Baseball Spring Training in Arizona: Baseball fans across the United States look forward to the spring training season every year. And when it comes to spring training, Arizona is one of the top destinations for fans and players alike. With warm weather, great facilities, and a vibrant atmosphere, Arizona is the perfect place to get a glimpse of your favorite baseball players as they prepare for the upcoming season.
In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about baseball spring training in Arizona, including the history of spring training in the state, the best teams to watch, and the top destinations to visit.
The History of Baseball Spring Training in Arizona
Spring training has been a part of baseball culture for over a century. The concept of spring training began in the 19th century when teams would gather in their hometowns before the start of the season to practice and scrimmage. In the early 1900s, teams began to migrate south to warmer climates to prepare for the season, and Arizona was one of the first states to become a popular destination for spring training.
The Cactus League, which consists of teams that train in Arizona, was officially formed in 1947, and it has since become one of the premier destinations for spring training in the country. Today, 15 teams call Arizona home for the spring training season, and each year, thousands of fans flock to the state to get a glimpse of their favorite players.
Best Teams to Watch in Arizona’s Spring Training
With 15 teams training in Arizona, there’s no shortage of exciting baseball to watch during the spring training season. Here are some of the best teams to keep an eye on:
- Arizona Diamondbacks
As the only Major League Baseball team based in Arizona, the Diamondbacks always draw a large crowd for their spring training games. The team trains at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, which is one of the best facilities in the Cactus League.
- Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are perennial contenders and always put on a great show during the spring training season. They train at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, which is a state-of-the-art facility that features 13 practice fields and a 13,000-seat stadium.
- Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are one of the most beloved teams in baseball, and their spring training games are always a hit with fans. They train at Sloan Park in Mesa, which is a beautiful facility that features a replica of Wrigley Field.
- San Francisco Giants
The Giants have a rich history and a loyal fan base, and their spring training games are always a great time. They train at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, which is one of the oldest spring training facilities in the Cactus League.
- Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are a young team with a lot of potentials, and their spring training games are a great opportunity to see some up-and-coming talent. They train at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, which is a top-notch facility that is shared with the Diamondbacks.
Top Destinations to Visit During Spring Training
When you’re not watching baseball games, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Arizona during the spring training season. Here are some of the top destinations to visit:
- Grand Canyon National Park
No trip to Arizona is complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural wonders in the world. The park is located about 4 hours north of Phoenix and is well worth the drive.
Sedona is a picturesque town located about 2 hours north of Phoenix. It’s known for its stunning red rock formations and vibrant arts scene. There are plenty of hiking trails and outdoor activities to enjoy in Sedona, as well as plenty of great restaurants and shops.
Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and the hub of the Cactus League. There are plenty of things to see and do in Phoenix, including visiting the Phoenix Zoo, hiking Camelback Mountain, and exploring the Desert Botanical Garden.
Scottsdale is a popular destination for spring training fans, as many of the teams train in the area. The city is known for its upscale resorts, golf courses, and spas, as well as its vibrant arts and culture scene.
Tucson is located about 2 hours south of Phoenix and is home to two Cactus League teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies. The city is known for its stunning desert landscapes, as well as its vibrant food and drink scene.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Spring Training Trip to Arizona
If you’re planning a trip to Arizona for spring training, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure you have the best possible experience:
- Plan ahead
Spring training games can sell out quickly, so it’s important to plan ahead and purchase your tickets in advance. You should also book your accommodations early, as hotels and resorts can fill up quickly during the peak spring training season.
- Be prepared for the weather
While Arizona is known for its warm weather, it can still get chilly at night during the spring training season. Make sure to pack layers and bring a jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings.
- Bring sunscreen and a hat
The Arizona sun can be intense, especially during the middle of the day. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreens and wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
- Explore the local attractions
While baseball games are the main attraction, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Arizona during the spring training season. Take some time to explore the local attractions, such as the Grand Canyon or Sedona, to get a true taste of all that Arizona has to offer.
Spring training in Arizona is a must-see for any baseball fan. With great facilities, top teams, and plenty of local attractions to explore, Arizona offers the perfect combination of sports and adventure. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking for a fun getaway, a trip to Arizona for spring training is sure to be an unforgettable experience.