Every spring Major League baseball descends upon the Valley of the Sun. Fans come from near and far to see their favorite players play 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.
How to Do Spring Training Right
The beauty of seeing spring training in Phoenix is that stadiums are fairly close together and easy to access. There are 10 spring training sites in Phoenix spread throughout the greater metropolitan area. The longest distance between any two stadiums is 45 minutes. 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.
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. The 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 really get close to the action.
Spring Training Autograph Tips
Most players are willing to do autographs prior to a game. 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.
Tips for Spring Training Game Day
1. Wear and bring sunscreen (the high SPF the better). Re-apply often.
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 fans to bring in sealed bottles of water, so check before you go and bring plenty with you.
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 sitting 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 almost seventy 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, and watching great baseball in the warm Arizona sun can’t be beat.
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