2014 Cactus League Spring Training
Baseball lovers flock to warm Arizona for the early start of the MLB season with spring training. Cactus League Spring Training takes place in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, where 15 teams train in the highest concentration of professional baseball facilities anywhere the country. Break in the glove, put some grease in the ol' shoulder and get ready for a home run of a getaway.
Baseball Spring Training Schedule and LocationsCactus League Spring Training starts around the end of February, then runs daily through the month of March until opening day at the beginning of April. Tickets range from $8 to $30. You can also buy group packages that will provide discounts. Up to nine spring training games are played every day, typically starting around 1 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). Each takes place at one of the following nine stadiums in Arizona:
- Camelback Ranch, Glendale – Home to the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers
- Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear – Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds
- Hohokam Stadium, Mesa – Chicago Cubs
- Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix – Milwaukee Brewers
- Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria – San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners
- Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix – Oakland Athletics
- Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale – Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks
- Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale – San Francisco Giants
- Surprise Recreation Campus, Surprise – Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers
- Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe – Los Angeles Angels
What to Expect from Spring TrainingIn 2013, more than 1.7 million fans attended Cactus League Spring Training in Arizona, generating more than $632 million in tourist revenue. The state of Arizona recognizes that spring training is a game changer for its economy, thus catering to the fans in order to keep it that way. After all, what would spring training be without the fans?
You'll watch rounds of practice and exhibition games that give an opportunity not only to see long-time players warming up for the full-fledged baseball season, but also newly drafted players who are vying for a spot on the roster and starting lineup. Yards away from the mound, you can catch the teams' strategies start to unfold in an early effort to lay out the season's strategy.
Make a Vacation Out of ItSince all the games start at the same time each day, many visitors stay for several days in order to see all of their favorite players and teams at bat. However, watching one game a day leaves many hours available for other activities in the Phoenix area. A winning bet during Cactus League Spring Training would be to secure accommodations in a HomeAway rental in Phoenix. With your own kitchen and luxury amenities you'll have no trouble cooking and reviewing stats in comfort.
Covering the Bases with Other Activities
With sunshine gracing the Phoenix skies more than 300 days per year, you're sure to have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. To kick things off, there are more than 200 picturesque golf courses that suit every age and level of experience. Annual PGA, LPGA and Champion Tour events are held here. Some of the favorites incude Southern Dunes Golf Club, which boasts a 7,300-yard layout, TPC Scottsdale, where Tiger Woods carded a memorable hole-in-one, and Gray Hawk Golf Club, designed by Tom Fazio.
Beyond golf, there are many hiking and biking trails in the area. Check out the Camelback Mountain Summit Trail for a quick leg-burner or Hidden Valley Trail via Mormon Trail for a 4-mile loop. Horseback riding as well as hot-air balloon and jeep tours are also popular outdoor adventures.
*Banner Image from Cedward Brice