Every spring Major League baseball descends upon the Valley of the Sun for their spring training season. Fans come from near and far to see their favorite baseball team compete at America’s past time. Fifteen teams make up the Cactus League, and they play over 200 games from late February to the end of March each year. The greater Phoenix area offers plenty to do during the spring time, but here are the best tips for how to enjoy spring training in Phoenix.
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Where to Stay for Cactus League Spring Training
The ideal location for catching games will depend on the teams you want to see. Before planning your trip, be sure to take a look at the Cactus League schedule so you can find the perfect home base for your time in Phoenix.
- The Camby – good access to Tempe Diablo Stadium and American Family Fields, close to Biltmore Fashion Park and Camelback Mountain (if you want to hike)
- Talking Stick Resort – very convenient for seeing games at Salt River Fields, close to Old Town Scottsdale and the Talking Stick Entertainment District
- The Wigwam – easy access to Goodyear Ballpark and Camelback Ranch, this upscale resort might be the perfect place to relax after a day at the ballparks
- Don’t miss our article about family-friendly Scottsdale resorts.
Where are the Cactus League Baseball Stadiums and Which Major League Baseball Teams Play in Each One?
The beauty of seeing spring training in Phoenix is that Cactus League stadiums are fairly close together and easy to access. There are ten spring training sites in Phoenix spread throughout the greater metropolitan area. The longest distance between any two stadium locations is a 45-minute drive. The rumor is that it is possible to see three games in a day, but you’ll have to test that theory on your own.
- Goodyear Ballpark – Home to the Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds
- Camelback Ranch in Glendale – Home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox
- Surprise Stadium – Home to the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers
- Peoria Sports Complex – Home to the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres
- American Family Fields of Phoenix – Home of the Milwaukee Brewers
- Salt River Fields at Talking Stick – Home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks
- Scottsdale Stadium – Home of the San Francisco Giants
- Hohokam Stadium – Home of the Oakland Athletics
- Sloan Park – Spring training home of the Chicago Cubs (reminiscent of a smaller version of Wrigley Field)
- Tempe Diablo Stadium – Home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The venues are very intimate providing more opportunities to interact with players. The stadiums seat anywhere from 7,000 to 15,000 fans, so it feels more like to a minor league ballpark experience than a major league one. Players seem to enjoy mingling with the baseball fans and they are more accessible than they are during the regular season. Fans can walk right up to the bull pen and get close to the action.
Spring Training Baseball Autograph Tips
Most players are willing to sign autographs prior to game time. It’s best to arrive at least a half hour beforehand and position yourself near the team’s dugout unless the team has a designated autograph area and time. Some of the bigger name players don’t stay for the entire game, so it’s best to catch them before the game begins because they might not be around when it finishes.
Waiting for autographs can be worth it!
Tips for Spring Training Game Day
1. Wear and bring sunscreen (the high SPF the better). Re-apply often as the Arizona sunshine can be intense.
2. Wear a hat to protect your head and face from the sun.
3. Don’t wear dark color shirts or hats. They will absorb the heat and get very hot.
4. Drink plenty of water. Some stadiums allow baseball enthusiasts to bring in sealed bottles of water, so check before you go and bring plenty along.
5. Check and see if the stadium allows you to bring your own food. Some venues allow a small cooler.
6. Bring a lawn chair or blanket if you buy a lawn seat. If you bring a lawn chair, check to make sure it’s the right type. Some stadiums only allow low profile lawn chairs to be brought inside.
The lawn seats will get really hot because you’re in the sun the entire game. Consider bringing a misting fan to keep you cool throughout the day.
7. Get your tickets early if you’re going to a popular game. Tickets will sell out.
8. Check the weather before you go. It doesn’t rain often, but if it does, it’s a good idea to be prepared.
The Cactus League Spring Training in Phoenix has been a tradition for over seventy-five years that continues to be enjoyed by locals and visitors every spring. Every venue is different, so plan on exploring a few. Each one will have unique ball park food (but always the staples like hot dogs and cracker jacks) and plenty of beverages to enjoy. We are sure you will agree, watching great baseball in the warm Arizona sun can’t be beat.