Maybe baseball’s not your thing, or maybe it is but the Cactus League doesn’t have your favorite team. Perhaps you enjoy football more, or different sports in general just don’t excite you. However, there’s something to be said for a warm spring day in Phoenix with the 80-degree sun shining down on you, your friends, and your ice-cold margarita. You could be poolside, on a bar patio, or out at one of the many beautiful spring training stadiums sprinkled throughout the Valley. With 15 different MLB teams training in 8 different cities, the Valley experiences a month long surge of out-of-towners ready to have a fun vacation under the Arizona sun.
As a result, the areas around each stadium transform into happening spots where locals begin to feel the vacation vibes as well. With Phoenix temperatures at their absolute best, locals can become “tourists” for a month and enjoy the many resorts, golf courses, restaurants, bars, and outdoor shopping that fill the areas around each stadium.
Venture down to college town in Tempe and see the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park, or the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Both are steps away from Tempe Marketplace, Mill Ave., and Mesa Riverview. Or opt for a more “Spring Break” type destination up in Old Town Scottsdale to watch the recent World Series champs, San Francisco Giants. Old Town turns into an outdoor party almost every day straight during Spring Training season. Maybe you’re a local Diamondback fan and would love to try your hand at blackjack. Venture to the upscale Talking Stick Resort & Casino next to the Salt River Fields to find both of them. Even out in Glendale there are stadiums to visit, and right next door to the beautiful and entertaining Westgate, there’s plenty of reason to take the drive.
Tickets into Spring Training games are generally inexpensive, the atmosphere is casual, and it’s the perfect place to work on your tan. Many nearby restaurants and bars have special Spring Training events and deals, and fans inhabit the areas creating upbeat nights and busy days. Games happen all throughout the week and weekends and usually start at 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. Grab breakfast before or a late night beer after. You have the ability to create your own Spring Training experience and live like you’re on vacation for a day or two. That’s the beauty of Arizona. So if baseball’s not your thing, the atmosphere absolutely will be, and that’s more than enough reason to head out to one of the many games going on.
For more information on each team, stadium, tickets, and schedule, check out the official MLB site at http://cactusleague.com
List of Cities and Stadiums
-Tempe Diablo Stadium
-Salt River Fields
-San Francisco Giants
-Los Angeles Dodgers
-Chicago White Sox
-Kansas City Royals
-Peoria Sports Complex
-San Diego Padres
–Story b y Suzanne Koch