The Insider’s Guide to Spring Training in Goodyear
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Once a year, nearly two million baseball fans from around the country stream into the Phoenix area for the annual spring training extravaganza. The Goodyear Ballpark, training home to the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, offers the ideal spring-training experience for fans, with its close proximity to other Cactus League facilities in Phoenix, as well as its wealth of local restaurants, attractions and hotels. In fact, it was voted the Best Place to See a Spring Training Game in Arizona in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Poll in 2014. Whether you’re new to the spring training scene or a veteran, here are a few tips for making the most of your experience in Goodyear.
While Goodyear is somewhat removed from the hubbub of downtown Phoenix, we get a major influx of traffic during spring training. If you’re driving in from other parts of the Valley of the Sun, give yourself plenty of traveling time, especially during rush hour. Also keep in mind, the ballpark gates open 1.5 hours before each game, and the practice field gates open around 9:15 a.m. daily.
The Goodyear Baseball Park is located about 20 miles west from downtown Phoenix on Interstate 10. You’ll take Exit 126 for Estrella Parkway and head south for approximately 2.4 miles until you see the complex on your left. Once you arrive, parking is $5 per car and $10 per RV, so be sure to bring cash with you. If you like to plan out your parking in advance, check out their parking map.
Before heading into the park, it’s worth checking out the plaza at the main gate. The water fountains and 60-foot statue provide a great photo opp for you and your fellow fans.
Designed by renowned architectural firm HOK Sport of Kansas City, the baseball complex includes 8,000 stadium seats, a huge berm that fits about 1,600 people, and a family-friendly, picnic-in-the-park feel that many visitors love. Do you have a bad back? There are no uncomfortable metal bleachers at this park. All seats have backs, armrests, cup holders, and lots of legroom. Select Club Seating and you’ll get a padded seat along with food and beverage service.
Some people find the Arizona sun a little strong, especially those coming from colder climates. If you want shade, the ballpark offers shaded seating in sections 106A, 106B and 107A. The Right Field Pavilion is partially shaded, as well as the upper rows of certain sections behind home plate. If you happen to be seated in an area with full sun, you can often move to one of these other areas if the stadium isn’t sold out.
Unlike some spring training facilities, the Goodyear Ballpark welcomes kids, making a day at the ballgame fun for the whole family. If your kids get bored during the game, you can always send them to the first base concourse, where the kids zone (the largest in the Cactus League) offers interactive inflatable activities, a kid-sized whiffle ball field, and plenty of room to run around.
Of course, the best thing about the ballpark is the chance to get up close and personal with the players. If you want an autograph, we recommend going to the first base side at the end of the dugout during warmups. It’s the same deal for the Reds, except on the third base side.
If you have any other questions about the park like tailgating, tickets or concessions, you can probably find it in this handy A-Z Guide.
Getting Around Phoenix
The Goodyear Ballpark is located within 15-45 minutes of all other Cactus League facilities (depending on traffic). If you want to plan your route to the other stadiums in the valley, check out the Stadium Map here.
The fun doesn’t end with the last inning. There are lots of great places to eat, play and shop in Goodyear. For a list of must-see local spots, check out this Goodyear Visitors Guide.
A Long-Term Stay
After your fun in the sun, you might be tempted to trade in your snow shovel for sunglasses long term? Estrella by Newland Communities is a new-home, master-planned community located approximately 10 minutes from the Goodyear Ballpark and is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Estrella Mountains. It offers a resort-style amenities complete with a Nicklaus Design golf course, yacht club, and water park. Learn more about life in Estrella.
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