|Dimensions||318L, 399LC, 408C, 385RC, 314R|
|Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Season Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Tickets on Sale||Friday, Jan. 10 at 10 a.m.|
|Ticket Web Site||mlb.com|
|Address||1 Steinbrenner Dr., Tampa, FL 33614. If your GPS chokes on that address, use this alternative address: 3802 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Tampa.|
|Directions||Take I-275 to North Dale Mabry (U.S. Hwy. 92), exit 41B (old 23). Proceed north approximately three miles. Steinbrenner Field will be on your left, directly across from Raymond James Stadium. Follow the signs for parking, as you’ll park on the opposite side of Dale Mabry from the ballpark.|
New York Yankees 2014 Spring Training – If You Go …
Tampa has a slew of attractions designed for families, including a world-class aquarium and Busch Gardens, a theme part built around a zoo, various rides, and a water park.
In addition to the general Tampa activities, there are some other noteworthy attractions and restaurants within a short distance of the ballpark that will give you a true flavor of Tampa. Dale Mabry Highway is an interesting stretch of road: between a retail cluster at I-275 and the ballpark is a vast wasteland of strip clubs, gas stations, and fast-foot joints. Not a place to hang out with the kids, but you can be assured it represents the very essence of Tampa.
Near Steinbrenner Field is La Teresita, a down-home neighborhood Cuban joint with some great food: Cuban sandwiches, shredded beef, and fried plantains. You can get the food to go (which would make for some interesting tailgating at the Steinbrenner Field parking lot) or sidle up to the counter. La Teresita, 3246 W. Columbus Dr., Tampa; 813/879-4909; lateresitarestaurant.com.
If that’s too adventurous for you, less than a mile away from the ballpark is Champps, part of the chain of sports bars. Yes, it’s a chain, but the food at Champps is pretty decent, there’s always some sort of game on a multitude of televisions, and the location is convenient. In the same complex is Too Jay’s, a popular Florida deli chain. The food should appeal to any New Yawker: the portions may not be quite as grotesque as those found at the Carnegie Deli, but the pastrami and corned beef both are excellent, and the Dr. Brown’s is nice and cold. There are also a variety of other restaurants in the general area, located adjacent to the International Mall. 2223 N. West Shore (off Boy Scout, behind the Shops of Baystreet), Tampa. Champps, 813/353-0200; champps.com. Too Jay’s, 813/348-4101; toojays.com.
If you’re in Tampa in March, you’re in the midst of spring-training nirvana. Spring-training venues in Tampa/St. Pete or within easy driving distance include Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays), Clearwater (Philadelphia Phillies), Bradenton (Pittsburgh Pirates), and Lakeland (Detroit Tigers). You can expect your trip to spring training to be filled with lots of baseball in the Tampa area.
Also worth a trip is the Pier, located on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. The Pier features a five-story inverted pyramid with giant tubes bubbling with fish and creatures from the sea, complete with a second-floor aquarium filled with native and tropical fish and sharks. You’ll also find educational exhibits from the Great Explorations Museum and the historic H.M.S. Bounty docked pierside.
Where to Stay: Given that most Yankees fans are rather fanatical in nature, many readers of this book will want to stay as close to the ballpark as possible. (One imagines they would sleep in their cars outside the ballpark if they could.) There are two hotels within easy walking distance of the ballpark: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Comfort Inn Airport at Raymond James Stadium. Steinbrenner Field is less than three miles from the airport, so any of the many airport hotels would work out.
Flying In: Tampa International Airport is obviously the closest airport and the most convenient. It’s not the biggest airport in the world and is easy to navigate. All the major airlines fly into Tampa.
Still, you may also want to consider flying into Orlando and then driving to Tampa if the fare to Orlando is significantly cheaper. The drive is 79 miles and takes an hour and a half on I-4 — which is not the best freeway in the world, admittedly — but if you can save $100 or so on your air fares, the drive will be worth it.
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