Arizona's Spring Training Ballpark Stops for Foodie Fans
With fifteen Major League Baseball teams, ten stadiums, and plenty of sunshine, Arizona is the place to be each spring for baseball fans (all due respect to Florida). The chance to get to know the new players on your favorite team and do some advanced scouting of their rivals is one that many fans just can’t pass up. Not to mention that it’s a chance to spend the day in the sun eating great ballpark food while doing so.
Each Arizona spring training stadium has a specialty food or style that is worthy of checking out. Some remain steadfast to the classic American favorites while others veer off into left field, introducing exotic cuisine. To give you an idea of which stadiums offer the best views and stadium-worthy cuisine, Neighborhoods.com did the digging with a little help from MLB.com and Spring Training Connection.
Goodyear Ballpark - Goodyear
Home of the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear features plenty of special events. Take part in an on-field workout hosted by the Reds, let the kids play in the Kid Zone, and stop by on Sundays when children are allowed to run the bases after the games.
At the concession stand this season, the stadium has welcomed its newest addition, The Cheesy Change-up. Found at the Burgertopia stand, it's a grilled cheeseburger wedged between two grilled cheese sandwiches and finished off with crunchy bacon. The ballpark’s main concession stands (1901 Charter, Hanger 46, and Queen City Grille) are full of Ohio-themed foods like the Cleveland Polish Boy and Skyline Cheese Coney.
Camelback Ranch Stadium - Phoenix
Maryvale Village residents in Phoenix have a front-row view to Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers spring training at Camelback Ranch Stadium. Morning workouts for the teams are open to the public and locals can appreciate a discount of $5.00 off with a resident pass.
You can get all the classics (hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad), but hardcore ballpark foodies will want to take advantage of the All You Can Eat Bullpen Patio. Just feet above the pitcher’s bullpen, you can gorge on an all-you-can-eat buffet of unlimited hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, and ballpark nachos.
Surprise Stadium - Surprise
Home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers, Surprise Stadium, near the Ashton Ranch and Royal Ranch neighborhoods of Surprise, was recently named the No.1 Spring Training stadium in Arizona by USA Today for its facilities, family-friendliness, and of course, food.
Concession stands can be found along the left field line with favorites like barbeque, cheesesteaks, and funnel cakes in high rotation. This year specialty concession stands are offering spicier fare such as the Southwestern Cheesesteak, Tamale Dog, and High Heat Dog with jalapeño relish.
Peoria Sports Complex - Peoria
Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria is celebrating their 25th season this year. These days, it’s the spring home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. The stadium has a variety of concessions that include the old standbys but also healthier fare like greek salads at the Sleek Greek stand or fish tacos at Off the Hook.
For an extra $25, you can take advantage of the Chef's a la Carte experience, a rotating menu of exciting dishes made custom for each fan’s tastes. Every day is a different theme. Fridays are “Tuscan Trattoria” days, where you can get your choice of pasta and accompanying chicken or sausage. Mondays are all about “Street Eats,” offering three tacos with beef or chicken topped with Oaxaca cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and shaved cabbage.
Maryvale Baseball Park - Maryvale
In Maryvale Village, you’ll find Maryvale Baseball Park, spring home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Seating 10,000 fans, this stadium is known for its simplicity and state-of-the-art design. But all some people want to talk about are the Klement's bratwursts available throughout the park. Don’t worry, there are also Klement's chorizo, Italian, and Polish sausages available as well. Fans visiting from Wisconsin will also be happy to know that Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat is available on tap.
Tempe Diablo Stadium - Tempe
Head to the concourse on the left field line for food tents and a picnic area, perfect for mid-inning snacking. Unfortunately, the options aren’t too exciting, but if you search around you’ll be able to find street tacos as well as barbequed beef, chicken, pork, and rib tips under certain tents. If you’re thirsty (and of age), head to the tap room close to home plate where you can choose between four beers from local brewery Four Peaks.
Hohokam Stadium - Mesa
Hohokam Stadium, also located in Mesa, is the spring training home of the Oakland A’s. Come for the post-game fireworks accompanied by musical themes but stay for the Bay Area-inspired food. The Oakland Links offers an Oakland hot dog with green chile, mac n’ cheese, and bacon bits. That’s not to be outdone by popular California chain Ike’s Love and Sandwiches, which offers gourmet sandwiches like the Mark McGwire (turkey, bacon and jack cheese) and Go A's (roast beef, godfather sauce, and jack cheese).
Sloan Park - Mesa
Chicago Cubs fans don’t mess around when it comes to food and drink at Sloan Park in Mesa. If you’re looking for a taste of Chicago outside of Chicago, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago-style hot dogs, and deep-dish pizza at multiple concession stands. Even the food items that aren’t specific to the Cubs’ home city comes with a Chicago-centric name (Millennium Park chicken sandwich, O'Hare wings).
This year, the ballpark has introduced the Jim Beam Bourbon Hot Dog. Smothered in bourbon barbecue sauce, you’ll find it at the Jim Beam Bourbon Bar by left field. Believe it or not, you’ll also find plenty of health fare here as well, including salads, fruit & yogurt, and vegetable crudité.
While the stadium’s beer selection is overseen by Anheuser-Busch, it’s said that you can still find an Old Style if you go looking hard enough.
Scottsdale Stadium - Old Town
Scottsdale Stadium in Old Town hosts the San Francisco Giants. This recently remodeled venue is one of the largest in the Cactus League. Fans can walk the entire concourse to view the new practice facilities, shop at multiple memorabilia stores, and splurge on a variety of concession stands.
Though some new dishes may be added yearly, you’ll always find staples like barbecue and garlic fries. On the pricier end, Charro Lodge offers VIP seating and gourmet grub in a private facility built within the stadium. SF beer fans will appreciate seeing Anchor Steam on tap as well.
Salt River Fields - Talking Stick
Salt River Fields, across the street from Sands Scottsdale in Scottsdale, is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Being that they host the in-state squad, they go all-out for their local fans.
Cold Stone Creamery’s HQ is right next door so they’ve made sure you can get their ice-cold treats inside. There are also plenty more local vendors on hand here, so you’ll find your fair share of Mexican food alongside stadium classics. Vegetarians will be pleased to find a large selection of salads, wraps, and sweet potato fries.
On the sweeter side, berries kabobs — chocolate covered berries and bananas on sticks — are a must-try from the vendors walking the stadium aisles. Beer fans will find plenty of macro and microbrews available, including SanTan Brewing's Devil's Ale from nearby Chandler.