Archive for » March 29th, 2014«

Cactus League Stadiums – Salt River Fields

With Spring Training coming to a close, I continue on reviewing the stadiums of the Cactus League. I know it’s too late now for you guys to care, but bookmark these reviews for planning next season’s Spring Training trips.

I’ve already reviewed Municipal Stadium, Diablo Stadium, and the new Cubs Park. Now, let’s head out to the stadium that is furthest East in Arizona.

Salt River Fields – Rockies/Diamondbacks

Salt River Fields

    What a complex!!! This is one of the top stadiums in the Cactus League, so it makes sense that it’s located in Scottsdale. If you do any research on Salt River Fields, you will see it referred to as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Talking Stick is the local resort and casino and, even though I’ve never been inside, looks as nice as the baseball complex. And having a resort/casino so close to a park that shares two MLB teams is a huge bonus for visitors that wan’t to maximize visits to numerous baseball games without having to travel very far.

    But besides the perks of nearby amenities, the stadium itself is extremely comfortable which makes watching a baseball game very enjoyable. The grass seating offers very gentle sloping seats which is nice on the butt and ankles. It’s also very expansive giving lots of room to sprawl out and soak up the sun. But away from the grass, the stadium gets even more fan friendly. There are numerous patios that offer tables and pub seats. The two-level seating around the entire infield gives concourses cover and shade to the first level fans. But don’t worry second tier fans, there are shaders above you too to keep your precious Midwest white skin from burning.

    The concourse is large, both in the infield and outfield, which makes moving through the crowd a breeze. And the concourse in the infield offers a bar ledge for fans that want to walk around and enjoy the game from different angles (or the cheap fans that bought grass seats a better view than the outfield). Another benefit to this stadium is the ability to see the large scoreboard in left field from every angle. And even though I’m painting this stadium as a large park, it’s actually a great stadium to watch a game because it doesn’t feel large. The seats seem to be close to the field which gives the fans the perspective of being near the action from any seat.

    I really can’t complain too much about this stadium, but the biggest issue with it is the lack of establishments in the near vicinity. Unless you are staying at Talking Stick, there aren’t many bars or restaurants nearby. Now someone is going to point out that there is a small shopping center nearby that houses fast-food and BW3’s, but unless you want only a beer, BW3’s and fast-food really don’t hit the baseball fan’s pre/post game cravings. There are some bars and restaurants a bit further that have buses to and from the stadium on game days. These are extremely handy but unless you leave before the 7th inning, odds are you aren’t getting on the bus back to the bar. So just head to the taxi line (which is nice to have at the park) or drive yourself (there is plenty of easy parking at the stadium).

    Again, this is one of my favorite stadiums and usually a must stop while visiting the Cactus League if scheduling permits.

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