The city of Surprise did a great job incorporating this very nice ballpark into a park and recreation center for the city.
Surprise Stadium is one of the best places to catch a Spring Training game and has a full park, library, and lake across the street for families to enjoy before or after games. Home to the Royals and Rangers, there’s a game here every day, sometimes two. But you’ll want to be staying in the West Valley.
During the game: Enjoy plenty of shaded seats behind home plate in either the upper dugout or lower dugout seats. Or you can upgrade you seat and hang out in the shaded patio in right field. Food options are plentiful but they were lacking a true Kansas City-style barbecue joint the last time I was there.
Before the game: If you have kids, park just east of the main entrance and let them play in the park, maybe even splash around in one of the water features. If your kids are a little older, check out the very nice practice fields just southwest of the ballpark. You might need to ask for help finding them, but the staff is always friendly. There are plenty of dining and drinking establishments on Bell Drive, about a mile north.
Autograph seekers: Get down close to the dugouts but make sure you know which dugout as it will vary depending on who the Angels are playing. The Royals do a pretty good job of having alumni at a booth on the third base concourse signing and raising money for charity. I met Willie Wilson last year. Nice guy, we talked for a while and texted a pic to Vic and Gubi.
Pro tip: This is probably the most family friendly setup in the Cactus League, which is saying something because they are all family friendly. But the ballpark is a long drive from Tempe so you’ll want to either be staying west of downtown or looking to leave very early.
My take: Due to the long drives to get to either, I can’t help comparing Surprise to Goodyear. The stadium itself is not as nice as Goodyear but the surrounding attractions make it a better spot for a family to spend a day.
Your take: How do you like Surprise Stadium?
Photo credit: Arturo Padavilla III, Wikimedia Commons