Batter Up - Planning Your Spring Training Camping Trip
For two months every year, the pros of Major League Baseball warm up in the sunny states of Florida and Arizona. From mid February to just before opening day in early April, teams gather to practice, play warm-up games against each other, and get accustomed to their rosters. This is a fabulous time for the fans to get to know the teams, enjoy the weather, and watch some terrific games.
The teams that play in Florida have been nicknamed the Grapefruit League, while the Arizona teams are known as the Cactus League. These teams can play against college teams from local universities, against each other, and against minor league baseball clubs. Most east-coast teams are part of the Grapefruit League, while most west-coast teams are in the Cactus League.
Best of the Grapefruit League (Florida)
Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista at Walt Disney World:
Settle back in one of the nicest Grapefruit League stadiums, set next door to the greatest place on earth. The large stadium seats 9,500, but remarkably nearly every seat gives a between-the-bases view.
Boston Red Sox:
City of Palms Park, Fort Myers:
See one of the greatest teams in MLB! Palms Park offers one of the best venues in Florida. Nearly all the seats are shaded, and Fort Myers is close enough for easy access.
St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins:
Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter:
You'll catch twice the number of games when you stay near Jupiter's Roger Dean Stadium. This venue is a favorite among Florida baseball fans, both for its comfortable facility and the non-stop action. Be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a hat, since shade is at a premium.
Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers:
This stunning stadium resembles Churchill Downs, one of the most luxurious horse racing venues. When you visit, don't miss the baseball history museum at nearby Terry Park Stadium in Fort Myers.
New York Yankees:
George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa:
This is known as one of the best fields and facilities in the league. Like the Yankees roster, no expense was spared on this stadium. It's often called the mini Yankee Stadium because it so mirrors Yankee Stadium in New York.
Best of the Cactus League (Arizona)
Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres:
Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria:
See twice the number of games when you camp near the Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Mariners and the Padres. This stadium is famous for its great food. Whether you dine at one of the terrific nearby restaurants or on the fabulous food inside the stadium, you won't go hungry in Peoria.
HoHoKam Park, Mesa:
This is one of the most popular stadiums in Arizona. Set in Mesa, this is the second largest Cactus League venue and home to some of the most loyal fans in baseball. Bring your sunscreen and a hat - the sun is bright!
Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers:
Camelback Ranch, Glendale:
You'll see twice the number of games when you visit the Camelback Ranch in Glendale. This venue is one of the newest stadiums in Arizona, and it seats the most fans (13,000).
Hi Corbett Field, Tucson:
The home of the Colorado Rockies is one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country. You'll see plenty of ballpark memorabilia and sections that dates back to the 1930s.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix:
This former home of the Minor League Phoenix Giants has had a serious facelift and major renovations. It's just minutes from Tempe's Mill Avenue with its excellent shops and restaurants.