If you’re seeking an escape from Southern California’s rainy weather, do as baseball players do and head to the Arizona desert for spring training.
Fifteen Major League Baseball teams spend more than four weeks in the sunny Phoenix area this time of year for practice, games and interaction with fans on an up close and personal level you won’t find during the regular season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox share the Camelback Ranch facility in Glendale, Arizona. More than a dozen perfectly groomed fields cover the pristine grounds, which include walking trails, a 5 acre lake, and Instagram worthy photo opps you won’t find in LA.
As for the Angels, Tempe, Arizona is their spring training home. Fans are greeted by the team’s giant halo logo at the entrance to Tempe Diablo Stadium. Once inside, you’ll find a picturesque view of one the Twin Buttes, which rises above the left field wall.
Spring training games are a great way to enjoy America’s favorite pastime. Ticket prices are cheaper than regular season, optional seating on grassy berms gives families room to spread out, and smaller stadiums mean better views for everyone.
Morning practice sessions are open to the public and free. Fans can get right up to the field fence to hear the crack of a bat and watch the players workout. It’s also a great place for kids of all ages to seek autographs as players walk on and off the practice fields, so don’t forget to bring a baseball or glove.
If you do show up empty handed, it’s a good excuse to buy new gear and souvenirs. There are team stores at each location.
4 Fun Facts To Know Before You Go
- Players start their workouts between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Arrive close to 9 a.m. when gates open if you want to score a good spot for autographs.
- Parking at Camelback Ranch is plentiful and free. It’s almost too good to be true. Parking at Diablo Stadium is $5.
- Phoenix is a quick one hour flight away. If you prefer a road trip, pack some snacks and settle in for a five to six hour drive.
- If you’re the only one in the group who doesn’t enjoy baseball (say it isn’t so), nearby Old Town Scottsdale is filled with shops, restaurants and plenty of western wear and folklore to keep anyone entertained.