It’s that time of year again. Through April 3, the Cactus League boys of summer head to their spring training camps near Phoenix to sharpen the skills that have lain dormant over the winter. However, it’s not just the athletes on the field that need to prep for the oncoming season; loyal fans and supporters also need to make sure they are ready to cheer on their team through the 162-game march to the World Series. So why not make the trip out to Arizona and help your favorite Major League team start its year off right?
Here is a breakdown of your Southern California baseball teams’ spring training camps and what to do if you make the trip and find yourself between games:
Where: The Padres take the field at the pride of Peoria: The Peoria Sports Complex. This 12,000-seat facility is one of the best in all Major League Baseball, and combines the intimacy of a small field with the amenities of a big-league ballpark.
Things to do: Located just outside of Phoenix, Peoria is a bustling suburb of more than 150,000, and the Sports Complex is near the main shopping district on Bell Road. And, if the Padres aren’t providing enough sports excitement, the Seattle Mariners also call the Peoria Sports Complex home.
Points of Interest: Arizona Broadway Theatre, AZ Ice, Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia
Where: The Dodgers make Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, home for their spring training camp. This state-of-the-art facility accommodates more than 13,000 people, and has not only a professional-quality baseball field on its grounds, but also a fish-stocked lake and an orange grove.
Things to do: Glendale is home to more than just Dodgers spring training baseball. If you make the trip out at the right time, you also might get to take in a game of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. If baseball is more your focus, you can catch a Chicago White Sox spring training game as the team shares Camelback Ranch with the Dodgers.
Points of Interest: Raven Golf Club at Verrado, Tres Rios at Estrella Mountain Park, Harrah’s Ak Chin, Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino
Where: When the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lace up their spikes this spring training, they will do so at Tempe Diablo Stadium, one of the most classic of all the Cactus League ballparks. Extensively updated and renovated, this 9,558-fans-capacity stadium provides some of the most up-close and personal spring training spectating experiences available.
Things to do: Abutting Phoenix city limits, Tempe offers a number of exciting activities to the spring training pilgrim. Arizona Mills, one of the state’s largest shopping malls, is on the border of nearby town Guadalupe, and Tempe Town Lake offers numerous opportunities to sail and swim in the manmade reservoir.
Points of Interest Arizona State University, Tempe Town Lake, Arizona Mills, Sun Devil Stadium
So grab your mitt, get a hotel, and see some baseball.