Slide into Scottsdale, the home base of Cactus League Spring Training, this February and March to catch the San Francisco Giants, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies in action. Scottsdale celebrates America’s favorite pastime and promises avid baseball fans a close-up look at their favorite players during the season that kicks off Feb. 26 and runs through the end of March. Catch the action in the heart of downtown at Scottsdale Stadium, spring training home of the Giants, or nearby at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, spring training host of the Diamondbacks and Rockies. Or check out one of the 12 other Cactus League teams that train in greater Scottsdale.
Though you’ll be spending most of your visit cheering on your favorite team, chowing down on ballpark hotdogs, and sunbathing in the stadiums, set aside some time to experience the myriad events, promotions and resorts that make Scottsdale the perfect spring break getaway. The Sonoran Desert escape welcomes baseball fans, families, couples and those looking to bask in Arizona’s sunny winter and spring weather.
Regardless of whether you’re rooting for the San Diego Padres in Peoria, the Oakland A’s in Phoenix or the Chicago Cubs in Mesa, consider Scottsdale your home base for accommodations, golf, spa, dining, shopping and the arts. Visit the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s spring training website for information on the destination’s most titillating packages from many of the 70+ world-class hotels and resorts, plus dining suggestions. Here’s a sneak peak of some of the “home run” packages that Scottsdale’s hotels and resorts are offering:
Stay in a luxurious resort just minutes away from Scottsdale Stadium and Salt River Fields. FireSky Resort & Spa’s spring training package is aptly named “7th Inning Stretch.” Upon arrival, enjoy a flight of craft beers from local favorite, Four Peaks Brewery. Bring your complimentary bag of peanuts to munch on during the game. Afterward, bring your game ticket to Taggia and receive 20 percent off coastal Italian fare at the restaurant and lounge. Room rates start at $225 during the month of March.
The W Scottsdale is just a brief walk from Scottsdale Stadium. Take advantage of the hotel’s “Spring Training Package,” which includes “slugger swag” including two cocktails each night of your stay and Cracker Jacks and peanuts upon your arrival. Plus, you’ll get a baseball to bring to the games and practice fields for autographs. Pricing starts at $323 per night Feb. 26 through March 30.
Planning a romantic spring training rendezvous? Hit one out of the park when you book the “Play Ball Package” at The Hermosa Inn. From Feb. 22 through March 30, The Hermosa Inn will offer spring training fans 10 percent off the best available rate, a Hermosa Inn baseball hat, a game schedule, two drink tickets to The Last Drop Bar, and sunscreen. Forget buying peanuts and Cracker Jacks at the game; The Hermosa Inn has you covered.
Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is offering three different spring training deals for every type of fan. The “Major Leaguer” package offers fans suite accommodations, two tickets to their choice of spring training game, hand-rolled local cigars, $50 credit to CENTRO and roundtrip transportation to and from the airport for prices starting from $899. Starting from $1499, “The Perfect Game” adds on to the “Major Leaguer,” also providing guests an in-room specialty bar and a poolside cabana. And when folks stay for three nights at the resort, they’ll get a fourth night free and $50 credit to CENTRO when they ask for the “Home Run” package.
Legendary Hangouts and Grub
Get an intimate look at the history and characters of Cactus League Spring Training with a self-guided tour of downtown Scottsdale’s legendary baseball hangouts on the Cactus League Legacy Trail. The series of exhibits and landmarks in Scottsdale, Mesa, Goodyear and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community string together spring training’s longstanding history in Arizona. Memorabilia dates back to the Cactus League’s beginnings in 1947 when baseball greats such as Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio strutted their stuff in front of crowds of baseball fans and sun-bathers. Throw one back at Karsen’s Grill, where umpires tend to gather. Admire the jerseys, shoes, baseballs and autographs signed by Hall of Famers at Don and Charlie’s restaurant. Then, chow down on the Baseball Winner Parfait— marshmallow topping, strawberry and mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, and a maraschino cherry— at Sugar Bowl, a hangout for rookie players since the 1950s. Your stomach and your inner-fan will thank you. Enjoy craft cocktails and gastropub fare on the shaded patio of the newly renovated Pink Pony. The restaurant, which opens in February, is getting a facelift under its new ownership, but it will continue to display its historic Cactus League memorabilia.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Lounge on a couch or sit in a bar-like setting while taking in the game at Charro Lodge at Scottsdale Stadium, the unofficial VIP private facility within the stadium. Starting from just $80 person, this ticket offers attendees superior views of the game, plus unlimited food and drinks from Scottsdale favorites. Get up-close views of the Giants’ pitchers due to the facility’s close proximity to the bullpen while sipping on margaritas and enjoying the destination’s idyllic springtime weather.
If you’re looking for the best seat in the house during the game, plan an outing with you and 29 of your closest friends when you book the Miller Light Taste Zone or Coors Light Cold Zone at Salt River Fields, which debuted as the spring training home of the Diamondbacks and Rockies in March 2011. These exclusive areas offer some of the best stadium views in the house, with second level seating located above first base and third base. Catch the action for only $43 per person, including food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Scottsdale’s Attractions and More
Getting around Scottsdale is quick and easy, even without a car. The city’s free trolleys connect area resorts like Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa and Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia with Scottsdale Fashion Square, the Southwest’s largest mall. From there, easy access to downtown attractions, including Scottsdale Stadium, art galleries and independent restaurants, is just a short walk, cab or trolley ride away.
Swoop up your favorite team’s swag, purchase spring training tickets and participate in interactive games during the third annual Spring Training Festival at Scottsdale Civic Center Park Feb. 23 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Get an autograph from MLB Hall-of-Famers in attendance and catch a glimpse into the future of baseball through the Science of Baseball symposium, sponsored by Arizona SciTech Fest. Care to indulge in a stadium hotdog or two? Or maybe three? Then you may want to partake in this year’s stadium hot dog tasting competition, the Cactus League Hot Dog Showdown. Plus rock out to tunes from students of Rock N Roll High School.
While you’re in downtown soaking up rays and baseball plays, absorb the sights, sounds and tastes of American Indian tribes of the Southwest at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, within walking distance of Scottsdale Stadium. During the 12th season of Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, experience Native American song and dance performances that showcase traditional instruments, customary attire and colorful stories. The free festivals take place most Thursdays and Saturdays from 12 to 1 p.m.
Those looking to experience more native culture during their spring getaway can stop by the Talking Stick Visitor Center near Salt River Fields. Its opening coincides with the kickoff of spring training. Starting Feb. 26, traditional dance performances will be offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Art will also be displayed throughout the Visitor Center, which celebrates the rich heritage of the Pima and Maricopa tribes.
Just Keep Swinging
While the baseball players swing their bats on the practice fields, swing your golf clubs on one of 200 courses in the Scottsdale area. Here are just a few spring training golf deals:
After 11 a.m., bring your ticket stub from a spring training game to McCormick Ranch Golf Club to play 18 holes of golf at a 9-hole rate. This offer only last the day after you see a game.
Play two rounds of golf at TPC Scottsdale, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open and stay two nights at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess through March 31 at rates between $522 and $695 per day.
At Bogey’s at The Boulders Golf Club, guests can show their support for their team by ordering the “Arizona Diamondbacks,” “Colorado Rockies” or “San Francisco Giants.” Each is a hot dog is paired with a local beer from the team’s home state. “Arizona Diamondbacks” is the Chase Field Diamondback Dog— a foot-long all-beef hot dog covered with chorizo sausage, nacho cheese and tortilla strips. “Colorado Rockies” is Coors Field’s famous Rockie Dog – a foot-long Hebrew National hot dog with grilled peppers, sautéed onions, and sauerkraut. “San Francisco Giants” is AT&T Park’s Tres Agaves Dog — a street-cart dog cloaked in a spicy chipotle mayonnaise, and bacon-wrapped dog dressed with sweet grilled onions, jalapenos and cucumber pico de gallo. After downing a hot dog, play 18 holes on one of The Boulders’ award-winning courses.
For additional information on what to see and do in Scottsdale, visit the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.experiencescottsdale.com.