Gate crashing: your guide to Tempe Diablo Stadium

Our guide to Spring Training starts with the Home of the Halos.

The Angels host their Spring Training in Tempe Diablo Stadium.  The ballpark is much smaller than most of the newer facilities in the Phoenix area. But thanks to a $20 million renovation done back in 2006, the park has a nice look to it.

During the game:

Tempe Diablo is a small ballpark, which is both good and bad. There isn’t a bad seat to be found, but very few are in the shade. So if you want shade you’ll need pony up for the Field MVP seats behind home plate and aim for the last 5 or so rows. If you want autographs, you’ll want to be as close to the field as possible down the first base line. One little tip is to get the seats nearest the tunnel leading to the Angels clubhouse past section 22.

The walkway gets very crowded during games with any decent attendance and the food areas are on opposite sides of the ballpark. So if you get seats past first base, expect a bit of an adventure getting to the patio on the third base side. If you like to be mobile, maybe enjoy a couple of innings standing up having a beer, I’d recommend seats on the third base side which has a larger patio and more vendors.

There is very little lawn seating compared to most parks, just part of left field. But that section is connected to the food, drink, and souvenir vendors on the third base patio. If you have young kids who like to run around or just want to relax and feel free to roam a bit, the lawn seating is a good option.

Before the game:

Spring training is all about the back fields. Back there you will see four full diamonds full of hopefuls running drills and a large pitching arena where you can stand feet away from the mound and hear the ball whistle through the air. To get to the back fields, look for a small path directly across the main entrance to the stadium. There’s also a gate off the main street that is normally open.

The ballpark is located in a business area. There are no restaurants or bars nearby. So, plan on bringing your own snacks and drinks if you want something before the game. I usually hit the Jersey Mike’s then take my sandwich to the back fields. My crew has been known to take a couple of tall cans and not be bothered.

Autograph Seekers:

For some, not much beats getting a ballplayer’s signature and Tempe Diablo offers a few ways to get them. The back fields offer great access to minor league players, especially as they walk to various fields and to the clubhouse. Sometimes you can even catch MLB players coming off infield practice or getting loose in the large bullpen area.

Getting signatures from the starting lineup is more difficult. The best bet you have is getting to the game early and camping out around the first base line. As mentioned above, seats next to the tunnel going to the clubhouse are also great as players will stop there before and after games. The walkway is off the field of play so they are safe there.

Above the concourse and in line with first base is a silent auction run b the MLB Alumni Association and it always features plenty of items from the home team and normally quite a few from the visiting team. This is a great way to pick up memorabilia and the proceeds help charitable causes.

Pro Tips:

Tempe Diablo Stadium opens to the public for free a couple of hours before road games. The Angels take full batting practice at home and the big league players will often sign autographs while waiting their turn in the cage.

Bonus tip: the Alumni Association auctions are at every game and they tend to offer a lot of items for the home team. But they also offer items from notable players around the league. So if you want to try to win a Mike Trout ball, go to a game that doesn’t feature the Angels and you’ll have less competition.

Essential Links:

Cactus League Master Schedule

Cactus League Stadium Map


My take:

Tempe Diablo is a fun stadium and I love the view of the mountain in left field. Plus a view of a freeway in the background really makes it feel like home. But I pretty much only like the stadium portion because it is home to the Angels. The lack of food options and cramped walkways are really below the standard of the other Cactus League parks.

The back fields are some of my favorite, though, and it home. If you are an Angels fan, I can’t encourage you enough to go visit it.

Your take:

I know there are some Spring Training vets on this board and there are tips and stories to be added to this post. Please, share those tips, those stories, those pictures.

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4 years ago

This Stadium is one of my Top 3 Favorite stadiums in AZ for Spring Training. I may be a little bias due to the fact that i like the Angels and grew up in OC watching Tim salmon, Chuck Finley, Mark Langston, Jim Abbott, WALLY JOYNER, and the boys back in the days. I love the back fields at this venue, every year i get a good look at the pitchers and catchers at the pitching mound located near the club house. My favorite memory is Throwing off the pitching mound (when no staff members were looking) and keeping the ball that a minor league pitcher (unknown) left behind after his routine warm up. I have seen some great players in those back fields including Sean Newcomb
(now with ATL) and have some great pictures with Angels Prospects ( that never made it to the show). I love the food at this stadium and the prices for souvenirs are very affordable (family value). Mill avenue is a close drive and you will enjoy the bars and scenery of the ASU / mill avenue campus. Its a must do for anyone coming to AZ for Spring Training.

Angels spring training 2020: schedule, how to watch, and more! - Crashing the Pearly Gates

[…] very own Jeff Joiner is one among many spring training aficionados here, and he’s written a guide to Tempe Diablo Stadium, with those of other spring training ballparks to follow in the coming days and […]

Trusted Member
4 years ago

Don’t forget to take time with the young guys at the lower fields. Last year my 10-year-old son walked away with about 15 balls (most of them HR’s during batting practice) and was handed two unbroken bats by players. He probably got 70 autographs too.

4 years ago

During the spring training games at Tempe, there have been minor league games played at the same time on one of the back fields. I have left the spring training games in the past to go check out the minor league game, and besides a smattering of family and friends of some of the minor leaguers, I was the only fan there. One time I did this, Albert Pujols was playing in the minor league game instead of the regular game, and I was standing just twenty or so feet away from home plate when he walked up, got set, and drilled a liner in the center-left gap that bounced to the outfield fence. So that was fun.

4 years ago

Headed to ST 2nd week of March. Haven’t been to ST since 2016, looking forward to being there this year and seeing the additions to the Angels. Enjoy Diablo but its also a great time going to the other teams’ park and seeing the Angels play away from home.

Rahul Setty
Trusted Member
4 years ago

Tempe Diablo is pretty with a sweet view. Others have described it better than me but what can I say, it’s good for watching baseball.

Super Member
4 years ago

it’s a butte in left field.

(is it ok to say ‘butte’ on the new site?)

nice write up, Jeff. At the moment it’s Saturday morning and I’m sitting at the shed at the intersection section of the four lower fields (#3, #4, #5, #6) waiting for the boys.

It’s 45 F and just after 8, but Joe starts his camp early; it’s gonna warm up to the low 70s.

It’s nice and sunny so far though this February and expected to stay that way. I remember the last two Februarys were a bit wet.

My best tip is to get here early, like Monday when position players show to work out – to me the games our secondary, expensive and crowded.

The workouts you’ll see free for a few hours without crowds and you’ll see the entire squad the whole time.

Super Member
4 years ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

She’s a beaut, Clark. I mean, Rex.

Trusted Member
4 years ago

I hope Wifey and I can go someday, but we have a large menagerie, and every year for several there is always some issue. When they are all healthy, we will just rent a Winnebago and schlep them all out to Tempe. Until then, I can say that at least the boy cats are Angel fans.

Trusted Member
4 years ago

My Spring Training Thoughts and Tips

IMO the best thing about spring training is how accessible everything is!

Tempe Diablo
I’ve had the chance to head on out to Tempe for a handful of years and it is truly a great experience. Yes Tempe Diablo isn’t the most fancy or glamorous stadium (i.e. Salt River Fields or Camelback) but it holds it own. If eating at the stadium I recommend getting food right when entering like as Jeff mentioned food options are limited and lines can quickly form for a few innings. The other thing to keep in mind is that the only seats from what I recall are behind home plate. Down the first base and third base lines are bleacher style seats instead of individual seats. And Yes most seats are going to be in the Sun. But being in the sun means being close to the diamond so there isn’t really a bad seat in the house.

I have always gotten to the stadium a few hours before game time to watch practices and workouts. The backfields are awesome the walk around and check out. Since most don’t head that way towards the minor league clubhouse its a great chance to see some of the up and coming prospects. I have had the chance to see Adell, and Marsh in recent years but this is where I was able to snag an autograph of a young 18 year old named Mike Trout. Wonder if he ever made it to the show…lol.

Off Day/ Road Games
Like Jeff mentioned with road games, the team will practice and warm up at Tempe Diablo which is one of the best ways to see free batting practice and get autographs. This will typically include the whole team which is nice since not all starters will go to road games. With the furthest cactus league stadium being in Surprise, AZ (probably an hour drive) it is still feasible to follow the team even when on the “road”. When I have gone I have followed the team to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ, Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Scottsdale Stadium and Salt River Fields both in Scottsdale.

All in all Spring Training is a must at least once if you are even remotely a baseball fan. It is truly a unique experience unlike during the season.

red floyd
4 years ago

At the minor league fields, don’t forget to talk to John… He’s the guy with the rosters.

4 years ago
Reply to  red floyd

I prefer hens to roosters. At least you can get some scrambled eggs out of ’em.

4 years ago

Take a Trip to Spring Training!

It’s well worth it.