As a Boston Red Sox fan and season ticket holder, spring training is always a welcome time. It’s the beginning of the new season, with all of the eternal optimism that comes with a clean slate. It’s also (usually) the end of our painful winter. While I’ve never attended Red Sox spring training, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.
This year, as part of the Greater Phoenix media trip that I recently attended, I had the opportunity to see three different Cactus League games at three very different stadiums. Despite the fact that our home team trains in Florida, I plan on taking the whole family to Phoenix next year for spring training. I loved it that much.
The three different stadiums – Tempe Diablo Stadium, HoHoKam Field, and Salt River Field, all had a very different feel. Tempe Diablo Stadium is more low-key and relaxed, while Salt River Field almost felt like a minor league field. HoHoKam seemed best for younger kids – we saw loads of families with babies hanging out on the lawn. In general, all of the spring training games are great for families – with tickets starting at just $8 each for lawn seats with great views. With this low price, it’s a nice way to introduce kids to baseball games without overwhelming them with an expensive major league game.
All of the spring training games take place in the Greater Phoenix area, now that the last teams have moved from Tucson. So, pretty much any hotel or resort in the Greater Phoenix area is convenient. However, if you are looking for a location right near a field, I’d recommend The Buttes Marriott in Tempe, a 353 room hotel which is just a short walk from Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Most spring training games take place during the day, and there are some sell-outs, especially for popular teams like the San Francisco Giants, so I’d recommend that you purchase tickets as soon as you know which games you want to attend. Even if you have one favorite team, try to visit multiple stadiums – they are all so different.
Photo credit: Jodi Grundig
Disclosure: I attended the Spring Play Ball and Family Fun media trip in Phoenix, and received complimentary lodging, transportation, activities, and food.