If anyone has spent time in Arizona during March, you know all about Spring Training. A good chunk of the Major League Baseball teams spend the Spring in the desert playing practice games against each other. Personally, I like Spring Training more than the regular season because the tickets are cheaper, the weather is perfect and the crowd is always in a good mood. If you are a baseball fan, Spring Training in Arizona is the place to be.
Today I’m partnering up with Tempe Marketplace to share a few of my favorite tips for a successful Spring Training season. The season officially kicks off today and runs through March 27. Click here to view the full Cactus League game schedule. I’ve attended Spring Training games every single year since I’ve lived in AZ (we moved here in 2010) so I’ve learned a trick or two along the way. Spring Training is honestly a blast, so why not navigate it in the best way possible.
1) Dress for the Weather. 90% of the time in late February and March, it will feel MUCH hotter out there than your weather app may claim. Especially if you are sitting in the lawn (the best spot in my opinion) wear layers and prepare to take them off. In prior years, shorts, a tee, a baseball hat and comfy shoes are usually the perfect outfit for the occasion. It always feels a good 10 degrees warmer when you are sitting in direct sunlight.
I did a little pre-Spring Training shopping at Tempe Marketplace to put together my ideal Spring Training outfit. This year, I was in need of a new ball cap and hit up Just Sports, which was stocked with MLB merchandise. I have the world’s smallest head and successfully found a hat that worked for my tiny noggin. I also snagged a cute clearance off the shoulder top at Old Navy, a pair of Joe’s Jeans shorts from Nordstrom Rack and the most comfortable bow mules from Target. Comfortable shoes are so important at Spring Training since you’ll likely have to walk a good distance from your parking spot. Click here to view the full Tempe Marketplace store listing which is the perfect place to prepare for a game.
2) Buy tickets early. Depending on the team or the stadium you are planning on attending, some of the good tickets do sell out. You can get resale tickets on StubHub, but why pay more than you have to. Also, make sure to think through your seating options. When I’m going with my kids, I prefer to sit in the lawn because my little ones have more room to move around. However, when I go with my parents (my parents are in their late 60’s), they like having an actual seat vs. sitting on the grass. But nail down your games early and don’t hesitate to buy those tickets!
3) Look into parking ahead of time. Parking can be a total mess at some of the popular parks. Salt River Fields (Diamondbacks and Rockies), Scottsdale Stadium (Giants) and Sloane Park (Cubs) are three where I’ve dealt with insane traffic in the past and have accidentally missed a couple innings. Tempe Marketplace offers a shuttle to Sloane Park to avoid the traffic and insane parking hassles. You can shop and eat before or after the games and take the free shuttle to and from the ball park. Check the Tempe Marketplace website for shuttle times and more information.
4) Wear sunscreen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen tourists frying themselves to a crisp in the outfield. Especially when the air isn’t crazy hot, everyone tends to forget the sun in Arizona is intense. Some of the ball parks have sunscreen stations (gotta love AZ and our sun protection), but do yourself a favor and slather up before the game.
5) Stay Hydrated. Most of the ball parks will allow you to bring in your own sealed bottled water. We all know the desert is a dry place, but water is so important to keep you safe in the afternoon sunshine. Make sure to double-check your ball park’s FAQs, but save yourself a few bucks and bring your own H2O.
Who has been to Spring Training in Arizona before? Any other tips you would like to share? Leave me a comment below and let me know!