Welcome Back, Baseball…

Matt Butler, Columnist

We baseball fans have suffered through a long, boring offseason. The only big news of it has been Giancarlo Stanton getting traded to the Yankees, and that was in the beginning of December. Since then, it’s been relatively slow. But all that is coming to an end with the start of Spring Training. Spring Training is one of the biggest events every year for Arizona, but Florida gets in on the fun as well. Fans travel from all around the country to enjoy America’s favorite pastime in the sunny weather that Phoenix has to offer. From Surprise, to Scottsdale, to Tempe, to Mesa, each stadium has a lot to offer. I have been to each of the Spring Training stadiums the valley is home to, I would now like to share my experiences with you while you’re planning your next game trip.

Camelback Ranch—Dodgers and White Sox

  • Located in the heart of Glendale Arizona, just off of 117th Ave and Camelback, Camelback Ranch is one of the top five stadiums that I have been to in the Valley. It’s a tad bit far, but if you are a fan of the Dodgers or White Sox, or just want to see a good game, it’s well worth the trip. The best seats in the house are the Baseline Field Boxes on the first base side section 1. Although the seats have little to no shade, and tickets run for about $30, you are close enough to talk to the players at times. If you want somewhat the same experience you can purchase lawn tickets directly next to section 1 for around $16. Camelback Ranch is definitely a place to consider if you are into spring training.

Tempe Diablo Stadium—Angels

  • This stadium also makes my top five stadiums list of Spring Training list. I have been going to Tempe Diablo for spring training games for as long as I can remember, even though I’m a Dodgers fan. For the past three years, I have gone to a game with the same group of friends and sat in the lawn in the exact same place. It is a good time and fairly inexpensive, except food and water, so make sure to bring your own water. It gets hot, and ballpark water is overpriced, so my suggestion is to get a bag, no larger than 16″ x 16″ x 8″, and fill it with water. It is a lot of fun at Tempe Diablo, and the closest stadium on this side of town.

Goodyear Park—Indians and Reds

  • Like Camelback Ranch, Goodyear Park is quite far. But it is well worth the trip if you are a fan of the Indians or Reds. Like most stadiums, it can get a bit hot but if you find the right seat it will be a great trip. Tickets range from $8-$31, so with inexpensive tickets it’s sure to be a good time.

Sloan Park

  • This is one of the best stadiums the valley has to offer. A gem in the middle of Mesa, Sloan Park is the newest stadium in Phoenix, and quite possibly the best looking. With a large lawn taking up all the outfield, it is ready for crowds. With tickets ranging from about $20-$50, it is on the pricier side of the spectrum, but it is well worth it heading on over to Sloan to catch a game.

Maryvale Stadium—Brewers

  • Maryvale Stadium is one of the older stadiums in the valley. It isn’t all that big, but it was fun to purely watch the game. The food was a bit pricey and so were the sodas and waters but the tickets were a great price, $8 for lawn seats and $24 for field boxes. If you like the Brewers or their opponents, it will be a great time.

Peoria Sports Complex—Padres and Mariners

  • Peoria is quite a far drive but if you are a fan of the Padres or Mariners it is well worth the trip. Tickets are priced pretty nicely $5 for lawn seats and $24 for infield box. The Lawn seats are a good place to sit, whether you are trying to catch a homer or catch a tan, they are amazing seats. Peoria Sports Complex is a very nice stadium to sit and enjoy a ball game.

HoHoKam Stadium—Athletics

  • The old home of the Chicago Cubs, HoHoKam Stadium is one of the older stadiums in the Cactus League. It’s $10 for lawn seats, even though the lawn is quite small it is worth it. HoHoKam is one of the lower ranking stadiums on my list but it is still a good stadium to go check out.

Scottsdale Stadium—Giants

  • I hate the Giants with all my heart, but Scottsdale Stadium is amazing, small but comfortable in the middle of downtown Scottsdale. Enjoy a game then head on over to all the wonderful things downtown Scottsdale has to offer, from the great nightlife to the shopping to the restaurants. When I went to Scottsdale Stadium, I sat right behind the plate and in the Charro Lodge. The Charro Lodge is pretty much all you can eat but it’s mainly always reserved. Tickets range from $10-$30 you can enjoy a game at this great stadium.

Salt River Fields—Diamondbacks and Rockies

  • Salt River Fields is a great time. From the game itself to the things to do after the game, such as Top Golf Scottsdale or one of the many restaurants around the stadium there is much to enjoy. The stadium has great seats and a fun environment, and the D-Backs heavy crowd makes for a entertaining time. Enjoy a game under the bright lights or the scorching sun for between $20-$50 at this magnificent oasis of a stadium.

Surprise Stadium—Royals and Rangers

  • Surprise stadium looks and gives off a Little League vibe. The whole outfield is grass and it is a nice field to see a night game. Tickets are a bit pricey at $15 for lawn and $35 for infield box. It is well worth the trip out to the stadium in Peoria to catch an game.