While the rest of the country is still in the grips of an intense winter, the action is heating up in Arizona. The greater Phoenix area has a wonderful tradition to kick off spring that is full of excitement, fun, and America’s favorite past time. The Cactus League Spring Training is gearing up for 2015, opening the doors of the ballpark to excited fans of all ages in March. The Cactus League gives baseball fans a unique opportunity to experience baseball’s very best players and teams in a sunny and beautiful setting. Visitors are given unparalleled access to players at incredibly affordable ticket prices.
The Cactus League includes 15 teams from the major leagues, engaging them in intense game play in order to get ready for the MLB season. Running from March 3rd to April 4th, the league puts together more than 220 games of major-league competition. The action is non-stop for ballpark goers with only 45 minutes of travel time estimated for the longest distance between stadiums. The teams are participating in the most intense and concentrated away games of the year during the Cactus League events. The major league’s most popular and talented teams participate in this Arizona tradition year after year. Among the biggest names on the roster are the Chicago White Sox, LA Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, and the San Francisco Giants. There are plenty of other big-name teams that start their season with this beloved tournament play as well.
Game play is hosted in 10 different stadiums in Arizona. The opening pitch will be thrown in iconic stadiums that include Sloan Park, Salt River Fields, Goodyear Ballpark, Hohokam Stadium, and Scottsdale Stadium. This year’s games will also see some improvements in the stadiums playing host to the event. Hohokam Stadium, home of training for the Oakland A’s, will reveal renovations that include a new scoreboard with high-definition capabilities. Changes also include completely new seating throughout the entire stadium. The Mariners home for spring training, the Peoria Sports Complex, has undergone a $15.4 million-dollar renovation. These changes have expanded the offices and administrative facilities. Additionally, the second phase of construction concentrated completely on the experience of fans coming to the ballpark. These changes include expanded box offices, sections dedicated exclusively to seating for children, and a new team shop with added amenities.
There are plenty of travel tools and packages available to fans who are planning to visit Arizona for this exclusive baseball tradition. Trip planner applications and select travel companies are giving people resources to create their very own itinerary for viewing games and other local events. There are also special packages, discounts, and promotional deals that are being made available by local hotels and other establishments. Because the stadiums and events are located so close to the downtown Phoenix area, the spring-training events and games also represent an ideal time to see some of the other valuable attractions that Arizona and Phoenix have to offer to visitors.
The Cactus League events are not the only sports action to draw countless visitors to the area during March. Sports fans can also visit NASCAR’s Camping World 500 that takes place during this month. The action is focused in Avondale at the Phoenix International Raceway. Lovers of golf will want to make their way to the LPGA Founder’s Cup. This high-profile golfing event takes place at the Wildfire Golf Club. Many of the associated events that include the action on the greens also take place at the Marriott Desert Ridge Spa and Resort. Those visitors who prefer to explore other avenues of Arizona culture can explore many of the other festivals that are taking place at this time of year. The Scottsdale Arts festival is only a stone’s throw away from one of the featured stadiums in the Cactus League. Taking place at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, it is the ideal time to be exposed to some of Phoenix’s most talented artists, artisans, and craftsmen.
Outdoor enthusiasts who simply wish to enjoy the natural beauty of the Phoenix landscape after a long day at the ballpark can schedule a trip to the Desert Botanical Gardens. This attraction is best viewed at sunset, highlighting the stunning colors of the Arizona sky and the rich, natural formations of the landscape itself. There is also plenty to explore in downtown Phoenix. There is a wealth of variety when it comes to shopping, sports bars, and shopping. Visitors can also count on convenient access and outstanding public transportation to and from the ballpark thanks to the METRO rail system.
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