We made our first trip to Cactus League Spring Training in late March of 2011 and were a little confused on what to expect and how to plan, so I'm writing here in hopes that others more experienced will chime in with their own thoughts. In the meantime, I will add a few thoughts of my own:
First of all, Cactus League Spring Training lasts for about a month, from about Feb 29 to March 25th, offering both day and night games. I think it would be wise to check out the Cactus League website to plan your schedule ahead of time if possible and to buy your tix thru the respective team's site being careful that your seats are in your team's section. I noticed that many games were pretty much sold out by the time we decided to go and seating choices were limited. We tried all kinds of seats--box seats, grandstand and grass seats in the different parks and really were happy with all of them, depending on what you're in the mood for. I noticed the more popular teams' tickets can be very expensive, by the way, say, for the Giants in Scottsdale. Night games are nice because they are cooler (less hot?). Some tickets come with food included and they may be a deal for you too so worth checking out. There are also shuttles from some hotels which can be nice since traffic can be nasty in Scottsdale and on the Interstates. Be prepared to come early to get decent parking (for a fee) and 'first come first served' seating 'on the grass' or for 'standing room' in the shade. And bring your souvenirs as players sign autographs before the games which is always fun too. Food vendors are all over the place and provide all kinds of treats and beer. Bring your sun protection by all means.
We are Cincinnati Reds fans, so we wanted to stay near their new park in Goodyear, AZ. Happily the city-owned Goodyear AZ ball park is shared by the Cleveland Indians and this stadium is also on the same side of Phoenix as the Peoria, Camelback, Maryvale, and Surprise Stadiums. So for convenience, the facilities for the Dodgers, Royals, White Sox, Rangers, Mariners, Brewers, etc. are very close, too. if you book at The WigWam Resort in Litchfield as we did, it is centrally located to these stadia and has a great golf course, pools, spa and tennis to round out your stay and kept the non fans in our group happy. Our kids (twenty somethings) had a great time on this vacation and definitely want to do it again.
I look forward to hear more tips on Spring Training in Phoenix especially about the teams based around Scottsdale and Mesa.
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