|BRIGHT HOUSE FIELD|
|Dimensions||329L, 381LC, 408C, 330L|
|Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Season Ticket Prices||To be announced|
|Tickets on Sale||Thursday, Jan. 7, 9 a.m.|
|Ticket Web Site||mlb.com|
|Address||601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, FL 33765|
|Directions||Take Hwy. 19 north of St. Petersburg to Drew Street. At Old Coachman Road hang a right; the ballpark is ahead on your right.|
Philadelphia Phillies 2016 Spring Training – If You Go …
Clearwater is less than 20 miles outside of the Tampa-St. Petersburg urban core and less than five miles from Dunedin, so you’re in the midst of spring-training nirvana. Spring-training venues that are within easy driving distance of Clearwater include Lakeland (Detroit Tigers), Tampa (New York Yankees), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays), and Bradenton (Pittsburgh Pirates). You can expect your trip to spring training to be filled with lots of baseball in the Tampa area.
The thing to do in Clearwater is really nothing: head to one of the many beaches and soak up some sun. We already mentioned Clearwater Beach as a prime activity in our earlier chapter on Tampa attractions. One popular local attraction is Pier 60 Park, located at Causeway and Gulf Boulevard. Pier 60 Park is a white-sand beach that runs north for 1.3 miles and features shops, restaurants, a bait shop, beach concessions, and nightly entertainment.
Be warned you won’t be the only one heading to Clearwater Beach. After all, March is spring break for a lot of people uninterested in baseball, and they love the sun and the sand enough to flock to Clearwater in search of cheap beer and good food. You can find both at one of the four Frenchy’s in the area; they specialize in serving lots of beer and fresh grouper sandwiches. Our favorite is Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill (7 Rockaway St., Clearwater Beach; 727/446-4844; frenchysonline.com), as you can sit on the deck and enjoy outdoor dining on the waterfront. It’s also popular with Phillies front-office personnel, players, and beat reporters. For something more traditional, Heilman’s Beachcomber (447 Mandalay Av., Clearwater; 727/442-4144; heilmansbeachcomber.com) is old-time Florida at its best, and also a traditional haunt of Phillies front-office personnel. The Palm Pavilion (10 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater; 727/446-2642; palmpavilion.com) is owned and run by Phillies fan Ken Hamilton, so his outdoor deck is a must-visit for anyone traveling down from Philadelphia. And Villa Gallace (109 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach; 727/596-0200; villagallace.com), a high-brow Italian restaurant, has been a traditional favorite of Phillies players and front-office personnel.
Where to Stay: Because of the many teams that train in the Tampa area, you won’t need to stay too close to the stadium. Within a mile of the stadium is the Comfort Suite Clearwater, and there are several affordable hotels in the greater area (Best Western Seastone Resort, Best Western Clearwater Centra, Radisson Suite Resort Sand Key, Hampton Inn Clearwater).
Flying In: Tampa International Airport is obviously the closest airport to Clearwater 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.
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 less than an hour and a half on I-4 but if you can save $100 or so on your air fares, the drive will be worth it.
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