For fans across the country, March means baseball is back. After four long months of winter, Spring Training begins to prepare teams for the regular season's start in April. For fans in Phoenix, Spring Training is even better because fifteen Major League Baseball teams play their games here in the Valley of the Sun for a month as part of the Cactus League!
Spring Training draws in both die hard fans and newbies to the sport because of its cheap ticket prices. Cactus League games vary in price, but most games offer seats for as low as $8 to $15. And most of the parks have a smaller seating capacity than the major league fields do, which means closer seats and better views of all the action and players.
The local team in Phoenix is the Arizona Diamondbacks (known as the DBacks) who play their regular season games at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix -- which is easily accessible by public transportation from the hostel. Regular season games begin at Chase Field on April 6th, but until then you can still visit the park and get a tour of it for just $7. Below you can see some photos of the state-of-the-art field during an event for fans last weekend:
During the Cactus League, teams play at 10 different ballparks throughout the metro area. Some are only accessible by car from the hostel, but others can definitely be reached via public transportation. If you are visiting without a car, the easiest parks to reach are:
To get to Maryvale from the hostel, take the #15 bus north towards 19th Ave/Montebello and get off at 15th Ave & Indian School Road. From there, take the #41 bus west towards 59th Ave and get off at Indian School Road & 53rd Ave. The park is a very short walk from there, simply take a right on 53rd Ave and then a left on Maryvale Park St. Total trip time is about 50 minutes. Alternatively, you could rent a bicycle from the hostel and take on the 7 mile ride!
To get to Sloan from the hostel, take the #17 bus east towards Pima and get off at Central Ave & McDowell Rd. You can also just take a 15 minute walk to Central & McDowell from the hostel. Then, take the light rail eastbound towards Sycamore/Main and get off at Apache Blvd & Price Road. The park is a 20 minute walk north of the station. Total trip time is about an hour and 20 minutes.
To get to Scottsdale Stadium from the hostel, take the #17 bus east towards Pima and get off at McDowell Rd & Miller Rd. Then, take the Miller Road Trolley towards Scottsdale and get off at Osborn Rd & Drinkwater Blvd. Walk one minute east on Osborn Rd and you'll see the stadium. Total trip time is about an hour and 20 minutes.
To get to Tempe Diablo Stadium from the hostel, take the #17 bus east towards Pima and get off at McDowell Rd & Central Ave. You can also just take a 15 minute walk to Central & McDowell from the hostel. Then take the ZERO bus south towards Dobbins and get off at Central Ave and Tamarisk St. From there, take the #52 bus east towards 48th St and get off at 48th St & Roeser Rd. From there it is a 10 minute walk east to the ball park. Total trip time is about an hour and 15 minutes.
Check Cactus League's website to see all the team's schedules and to buy tickets to a game!