It’s that time of year again. The boys of summer are putting on their cleats and oiling up their gloves. The sound of the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd is ringing through the air. This can mean only one thing. Spring training baseball is upon us once again. If you have always wanted to check out some of baseball’s biggest superstars as they prepare for the regular season, there is no better time to do it than right now. Taking a trip to Arizona to take in some exciting Cactus League action is a great way to enjoy a vacation with family and friends. Let’s take a look at the important things that you need to know before you plan a trip to Arizona to watch Cactus League baseball.
When should you go?
Spring training games are held from late February through late March.
Where do you go?
There are currently 15 Major League teams that train in the Cactus League. Where you will go depends on what game you are going to see. The teams have ballparks that are scattered around the Phoenix area. The good news is they are all fairly close together, so you will not need to make any extended trips in your car.
The prices for Cactus League games are much lower than what you will pay for a ticket to a regular season game. The most expensive seats are around $25. Bleacher or lawn tickets can usually be purchased for under $10. If you really care about where you will be sitting, you can book your tickets in advance at www.cactusleague.com. Cactus League games are rarely sellouts, so tickets can always be had the day of the game. Since it is legal to scalp tickets in Arizona, you can also pick up some premium seats at the last minute.
Where do you stay?
There are roughly 1.5 million Cactus League tickets sold every year. Therefore, a lot of tourists head towards Phoenix at this time of year. There has not been a major increase in airfares as a result of this. However, some of the best accommodations can get filled up quickly. If you have specific places that you really want to stay at, you would be wise to make reservations before you leave on your trip. Tempe and Scottsdale are both popular places for tourists to stay because they are close to the airport and within range of five of the stadiums.
How do you get around?
When visiting Arizona, renting a car is a must. It will allow you to experience everything the Phoenix/Scottsdale area has to offer as well as making your travels to each stadium/golf course a breeze. You should to do some shopping around on the Internet to find a place where you can get a discount car rental. A good idea would be to become a member of a rental agency’s preferred club. There are some agencies that do not charge a fee for membership. Once you are a member, you will receive special treatment and be able to skip long lines.
The price for parking at the stadiums can be quite high. Local people will often set up makeshift parking lots of their own that are often cheaper and just as close to the stadiums as the official parking lots. Take a cruise around the ballpark and look for cheaper parking.
A baseball game will only take three hours of your day at the most. So how should you fill up the rest of your day?
– Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: The portions at some of Phoenix’s breakfast locations are very large. Some of the more notable places to start your day right include Dick’s Hideaway, The Breakfast Club and Matt’s Big Breakfast.
– Plant lovers rejoice: One of the most beautiful locations in the Phoenix area is the Desert Botanical Garden. This is the right time of year to visit it because March is ideal to view the desert plants in all their glory.
– Music appreciation: The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has a display that includes at least one instrument from nearly all the countries on the planet.
– Art and street culture: Every Thursday from seven to nine pm, Scottsdale has an arts walk with live music and art demos. Free transportation is available to take people from the free parking lots to the Scottsdale arts district. For more information, you can visit www.scottsdalegalleries.com.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Image author owned
By Brett Dugan, a baseball enthusiast of 24 years with a passion for blogging and travel.