Spring Training in AZ

Spring Training in AZ is a special time, the weather is beautiful, the beer is flowing, people are burning the pasty white off their skin, and the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd are in the background. People travel from around the country to experience our spring training games, and locals look forward to March because the warmer weather means the start of baseball and sunshine. In Phoenix, we have 10 different facilities that Cactus League Teams use for spring training in AZ:

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies train at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick just off the 101 and Indian Bend in Scottsdale. Autograph sessions take place between sections 101-104 and 120-123 up to 40 minutes before the game. Kids can go to the Cold Stone Fun Field for Wiffle Ball and ice cream. Kids can also run the bases after every Sunday game (line up between Sections 204/205). Select Friday/Saturday games have live concerts after the game, so plan ahead! In fact, there's so much going on during a game at salt River Fields, you could go and be completely entertained without watching even 60 seconds of baseball. But why not watch when the Diamondbacks are playing?

The Chicago Cubs train at Hohokam Stadium just a mile North of Downtown Mesa. The stadium was built in 1977 and doesn't have the bells and whistles like Salt River Fields, but it does have the option to tailgate, which is prohibited at many of the other stadiums. The other plus is some of the rowdiest fans in the baseball world - they love their "lovable losers" and show it with a beer in both hands and a C on their shirts. There's no way not to have a good time at a Cubby Spring Training in AZ!

The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers train at Camelback Ranch, located in Glendale at the 101 and Camelback Rd. Since 2009, this facility is a tribute to both teams and features Replicas of the Dodger and Sox home fields. Fans can visit Dodgertown orange grove and view a replica of the Dodger Stadium left field wall. Autographs are available on the outfield side of both dugouts up to 30 minutes before game time.

Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indiands train at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, AZ. This home to the Ohio teams has housed the Indians since 2008 and Reds since 2009 when they both made the switch from their Florida training grounds. The ballpark is located East of Estrella Parkway and South of Yuma road, just southeast of the land planned as a future Goodyear City Center. Like Westgate, the idea is to integrate the ballpark with restaurants, hotels, and retail - ideal for the Ohio visitor out for some sunshine and spring training in AZ. Autographs are signed until 12:45 on game days, and a variety of Ballpark experiences are available (On-field Souvenir Photo $150, Grounds Crew Experience $250, or First Pitch $500). Kids can run the bases every Saturday and Sunday after the game, and all Sundays in March kids 12 and under receive free McDonald's Sundae vouchers. See Park website for other special days.

Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers train at Surprise Stadium. Located near the Loop 303 in Surprise, AZ, the stadium is about 45 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix. Surprise Stadium celebrates Spring Training in AZ with Senior, Military, Fan Appreciation, and bring your dog to the ballpark days throughout the month of March. For the baseball or party enthusiast, Surprise Stadium has the Home Run Party Tent where you can view March Madness Basketball Tournament games and all you can eat buffet and one drink voucher.

The LA Angels enjoy their spring training in AZ at Tempe Diablo Stadium off I-10 and the US 60. Non-alcoholic tailgating is allowed starting 2 hours before the game in the general parking areas, but charcoal BBQ grills are prohibited, so make sure to bring a gas grill. Tempe Diablo Stadium was built in 1968, but underwent renovations in 2006. Autographs are available up to 45 minutes before the game, and there is a party patio is down the left field line.

Milwaukee Brewers train for the regular season at Maryvale Baseball Park at 51st Ave and Indian School. This stadium is a neighborhood facility that also hosts minor league, youth, and adult programs. This is one of the most shaded facilities used by teams doing their spring training in AZ thanks to a trellised roof. Another unique tribute to the Brewers is the Klement's Sausage Race following the 6th inning, just as they have it in Miller Park for over the last decade. This may be the last year to see the Brewers with Maryvale as their home stadium - their deal with the stadium expires after the 2012 training season!

The Oakland Athletics call Phoenix Municipal Stadium home during March. This stadium has a simple charm and the distinction of being the first air conditioned stadium. It is known as "Phoenix Muni" to locals, and has an intimate setting where no seat is a bad seat and the unique rocks of the Papago Park Mountains grace the background. This stadium is just north of Mill Ave and ASU, and lends itself to a day of play if you have time after the game to explore a few of our favorite restaurants in the area (Dave's Electric Brewpub, Rula Bula, and so many more).

San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners can be found at the Peoria Sports Complex at 83rd Ave and Bell in the month of March. Considered one of the largest stadiums, you want to bring your SPF to games - there's not a lot of shade to be had! Although the stadium was built in 1994, it has 8 luxury suites and several promotional days. Mondays have discounted family tickets $30 = 4 lawn tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 small sodas, and 4 bags of chips. Tues/Thurs you can purchase $25 tickets for a lawn ticket and all you can eat ballpark treats. Wednesday is $2 hot dogs at the main concession stand. Sundays kids can run the bases and play on inflatable rides. There is a vast variety of food vendors from ballpark to exotic. Various games have concerts, blood drives, dog day, etc, so check their website when you plan your outing!

San Francisco Giants train at Scottsdale Stadium near Scottsdale Rd and Osborn. This stadium has a trolley that runs from several spots in Old Town Scottsdale and the ballpark. That's what makes this experience unique from other spring training in AZ is the close proximity of the bars, art galleries, and restaurants to the park. The drawback is ticket prices: Scottsdale Stadium does flex pricing, which means ticket prices are higher for popular teams and can cost more than twice as much for lawn seats at other stadiums. When we went, lawn seats were only $5, so don't let this deter you before you check out specific games! For a more VIP ballpark experience, check out their Charro Lodge. Tickets are pricey, but it affords a great view of the field from above the Giant's bullpen and you get free food, beer and wine. A few surprising things about Scottsdale Stadium was the intense green on the grass, and the variety of food offered in the ballpark. Bring cash, cause a lot of the vendors don't take cards, but you can find surprisingly good island noodles, huge build your own beef or pork nachos, and tasty ballpark dogs. We'd definately recommend making this one of your stops as you check out Spring Training in AZ!

Have you already seen all teams play that have their Spring Training in AZ? Click here for other great Phoenix activities!