The real reason I decided to go to Phoenix a day early is so I could catch a spring training baseball game. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox now share a state-of-the-art facility called Camelback Ranch. It’s located in Glendale, Arizona (just outside of Phoenix) on 141 acres with a Sonoran desert-inspired facility.
Fans are welcome to come out to the park at 9am when the gates open to see the players working their tails off. But most don’t arrive until just before the game starts which is usually 1:05pm. That’s a shame because there’s a lot to see like the 13 full baseball fields, tons of batting cages and a fully stocked lake with dramatic mountain views.
Two of the 12 practice fields (four major league, eight minor league) are replica fields of the Dodgers and White Sox home ballparks with exact dimensions of Dodger Stadium and U.S. Cellular Field, respectively. The main stadium has 13,000 seats which includes 3,000 lawn seats, 12 luxury suites and a party deck. It’s the largest seating capacity in the Cactus League.
I really enjoyed my time at the game. It’s relaxing since no one really cares who wins, the players are friendly and very accessible and there are fun things to do like try your skills at pitching (see my video). They also serve Dodger Dogs ($7) but my bun was very soft so next time I will try the Hawaiian noodles.
The highlight for me besides seeing Tommy Lasorda on the field was getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the park by their PR Director, Paul Jensen. If you check out the photos below you can see my tour and get a feel for the ballpark but the best way to experience it is to go out and watch a game. Fans can get single-game tickets (prices range from $8 to $41), a mini-plan, or full season of spring training tickets. For more information visit CamelbackRanchBaseball.com or CactusLeague.com or VisitGlendale.com.