Spring Training Trip Planning Guide: Tickets

Generally the first two questions people ask when considering a Spring Training trip are “where should I stay?” and some form of “how do I get tickets?” In the first segment of this series we looked at where to stay, now we’ll take a look at tickets.

The easy answer in 2024 is to simply buy all of your tickets in advance, ensuring you can get into every game you want to see. But if you’re like me and tired of paying endless fees to ticket service providers, there are plenty of times when you can buy at the ballpark (or in the parking lot) and save some money.

Remember, when in doubt buy in advance. There’s no point in planning a trip and traveling all the way out there only to not get into a game over a few dollars per ticket. If you absolutely have to see a particular game on your trip, buy tickets to that game as soon as they go on sale.

Tickets I Always Buy In Advance

The Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, and Diamondbacks have the largest fan bases in the Cactus League. Those clubs also do dynamic ticket pricing with weekend and night games costing a premium. Cubs games sell out quickly so I will buy any Cubs home game I want to attend in advance. I will definitely buy any weekend or night game hosted by any of these clubs in advance. And I’d recommend buying tickets in advance for any game between two of these clubs.

The Angels host each of these clubs each year. Between the solid number of Angels fans and the smallish size of Tempe Diablo I will buy any game the Angels host one of these clubs in advance, regardless of the day. And with Angels crowds swelling over the weekend, I will buy any Angels weekend home game in advance. Consider Friday to be a weekend game for the purpose of this discussion.

If you’re heading all the way out there to catch the Angels on a Saturday afternoon, the ticket fees are simply an insurance policy. For about $10 per person you’re guaranteeing yourself entrance.

Also, some ballparks have certain areas that require special tickets. There’s a cool restaurant/bar area in right field at Goodyear Ballpark. If I want a table there, I buy it in advance. So if you are looking for any premium type seating, which is only available at a handful of venues, get those in advance.

Tickets I Rarely Buy In Advance

There are a handful of stadiums that nearly never sell out. Generally, tickets to games hosted by the A’s, Brewers, White Sox, Padres, Mariners, Royals, Rangers, and Ohio teams have plenty of seating. However, there are a few exceptions based on opponent.

For example, the White Sox and Dodgers share Camelback Ranch. So if the Sox are hosting the Dodgers that is basically an LA home game. I’d probably buy tickets in advance. Camelback to Peoria, where the Padres and Mariners play, is a 10 minute drive. Padres vs. the Dodgers or Giants and I’d probably buy in advance.

Meanwhile on the East side of downtown, the A’s play just a couple miles down the street from the Cubs and not far from the Giants. I’d consider buying games against those two in advance. Otherwise, I walk up and get outfield seats.

So while I generally don’t buy tickets to these ballparks in advance, consider the opponent and when in doubt just give Ticketmaster their pound of flesh.

How I Usually Do It

I generally head out there with tickets to a game or two in hand and a free day or two. I found this to be the best way to make sure we get to see who we want to see but also venture out to other ballparks. Having a free day has also allowed me to catch a prospect or player making a debut or catch a key pitching match up.

The key to making this plan work is to understand your backup options. That means if you are staying on the West side of downtown, you know you should have plenty of seating options at Goodyear, Surprise, Peoria, sometimes Camelback, and Maryvale on most days. The West side and you have HoHoKam, Maryvale, and Rockies weekday games as your safety net. Make sure to check the master schedule to see your backup plans before you head out there.

If you are dead set on seeing a particular team or group of teams, my way might not work for you. My crew is as happy at a Brewers vs. Reds game as we are watching our favorite teams. It is all about time at the ballpark together and let’s face it, we’re going to watch our teams all year long. This is a chance to see other teams and explore more ballparks.

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Super Member
6 months ago

SB Nation story 12 hours ago, “Jake Marisnick signs minor league contract with Angels.”
Am I in a time warp?

Last edited 6 months ago by Angelz4ever
Super Member
6 months ago

…still LOL @ “Ohio teams.”

Super Member
6 months ago

Our spring training ritual is 1 angel home game, 1 angel away with a day off between to do whatever in AZ… recommend horseback riding @ macdonalds ranch!

Super Member
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Yea we are gonna visit butterfly wonderland again … it’s been awhile but had a good time.

They were actually putting one in on beach blvd in Buena Park but completely fell through. Lack of funds, owner dying… kind of a huge mess , lot still vacant.

Jessica DeLine
Super Member
6 months ago

Great guide! Also never underestimate the value of lawn seats. These are fun for some games just to sit in the grass and soak up a game. Some stadiums like Jeff said have special tickets like special seating areas. I know some also have all you can eat options – we did this one at Peoria several years back. I think any ticket at Camelback Ranch with the Dodgers is going to be packed because of Ohtani and Dodgers fans travel well.

6 months ago

Good stuff Jeff, thank you!!