LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the Las Vegas 51s professional baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, announced today the schedule for the 2017 Big League Weekend at Cashman Field.
The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs will make their 13th straight appearance in Las Vegas for two games against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday-Sunday, March 25-26.
Game times for the Spring Training two-game series are 1:05 p.m. (updated on 1/6/17) and Big League Weekend tickets will be available both online and at the Las Vegas 51s Box Office starting Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:00 PM PT.
Bookmark the link today: http://bit.ly/LVBLW17tix. For more information contact the Las Vegas 51s Front Office (open Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM) at (702) 943-7200.
The Cubs have recorded a total of 18 sellouts over the past 12 seasons (2005-16) for their annual Big League Weekend visits to Cashman Field.
In 2016, the Cubs total attendance for the Big League Weekend two-day event was 22,020. The Cubs defeated the 2015 National League Champion New York Mets, 5-1, on March 31 before a sellout crowd of 11,025. The Mets then defeated the Cubs, 8-1, on April 1 before another sellout crowd of 10,995.
"For the 27th year, Major League Baseball returns to Las Vegas with a great matchup for Big League Weekend in 2017," Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said. "This year's games will have a championship flare as the World Champion Chicago Cubs return to the destination to take on the Cincinnati Reds. We look forward to another incredible event with two great fan bases."
The Cubs, under Joe Maddon, compiled a Major League best 103-58 record (.640) in 2016 and advanced to the World Series for the first time in 71 years (1945) and then captured the World Series championship for the first time in 108 years (1908) in a thrilling seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Cubs, trailing 3-games-to-1, won the final three games of the series to capture the fall classic, the first team to come back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit since Kansas City in 1985 (vs. St. Louis). Chicago also became just the fourth team in World Series history (trailing 3-games-to-1) to win the final two games on the road, the first since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates (vs. Baltimore).
Chicago defeated San Francisco, 3-games-to-1, in the N.L.D.S. and the L.A. Dodgers, 4-games-to-2, in the N.L.C.S. to advance to the fall classic.
"We are excited to announce that the World Series champions will return to Las Vegas for the 13th straight season," 51s President/COO Don Logan said. "We also welcome Cincinnati back to Big League Weekend for their third all-time visit.
"The two-game series between the Cubs and Reds will provide a great atmosphere in the ballpark. The fans, both locally and the tourists that visit during this event, will have a memorable time. The Cubs have such a tremendous nationwide fan-base and Las Vegas has become a 'second' Spring Training home for them.
"Big League Weekend also provides great exposure for Las Vegas with the games being broadcast into Chicago, the #3 media market in the country."
The Cubs will be returning to Cashman Field for the 13th straight season and 16th all-time appearance in Las Vegas for Big League Weekend (1993, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
Cincinnati will be making its third all-time appearance to Cashman Field for Big League Weekend. The Reds' last appearance was vs. the Cubs on March 12, 2011 before a crowd of 9,047 (Reds defeated the Cubs, 9-8). Cincinnati faced the L.A. Dodgers at Cashman Field on March 31, 2010 before a sellout crowd of 11,896 (Reds defeated the Dodgers, 12-4).
Las Vegan Kris Bryant, the 2016 National League Most Valuable Player; 2015 Sporting News & BBWAA N.L. Rookie of the Year, appeared in 155 games (tied for team lead) for the Cubs in 2016 and batted .292 (176-for-603) with 77 extra-base hits (35 doubles, 3 triples, 39 home runs, 3rd in N.L.) and 102 RBI. He led the N.L. with 121 runs scored and ranked third in total bases (334).
Bryant appeared in 7 games in the World Series and batted .269 (7-for-26) with 2 HR, 2 RBI and was 4-for-5, solo HR vs. Cleveland in Game #6 on Nov. 1.
In 2015, Bryant captured the N.L. Rookie of the Year and batted .275 with 62 extra-base hits (31 doubles, 5 triples, 26 home runs) and established Cubs rookie records in home runs and RBI (99). Hall of Famer Billy Williams previously held the Cubs rookie home run record with 25 in 1961 (54 years ago). Bryant led all MLB rookies in doubles, home runs and RBI.
The two-time N.L. All-Star third baseman has also appeared in the last three Big League Weekends in the Silver State (2014-16). He belted two home runs (2-for-2, 3 RBI) against Oakland on March 14, 2015 at Cashman Field. In 2016, he appeared in two games against the Mets and was 1-for-3, walk, RBI.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo, a three-time N.L. All-Star (2014-16), appeared in 155 games (tied for team lead) for the Cubs and batted .292 (170-for-583) and led the team in extra-base hits (79, ranked 3rd in N.L.), doubles (43, ranked T-2nd in N.L.), RBI (109, ranked 2nd in N.L.) and second in home runs (32). He appeared in 7 games in the World Series and batted .360 (9-for-25) with three doubles, HR, 4 BB, 5 RBI.
Infielder/Outfielder Ben Zobrist, a 2016 N.L. All-Star, was the 2016 World Series Most Valuable Player. He appeared in 7 games and batted .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, triple, 3 BB, 2 RBI. He recorded the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th inning in Game #7 vs. Cleveland on Nov. 2.
In 2016, he appeared in 147 games for the Cubs and batted .272 (142-for-523) with 52 extra-base hits (31 doubles, 3 triples, 18 home runs) and 76 RBI.
Left-hander Jon Lester led the staff in starts (32), wins (19-5 record, ranked 2nd in the N.L.), innings pitched (202.2) and strikeouts (197). He allowed 154 hits and ranked second in the N.L. in ERA (2.44). He appeared in three World Series games and posted a 1-1 record with a 3.68 ERA (14.2 IP/16 SO). He was the winning pitcher in Game #5 vs. Cleveland on Oct. 30.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta appeared in 31 games and posted a 18-8 record with a 3.10 ERA. He allowed 138 hits and ranked second on the team in strikeouts (190) and innings pitched (197.1). He appeared in two World Series games and posted a 2-0 record with a 2.38 ERA (11.1 IP/5 H/15 SO). Arrieta was the winning pitcher in Games 2 and 5 (Oct. 26 & Nov. 1).
Right-hander Kyle Hendricks appeared in 31 games and posted a 16-8 record and led the N.L. in ERA (2.13). He allowed 142 hits and struck out 170 batters in 190.0 innings pitched. He appeared in two World Series games (0-0 record, 9.0 IP/10 H/8 SO).
The Reds, under manager Bryan Price, compiled a 68-94 record (.420) in 2016 and finished in fifth place in the National League Central Division.
First baseman Joey Votto led the Reds offense with a solid 2016 season. He was the team leader in games played (158), batting average (.326, ranked 3rd in N.L.), hits (181), runs scored (101), walks (108, T-2nd in N.L.), on-base percentage (.434, led the N.L.) He also ranked second on the team in at bats (556), extra-base hits (65), doubles (T-34), home runs (29) and RBI (97).
Outfielder Adam Duvall, a 2016 National League All-Star, appeared in 150 games and batted .241 (133-for-552) and was the team leader in extra-base hits (70), home runs (33) and RBI (103).
Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips appeared in 141 games and batted .291 (160-for-550) with 34 doubles (tied for team lead), 11 home runs and 64 RBI.
Right-hander Dan Straily appeared in 34 games and led the staff in victories (14-8 record), innings pitched (191.1) and strikeouts (162). He recorded a 3.76 ERA and ranked tied for the team lead in starts (31).
The 51s will open their 35th season in the Silver State on Thursday, April 6 against the defending PCL champion, the El Paso Chihuahuas, Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The "home opener" will be on Tuesday, April 11 against the Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, at Cashman Field at 7:05 p.m.
2017 season tickets and mini-plan packages (11, 22, 36-game plans) are available by calling the 51s office at (702) 943-7200. Individual game tickets for the 71-game home schedule will go on sale in March.
Official licensed 51s team merchandise is available on the "Team Shop" section of the website.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.