Spring Training Trip Planning Guide: Where to Stay

A trip to Spring Training is incredible. Back fields full of prospects, day games, close proximity to the stars, and genuine baseball fans in the stands combine for an experience that is unlike any other.

Generally the first question people ask me when planning a Spring Training trip is “where should I stay?” Well, that answer depends quite a bit on the games you plan to catch. You can figure out which games you’ll attend by looking at the Cactus League Master Schedule or narrow it down using the trip planner feature on cactusleague.com. The trip planner is a great resource.

From there, use this great map from cactusleague.com to plot your stay.

The key to the map is in the link, but I’ll give you the breakdown here. On the west side of downtown you have Goodyear Ballpark (Reds, Guardians), Surprise Stadium (Rangers, Royals), Camelback Ranch (Dodgers, White Sox), Peoria Sports Complex (Padres, Mariners), and the Maryvale Ballpark (Brewers).

If you are catching the majority of your games at these ballparks, I highly recommend staying in Glendale near the Westgate Entertainment District. This will mean you are near the freeways leading to the ballparks and close to a great area of food, drinks, shopping, and movies. You might even be able to catch a Phoenix Coyotes game at night.

The backup plan is to stay in Peoria near the Peoria Sports Complex. Across the street from the ballpark is a large shopping, dining, and movie development. It isn’t quite as fun as Westgate but it has all you need and more.

On the East side of downtown there’s Tempe Diablo (Angels), HoHoKam Park (A’s), Mesa Stadium (Cubs), Scottsdale Stadium (Giants), and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (Rockies, Diamondbacks).

If the majority of the games you will attend are on the East side of town you can’t go wrong staying in Scottsdale. Old Town Scottsdale is a lot of fun and offers plenty of options. My dad and I will generally swing by the Rusty Spur Saloon and I love taking my son to Sugar Bowl, a really old ice cream parlor.

Of course, the Angels play in Tempe and the area around Arizona State University is fun too. Mill Avenue is a great place to watch college basketball and party. It is pretty family friendly when the sun is out, but after dark the college kids definitely take over the atmosphere gets a lot more festive.

Bear in mind that Phoenix is a huge city and traffic there is a real thing. Yes, we know traffic but that’s no reason to suffer through it on vacation. If a game at Camelback Ranch gets out at 4 PM and you’re staying in Tempe, it will be a good hour or more to get home.

This isn’t nearly as much of an issue on a Saturday or Sunday, however some ballparks are spread out pretty far. The trip to Goodyear from Scottsdale can take 45 minutes to an hour even on a weekend.

All in all I do recommend checking out multiple stadiums when you go. Generally I stay in Scottsdale about 2 or 3 times then spend a trip in Glendale. This allows me to visit all the different facilities and spend my vacation time having fun rather than sitting in traffic.

If you have any questions, please leave them below. And you Spring Training veterans feel free to chime in. There will be a few more Spring Training tip threads coming as we get closer to the 2024 Cactus League season.

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DaveChalk
Trusted Member
3 months ago

First time going to spring training this year after covid and a lockout foiled booked plans in 2020 and 2022. I guess technically I saw a little in 2022 for a Angel-Dodger scrub game where the infamous Perry on the phone pic was taken but first time in Diablo. Thanks for info Jeff. Wanted to do Angel home games for this first trip but plan to hit others on subsequent ones – at least in Scottsdale area where friends and family live.

PedroCerrano
Super Member
3 months ago

This got me thinking back to when the Angels were in Palm Springs.

As a teenager we made the trek out to Palm Springs a few times. Spring break trips and soaking up the sun on the grass while sleeping off the night before. Fun memories as we slept on chaise lodges by the hotel pool one year as we couldn’t get a room that we could afford. We had made $35 each shuttling rental cars to town for spring break and stayed the whole weekend on that by crashing hotel room parties all weekend.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  PedroCerrano

Thanks for sharing Pedro.

Vote for Pedro…I mean rec for Pedro!

PedroCerrano
Super Member
3 months ago

I would love to go but I don’t want to give Arturo a dime.

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  PedroCerrano

February

PedroCerrano
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Que?

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  PedroCerrano

If you go in February to the practices, you’ll see lots of Angels playing baseball and it’s all free.

I live here and MAYBE will see one game or so at Diablo, but im up there watching practice all February pretty much every day.

PedroCerrano
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Okay thanks. I’m really not opposed to spending money for trips at all but for some reason have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to this.

Headed to Italy for a few weeks in April so it’s probably wise to save up my dimes.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  PedroCerrano

There’s good baseball in Italy too my friend.

PedroCerrano
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Angelz4ever

A few of the guys I played with on unaffiliated teams back in the day talked about that league. Sounded like a good scene but I think you had to be of italian descent to be considered back then.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  PedroCerrano

You know Arte gets paid for every post on this site, so it’s too late pal.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I was being facetious, kinda mocking those that leave similar flaming remarks on people’s YouTube vids not realizing that by clicking and watching said video…..

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago

Speaking of great access/intimate setting, i cannot recommend an NHL game at Mullet Arena on ASU campus high enough!!

And you can get great seats without paying major league prices.

ASU will also have basketball and baseball going on too. ASU plays at Phoenix Muni which is the most historic Cactus League park there is.

h27kim
Trusted Member
3 months ago

I loved this joint when I was at ST:

https://chinobandido.com/

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  h27kim

Oh my!

Angels2020Champs
Legend
3 months ago

Jeff, thank you SO much for an article like this!! The old shop had a great ST guide I used in 2018 (that lil bobblehead for my avatar is from the trip, sitting next to the Angels dugout 1B side at Tempe Diablo with MNT on first and Ohtani in the dugout). We might make it out this year to see the other parks!

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Jeff as a local, i can say your guides are solid! Its one of the largest metros area in the country and you cover it well!

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

you definitely know a lot more ST ballparks than me

i’ve been to Goodyear once and Peoria once and Maryvale once. (all over 10 yrs ago)

i doubt i’ll ever go to Glendale and almost positive i’ll never drive an hour plus to Surprise for a game.

my expertise is where i live – south of Tempe Diablo (Chandler/Tempe) I’ve been to each EV park a few times but 95%+ of my ST is at Diablo. watching practices.

and i cannot wait to see what i can of how Mr Ron Washington runs a camp. he looks even more vocal than Sosh so it should be fun.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago

Okay Perry….(Heavy sigh) call up Bauer and give him a one-time low-ball offer for three years.

(LOL @ myself)

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 months ago
Reply to  Angelz4ever

Hank Bauer, the old Yankee? I doubt he’s alive

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago

Can he pitch?

red floyd
Legend
3 months ago

How about Hank Hill? I’m sure Arte could use some propane!

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend
3 months ago

Jeff, Rex: thanks for the great information!

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago

It would be nice to catch a couple of ST games. Maybe this year.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I went every year for almost a decade, of course it was Florida
and I was on the other side of the fence. 😀 

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Angelz4ever

As a kid I loved the Halos late ST games at Palm Springs.

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Angelz4ever

a quirk of my life is pretty much living where the Angels have ST. We moved to PS in 1972 and i’d ride my bike down to see Ryan, Tanana, Reese.

I moved from PS to Phoenix in 1995, the Angels came in 1993.

Angelz4ever
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

I got Carew’s autograph before a PS ST game. Not an easy one to get.

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

The Tampa area would seem the best bet for that sort of trip.

red floyd
Legend
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I’ve been going since 2008 (except for COVID and that one year that I had the flu).

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 months ago

The dbacks/Rockies complex is pretty awesome. Dbacks seem the most accessible – maybe not anymore – as it’s a big priority from ownership. The Angels old practices were fantastic. I really hope it returns to the old setup.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 months ago

Is it true they are revamping the practice access to be more like before? Last year was awful as everything was blocked off. I did go to the minor league workout to see a friend who was the Angels minor league hitting coordinator after they broke up camp from Tempe. That was located at the old Giants complex, which was basically hidden. Nobody was there, like four people watching, but access was there if you didn’t interrupt.

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago

Source?

i don’t think they are going to increase access and have a feeling 2024 will be a lot like 2023. it really sucks. i understand, but it sucks now.

February used to be great, but now the team uses the minor league clubhouse and block off fan access to lower fields. You get good views of pitchers doing long toss warm-ups but not much else.

But still my top tip is come before the games start to watch practice but now the practice viewing window has shrunk considerably —but it is still valid, because after a week of drills on the lower fields (without good proximity access), they start practicing on the Tempe Diablo field to start getting accustomed to the stadium environment.

Starting President’s Day weekend through the first game a week later, my guess is they’ll be plenty of Angels baseball on the Tempe Diablo field (starting early in the AM) and the advantages of February:

its freeyou’ll see everyone (opposed to March when your favorite player might not be in the line-up that day)no crowds
Jeff has hit on the benefits of Scottsdale and Tempe, but Chandler and Gilbert have nice downtown/nightlife too, plus Chandler is good access to Tempe Diablo. (And they have a new SCHEEL’s store – it took Nordstoms spot in the Chandler mall.)

Freeway construction still is ongoing around the stadium area – it should be completed next year. It shouldn’t have an affect on game day traffic but it just looks messy

Last edited 3 months ago by RexFregosi
RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

They both have very solid downtown areas – no need to drive to Scottsdale for a night of fun if you live in the SE Valley. Whiskey Row in Gilbert!

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

it will be interesting to see how access evolves.

MLB players using the minor league clubhouse (and sending the minor leaguers to Scottsdale) is not an ideal situation. Supposedly Diablo Complex remake/update is coming but nothing is apparently different so far.

Once MLB is done with the clubhouse, access to lower fields opens up again, but they used that clubhouse all of March last year.

What will be different this year is (a) no WBC and (b) i don’t think there will be a lot of Japanese fans this year lol.

re Camelback: yes, it definitely was a trigger for me with Dodgers fans dropping by and saying how much better access there was in Glendale.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 months ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

If you haven’t seen a Scheel’s folks, definitely check it out when you are there. You could probably fit four Dick’s Sporting Goods in the one by us. (Had to add Sporting Goods, it just didn’t sound right.)

RexFregosi
Super Member
3 months ago

probably want to allocate a couple hours. it has a ferris wheel but the big attraction to me is the taxidermy collection it’s incredible

clover_black
Super Member
3 months ago

Gonna be out there for St. Patricks day (great time to go). Been going for years, but will catch my first game at Talking Stick, so staying pretty close to that stadium.

BruinsAngelsKings
Trusted Member
3 months ago

Another place to eat in Scottsdale is Oreganos.

red floyd
Legend
3 months ago

That’s a chain throughout PHX.

BruinsAngelsKings
Trusted Member
3 months ago
Reply to  red floyd

Yep.