Calling all baseball lovers: Spring training is in full swing! In case you’re not familiar with Cactus League baseball, this is the time of year when professional baseball teams—and their die-hard fans—flock to Arizona to get in some swing time before the official season kicks off. The games are affordable, and give you a chance to soak up the desert sunshine while watching your favorite athletes play ball. If you’re traveling to Chandler for work, go from the board room to the ballpark with this handy guide on how to best experience spring training in Arizona.
Cheer on your team
Cactus League teams play all over the Valley, giving you the chance to check out different parts of metro Phoenix. To find out where your favorite team is playing, visit the Cactus League website where you’ll find a comprehensive map schedule of when and where your home team will be playing.
Sit on the lawn
When you’re at the game, do as the locals do and enjoy it out on the lawn, where you’ll find some of the most affordable seats in the park. If you plan on attending multiple games, lawn seats are the most economical way to see as many games as you want. Keep in mind that they are first come, first serve, so arrive early to snag your spot. Also bring a towel or a blanket and, of course, a mitt to catch those high-flying balls.
Enjoy local fare
Before (or after) the game, sip and nosh on fare from local breweries or sports bars. A favorite among baseball fans is The Hungry Monk located east of Chandler Fashion Center. Since 2010, Chandler residents have gathered here for food, sports and 27 craft beers. Food highlights include fall-off-the-bone ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and the Hungry Monkey Trippel, the restaurant’s signature sandwich featuring in-house smoked pulled pork, Applewood bacon, and a thick slice of grilled tavern ham. The beers rotate regularly, giving thirsty patrons the chance to sample offerings from local breweries like Pedal Haus Brewery, SanTan Brewing Company, and Four Peaks Brewing Company.
Another favorite spot is The Local Chandler in Downtown Chandler. With more 25 TVs broadcasting a variety of games, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll catch your favorite team in action. And what goes better with baseball than beer? The 18 rotating taps pour local brews ranging from light ales to dark stouts. Pair your beer with hearty fare like blackened chicken nachos, green chile cactus spinach dip, salads, sandwiches, burgers and flatbreads.
Dress the part
During springtime in Arizona, the sun will be shining bright. So ditch the business attire and opt for light, casual and, most importantly, breathable clothes. Shorts and a T-shirt are standard, but dress in layers in the chance of cooler temps. You’ll also want to bring a hat (sporting your favorite team’s logo, of course) and sunscreen. Most importantly, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Where to stay
Chandler is teeming with exceptional options to stay during spring training season. A few top spots include the CAMBRiA Hotel Phoenix Chandler Fashion Center, a contemporary hotel that features beds topped with luxurious linens, premium bath products, a sofa or chair and a desk; and the Marriott Phoenix Chandler, which offers the most meeting space in Chandler, and modern rooms complete with flat panel TVs and a plush desk chair so business travelers can catch up on work. Some rooms even boast mountain views.
Designed for extended stays, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Phoenix Chandler offers spacious rooms complete with kitchenettes and a separate living space for a homey feel. Many rooms feature a curtain you can shut to separate the bedroom from the rest of the hotel space. Guests who stay here also get a free breakfast every morning.