It’s that time of year…the busiest tourist time in the Valley…time for Cactus League spring training 2016.
Every March, Arizona welcomes baseball fans from around the country. People come to watch baseball and soak up the AZ sun, often escaping cold temperatures and sometimes snow at home. Phoenicians experience more traffic, see hotel pricing spike and have a tougher time making restaurant reservations. Spring training brings thousands of people and millions of dollars to the Valley. Spring training baseball has become a driving force in Arizona’s economy according to a pair of studies released today by Governor Doug Ducey and members of the non-profit Cactus League Baseball Association. The studies, conducted earlier this year, estimate spring training teams and the ballparks they play in now annually generate more than $809 million in economic impact for the state. Included in that number is more than $544 million that results from out-of-state Cactus League fans attending games at ten Phoenix area ballparks. Year-round athletic and non-athletic events and baseball team spending at the ballpark facilities and in the host communities is credited with generating the remaining $265 million included in the total.
So, what’s the excitement all about?
Of course, for tourists, weather is a draw with typical March temperatures in the 80s. Recognized worldwide for its broad range of outdoor recreational opportunities such as golf, biking and hiking, Greater Phoenix provides more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Pair that with the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and you have a perfect setting to experience spring ball. With games in Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tempe, the whole Valley sees a boost in tourist dollars. Spring training is a great way for fans to see their favorite teams play at a far less costly ticket price than at the stadium in their hometown. Getting to see the Chicago Cubs or World Champion Kansas City Royals play is a great, family friendly vacation. With tickets starting at just $5 for lawn seating, it gives families a chance to enjoy America’s past time without breaking the bank. And, for those of us fortunate enough to live in Phoenix? We get to experience all the baseball fun without the cost of a plane ticket or hotel stay…lucky us! Game-goers can also experience fun refreshments at the game. From foodie options like Counsins Maine Lobster at Salt River Fields to hometown favorites including Ohio’s Skyline chili dogs at Goodyear Ballpark, Milwaukee’s fried cheese curds at Maryvale Stadium and Chicago’s deep dish pizza at Sloan Park or Tempe Diablo Stadium’s family friendly approach, allowing fans to bring in their own food, there is sure to be perfect food to pair with a cold beer at any stadium.
Check out the entire Cactus League schedule here and grab your baseball cap and sunscreen and get ready to enjoy some good old fashion baseball and work on your suntan. For more ideas of things to do in Greater Phoenix, contact Elise Fay and Associates.