confirmed that the city recently installed the fake reptiles, along with some fake islands, as a way to help the turtle population, which often struggles to reach the shore. “First, we tried a dirt ramp that worked a little bit, but the turtles had trouble getting back into the water,” said Moore. “We found one of our vendors had these foam options and they are working out well. The turtles love them.”

Some park visitors think it’s funny that people are confusing the alligator and crocodile in the lake with real-life reptiles. One woman likes to think of them as a new attraction. “I think they are cool,” said Dorris Gorge. “I think they should put in more, maybe two more so people walking around can see it in other sections.”

The city of Mesa is expected to add a couple of foam hippos to the lake in the next few weeks.

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Copyright 2024 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.

Mesa teen a vehicle restoration champ

Feb. 15—At only age 19, Charles Spencer is well on his way to solidifying his place as a third-generation custom vehicle builder and restoration artist.The Mesa teen last fall walked away with a big award at a special show in Las Vegas, where he showed off the 1969 Chevy C10 pickup truck he rebuilt from grill to rear bumper.Spencer, who at age 14 bought the truck from his father, won the Young Guns 29 and Under award at the annual Battle of the Builders show sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association....

Feb. 15—At only age 19, Charles Spencer is well on his way to solidifying his place as a third-generation custom vehicle builder and restoration artist.

The Mesa teen last fall walked away with a big award at a special show in Las Vegas, where he showed off the 1969 Chevy C10 pickup truck he rebuilt from grill to rear bumper.

Spencer, who at age 14 bought the truck from his father, won the Young Guns 29 and Under award at the annual Battle of the Builders show sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association.

He also placed in the top four in a competition celebrating "individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks, SUVs, sport compacts and luxury and exotic builds."

Charles had had his eye on the truck since he was 10 and had been working at his father's business, Charly's Garage, at 948 W. 1st Ave., Mesa, to earn the money for it.

Years earlier, at age 6, he would hang out at the prize-winning car and truck restoration and custom-build shop, learning how to turn a heap of junk into a work of art.

"I began to get into cars since I could walk," he explained. "By the time I was 6, I was working with my dad and grandpa in the shop whenever I got a chance to go down there."

At 6, he said, "the first thing my dad had me do was sand some model A parts."

Plunking down that two grand for the Chevy started Spencer on a four-year journey that ended in Las Vegas with a gleaming emerald blue head-turner at the SEMA show.

He spent hours getting it in that condition.

"The time I worked on it varied because of school, sports, and work, but I have a few thousand hours in the whole build in the time period of four years," he said.

Though he said he got some help from various family members along the way — particularly from his dad and grandfather, both also named Charles Spencer, and both vehicle restoration craftsmen — he explained:

"I had guidance from my dad and grandpa in ways that i could do certain things better but I did all the work."

"I built the engine, I installed and put the suspension together, I did the body work and painted it, and I wired the vehicle," Spencer said. "There isn't one part of the truck that I didn't touch. "

"The thing that I needed the most guidance on was sanding because there were certain techniques that my dad used that made it easier to make lines straight and the curves follow a flow of the body."

One of four children of Charles and Larissa Spencer, he looked at the finished product as realizing a dream he held since he was a kid.

"I wanted to build my own vehicle ever since I was 9 because I grew up watching my dad and grandpa build all these really cool vehicles and I wanted to be able to make something that I could call my own," he explained.

The truck isn't a museum piece.

"I do drive the truck. I mostly drive it to car shows on the weekends, but every now and then I take it out for special occasions," he explained.

A student at Mesa Community College, he also still works at Charly's Garage "to learn more about how vehicles work and what the importance of each component is."

"I work there when I am not in school and it just depends on what is in the shop at that time," he added. "Sometimes I do body work, other times I do electrical or mechanical work."

Not surprisingly, his goal right now in life pretty much echoes what it's been since he learned to walk.

"My long-range ambition is to continue building custom vehicles and continuing to improve my skills in the automotive field."

Cactus League museum plan emerges for Mesa

Buoyed by a state grant, Mesa officials and community leaders this week are scheduled to launch a formal fundraising campaign to develop the state’s first and only museum dedicated to the Major League Baseball’s history in Arizona.The museum would be housed in the cavernous auditorium at the Mesa Historical Museum and is backed by MLB and city officials, Visit Mesa and the Mesa Preservation Foundation.Calling the campaign “Step Up to The Plate,” the capital committee will debut the fundraising effort at ...

Buoyed by a state grant, Mesa officials and community leaders this week are scheduled to launch a formal fundraising campaign to develop the state’s first and only museum dedicated to the Major League Baseball’s history in Arizona.

The museum would be housed in the cavernous auditorium at the Mesa Historical Museum and is backed by MLB and city officials, Visit Mesa and the Mesa Preservation Foundation.

Calling the campaign “Step Up to The Plate,” the capital committee will debut the fundraising effort at the Historical Museum – Lehi's original elementary school and the city's oldest school building. The public is invited 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at the museum, 2345 N. Horne.

Mesa Historical Museum Executive Director Susan Ricci said the impetus for baseball fans' long-held dream was a $100,000 grant from the State Heritage Fund.

That started planning for the Play Ball: Arizona Spring Training Experience Baseball Museum and the committee hopes to raise about $500,000 by June 2025 to do the work.

“This has been discussed for years – establishing a baseball museum in Mesa –and it’s finally happening,” Ricci said, adding that the committee already has the architectural plans.

It also has developed a capital campaign video featuring Ann Patterson-Cleghorn, the late Dwight Patterson’s daughter, “talking about how much a museum that honors her father and his contribution to spring training means to the community,” Ricci said.

Often called the father of the Cactus League, Dwight Patterson chaired a committee that brought major league baseball to Arizona for spring training.

His leadership is credited with bringing the Chicago Cubs to Mesa in 1950. He also helped form the HoHoKams and raise funds to build HoHoKam Park, which landed the Oakland Athletics.

A dedicated museum for the public display of countless artifacts from Arizona’s rich Spring Training history has been discussed for over a decade.

The Mesa Historical Museum has organized exhibits in recent years that told part of Major League Baseball’s history in Arizona. But for lack of space, not all the artifacts accumulated over decades have been on display all the time.

“We have just hundreds of photos and objects and baseball memorabilia that we’ve had in our collection for years,” Ricci said. “We’re looking at a space that’s probably 10 times what we have now, and we can totally fill that space with everything.

"So when you go in there, you’ll be able to spend a lot of time reading all the stories and seeing all the memorabilia at once instead of now – where it’s so small, we can only piecemeal it and then rotate it.”

“And this is going to be the first and, right now, only museum that is strictly dedicated to baseball in Arizona,” Ricci continued.

“We’re going to have rotating exhibits. Our first special exhibit is going to be Native Americans and baseball – that is a group that is totally overlooked. You don’t ever hear about Native American baseball leagues, but they were there.

“We want to highlight the barnstorming that took place across the state and some of the most famous players that played here, like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth – all the different human-interest stories that took place in Arizona regarding baseball.”

Because the 4,000-square-foot auditorium could house "all of its baseball artifacts, photos and memorabilia at one time," Ricci saud the museum would be "giving the visitor a better, quality experience as well as attracting more visitors to Mesa.

Refurbishing the auditorium would also serve another community purpose.

“Restoring the Lehi Auditorium would also create a venue for people throughout Mesa who want to hold high school reunions, community meetings, etc.," Ricci said."The space is large enough to accommodate a baseball exhibit as well as small private events.”

The auditorium was built in 1939 as a Depression-era Works Progress Administration project.

“After the school was closed in the 1970s, the auditorium continued to serve as a community space for meetings, dances, reunions and other events,” Ricci said, adding that as many as 60 evens were held annual in the space.

“However, in early 2000s, it was deemed to be unsuitable for public use.”

Hence the need for the capital campaign.

“The auditorium’s electrical wiring needs to be upgraded, the roof needs to be replaced, the wheelchair ramp and railing must be reconstructed and the outside needs to be stripped of its old peeling paint after years of neglect. And there’s asbestos abatement that needs to take place.”

She said that opening the refurbished auditorium for rent for private events would also make the baseball museum self-sustaining.

“When we have people that are interested in renting it out, the displays will be portable, so they can be moved,” Ricci said, adding some of the baseball exhibits could also serve as “fancy props for groups.”

Noting that the number of people who visit the Mesa Historical Museum doubles during Spring Training, Ricci said a baseball museum also will become a tourist attraction.

“This helps make Mesa even more of a Spring Training destination,” Ricci said. “We all feel very strongly this is going to be a destination for people all across the Valley that come here for Spring Training. I mean, Mesa is only half an hour from some of these other stadiums. So we feel that this is going to be a boost for Mesa tourists.”

Ricci’s observation is spot-on, according to Mike Phillips, president of Arizona Baseball Legacy and Experience.

That nonprofit maintains artifacts from the Scottsdale Stadium, which five different MLB teams called their Spring Training home over time.

Phillips' group currently is displaying some of those artifacts at the Little Red School House near Brown Avenue and Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale.

But he said he plans to meet with Ricci about bringing his group’s artifacts to the Mesa museum if and when the auditorium is renovated.

“We have partnered with the Mesa Museum on past exhibits and would like to be involved in the effort to establish a dedicated Arizona baseball museum,” Phillips said. “I’m planning to chat with Susan Ricci about ways we can help/participate in the coming weeks.”

Ricci said the capital campaign has been in the works for nearly a year.

“I had to spend a lot of time having people come and look over the building, gathering bids, meeting with contractors – you know, deciding who we want to go with to do each one of these tasks.

"And then, of course, you have to start putting together your timeline, your campaign literature, and then I started writing grants.”

But along the way, she added, momentum for the idea also gathered steam.

“We have a great committee,” she said. “There’s people in the baseball world on our capital campaign committee, the city of Mesa and the people that visit Mesa. They have all given us tremendous support.”

Besides Patterson-Cleghorn and Ricci, the capital committee includes: Mesa Historical Museum Board President Anita Peters, Vice President Greg Marek and Secretary Jacob Martinez; city Councilman Mark Freeman; Arizona Diamondbacks organist Bobby Freeman, Joe Pun, Spring Training business manager for the Oakland Athletics; and Rob Brinton, Vince Antico, Lou Klimchock and Tom Campbell.

To support the committee: 480-835-2286 and info@mesamuseum.org.

Information: mesahistoricalmuseum.com.

10 years ago, Mesa built the Chicago Cubs a new ballpark. They are there to stay

The Chicago Cubs will start their tenth spring training season at Mesa’s Sloan Park on Feb. 23 and the MLB franchise plans to continue its presence in the East Valley city for another decade.The team first played a spring training game in 1952, launching a decades-long partnership with Mesa. In the mid-aughts, the future of the Cubs in Mesa was uncertain, leading the city to invest millions of dollars to keep the team.Since then, Cubs spring training games have been the highest-attended games nearly every y...

The Chicago Cubs will start their tenth spring training season at Mesa’s Sloan Park on Feb. 23 and the MLB franchise plans to continue its presence in the East Valley city for another decade.

The team first played a spring training game in 1952, launching a decades-long partnership with Mesa. In the mid-aughts, the future of the Cubs in Mesa was uncertain, leading the city to invest millions of dollars to keep the team.

Since then, Cubs spring training games have been the highest-attended games nearly every year. Last season the team averaged 13,770 attendees per game followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2023, a study with the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business found that the season generated $710.2 million in total economic activity.

Mesa is also the only city in the Cactus League with two stadiums. Sloan Park is the largest spring training facility in Major League Baseball.

Justin Piper, general manager of Spring Training operations of the park, said the organization is very happy with the Mesa facility and that the Cubs have made several investments and improvements to the park since 2014.

The 10-year anniversary is an "important milestone" for the team, he said.

Cubs pitchers and catchers report to practice Wednesday with the full squad practice on Monday. The Cubs will face off against their archrivals the White Sox in the first game of the season on Feb. 23 and they'll end the season against their other rivals the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals will make a rare Cactus League appearance in a two-game series on Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 at Sloan Park.

Why the Cubs almost left Arizona and how Mesa kept them

The Cubs made Mesa its Spring Training home in the 1950s at Rendezvous Park which was later replaced with Hohokam Park. That park in turn was demolished and reconstructed in 1997 as a stadium with a more than 12,000 seat capacity.

Even with that capacity, the team was outgrowing its stadium, City Manager Chris Brady told The Arizona Republic.

In 2009, the team began throwing hints it would move to the Grapefruit League in Florida after a new owner took over the Cubs, but Mesa was set on keeping them in the Cactus League.

“We felt like for many years, for generations the Cubs have been identified as being a part of Mesa,” Brady said.

That prompted the city to put together a plan to keep the Cubs in Mesa. That included building a new stadium with a bigger capacity.

To do that, the city needed voter approval. Mesa residents overwhelmingly approved the measure, with 64% voting yes.

Mesa sold more than 11,000 acres of Pinal County farmland the city purchased in the 1980s for its water rights for $135 million. Those funds paid for the construction of Sloan Park and renovations of Hohokam Stadium.

Mesa spent about $99 million on Sloan Park and another $17.5 million on Hohokam Stadium.

Since the ballpark along Center Street was vacated, a year later the Oakland A’s moved from Phoenix to Mesa.

A spur of development

Brady said the baseball team is part of the city’s brand and has helped attract economic development.

From a sales tax perspective, Brady described it as the city’s “second Christmas.”

The ballpark has been the catalyst of economic development in the area around Sloan Park, Brady said. Last year, the city council approved a four-story apartment complex next to the stadium on six acres, marking the first multi-family housing development in the area.

Tik Tok concert put Sloan Park on the map

The Sloan Park name went national in December when the video social media platform TikTok hosted its first global music event.

TikTok in the Mix included headliners like Niall Horan, Cardi B, Peso Pluma among other big name artists. The event drew a sold-out crowd of 17,000 and 9.6 million viewers who watched the show live on the platform, according to data from Visit Mesa, a tourism marketing firm.

The music festival signaled that park organizers are looking at new programming outside of baseball-adjacent events.

Piper, the park's general manager, said he learned a lot from that experience and gave them new ideas on how to make it a music venue. He said they continue to look for more events outside of baseball to host at Sloan Park.

"We want to see another 2 million people walk through the doors" over the next 10 years, Piper said.

Reporter Maritza Dominguez covers Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek and can be reached at maritza.dominguez@arizonarepublic.com or 480-271-0646. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter: @maritzacdom.

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This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
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