If you’re a big-time baseball fan, traveling to spring training is a must. This was my first time at spring training and I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to experience it. The Rockies and Diamondbacks share a new stadium and the new Cubs Park is a beautiful ballpark.
We climbed Camelback Mountain in the middle of Phoenix, which is a great climb and an incredible 360 view of the city. We also drove up South Mountain to watch the sun set.
Next, we drove up to Sedona to do some hiking over the weekend. If you can afford a jeep tour (or got lucky, like we did), it is well worth the cost. There’s a small brewery in Sedona called Oak Creek Brewery that has one of the best BLTs I’ve ever tasted. We also made a day trip up to the Grand Canyon and were tourists for a day.
We headed back to Phoenix for Opening Day with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Giants were in town and the festivities were fairly decent, but nothing too special. In fact, it felt more like a good Friday night than Opening Day. The Giants won on a late Buster Posey homer than landed two rows in front of us and we checked stadium #29 off our bucket list. Only one more to go!
If you’re taking a trip to Chase Field, here are a few tips to keep in mind…
- Chase Field has access to a fair amount of parking lots and the Metro Light Rail public transportation. The stadium parking garage was fairly cheap ($12) for baseball parking, especially on Opening Day.
- Chase Field does have a retractable roof, which they opened right before first pitch. Very nice! Also, a 747 flew over the stadium late in the game. Can you say distracting?
- The most impressive part of Chase Field is the food selection. It ranks right up there with AT&T Park (San Francisco). I ate orange chicken from Panda Express and Kara had a burger from Fatburger. This year the Diamondbacks introduced the D-Bat, an 18″ long corn dog ($25). It looks great, but it’s a heart attack waiting to happen.
- I was very impressed with the sight lines around the stadium. No matter where you’re waiting in line, you’re almost guaranteed a good view of the field.
In the end, Chase Field made our top 10-12 of MLB stadiums. Good game, great food, and a much-needed vacation to a beautiful part of the country.