Guide To Spring Training
For baseball fans, there’s no better time of year than spring, when MLB teams from all over the country come to the Phoenix area to prepare for the upcoming season. Scottsdale is a hub for Spring Training, with several teams playing in the area and plenty of opportunities to catch a game or two. From schedules and ticket information to tips for making the most of your Spring Training experience, we’ve got everything you need to know to enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
2024 Scottsdale Spring Training:
Salt River Fields
Salt River Fields
Spring Training Around Scottsdale:
Cheers, bats, and mats! The Cactus League Spring Training season is almost here! The tradition, established in 1947, happens every February. 15 Major League Baseball teams make their way to The Valley to compete against hometown rivals, showcase their talents for fans, and have fun before the regular season begins.
For 30 days, baseball fanatics can catch over 200 games at 10 different stadiums while taking in the beautiful weather in the low 70s to 80s, dining at local restaurants, and enjoying the art, entertainment, and shopping venues.
If you plan on being in town for the season, consider making Scottsdale your one-stop shop for all your baseball needs.
Scottsdale is home to two Spring Training stadiums: Scottsdale Stadium and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The San Francisco Giants practice and play at the Scottsdale Stadium, and you can watch the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. The fields are a 15-minute drive from another, so local fans have an optimal amount of games to attend.
Scottsdale Stadium opened in 1956 and was renovated in 1992 for Spring Training. It was designed by the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, one of its former home teams. The stadium seats 12,000 people, and the Giants will begin their season playing against the Chicago Cubs.
The Scottsdale Charros, who have hosted Spring Training at Scottsdale Stadium for over 60 years, are an all-volunteer, non-profit group of Scottsdale ambassadors. They have donated more than $20 million to local organizations and focus on preserving and celebrating Scottsdale’s history. Before you visit the stadium, check out the Charros website to see how you can be part of the in-game Charros experience.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick seats 11,000 people, and the first game is between the Diamondbacks and Rockies. This stadium is the first and only one built on Native American land. There are acknowledgments of the heritage and history of the local Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community throughout the facility.
One massive perk of attending games in Scottsdale is having access to city transportation for rides to every home game. The Scottsdale Trolley will have a new free route servicing Old Town and Scottsdale Stadium to help fans move through the city quickly. The Salt River Fields facility is a short drive from the Talking Stick Resort and Casino, and there is a free shuttle service between the two. Fans are also encouraged to use rideshare apps to plan their travel to and from the stadiums.
Along with providing intimate games and experiences you can’t get during the regular season, Spring Training is the ideal time to meet some of your favorite baseball players. Before each game, all practices are open to the public. Most teams practice between 9 a.m. and noon, focusing on their skills and showing off for scouts and media teams on the sidelines.
Also, during these times, players and coaches are more accessible to fans. Most stadiums open one to two hours prior to the game, so make sure to bring paraphernalia or programs for players to autograph.
Don’t worry, Cubs fans, I didn’t forget to mention you! The Chicago Cubs train and play at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. Sloan Park, which seats 15,000 fans, is the newest stadium within the Cactus League and is the largest Spring Training facility. The Cubs’ first game is against one of their rivals, the Chicago White Sox.
The best tip for this Spring Training season is to buy your tickets ahead of time! Single game tickets go on sale in mid-December and are sold through each team’s website on MLB.com. VIP Tickets for games at the Scottsdale Stadium can be purchased through the Scottsdale Charros website, and VIP tickets to Salt River Fields can be purchased through the stadium.
The next tip is to enjoy the food provided at the facilities. Many of the offerings at Scottsdale Stadium are traditional ballpark food, including hotdogs, nachos, pretzels, and pizza. Still, there are a decent amount of local restaurants serving delicious food at both facilities. Fan favorites have been Salty Senorita and Home Plate at Salt River Fields.
The Spring Training season officially kicks off Thursday, February 22nd, with the Los Angeles Dodgers playing the San Diego Padres at the Camelback Ranch-Glendale Stadium and ends Tuesday, March 26th, with the Colorado Rockies hosting the Milwaukee Brewers at the Salt River Fields.
For more information visit:
Salt River Fields
Salt River Fields
Feature provided by The Scottsdale Living – RipLey Simone Kennebrew.
RipLey Simone is currently a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University
Photos via Cactus League, Scottsdale Stadium, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, City of Scottsdale, and Sloan Park