|Dimensions||340L, 385LC, 410C, 385RC, 340R|
|Season Ticket Prices||Starting at $133|
|Tickets on Sale||Saturday, Jan. 4, at 9 a.m.|
|Ticket Web Site||padres.com|
|Address||16101 N. 83rd Av., Peoria, AZ 85382|
|Directions||The ballpark is best accessed from the outer loop of Phoenix highways and freeways. From Hwy. 101 (Agua Fria Freeway), take Bell Road and go east to 83rd Avenue. Go south (to the right) and the sports complex will be to the left. It’s well-marked and you’ll see the place from the freeway.|
San Diego Padres 2014 Spring Training: If You Go …
There are some who decry the suburban nature of Peoria, and indeed the area surrounding the ballpark does have a suburban feel, as chain restaurants sit comfortably next to local establishments.
But you don’t need to go to Hooter’s before a game to catch a meal; there are many outstanding establishments within walking distance of the park. Most are located across 83rd Avenue, a short walk from the ballpark.
Here’s the place to be on March 17: Johnny Fox’s Public House. Yes, it is incongruous to be drinking at a dimly lit Irish bar when you’re in the middle of the desert, but what the heck: it’s all artifice, anyway. And there’s a fun vibe at this Irish bar. Johnny Fox’s Public House, 16100 Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., Peoria; 623/878-2660; johnnyfoxspublichouse.com.
Similarly incongruous: Firebird’s, which started out with a Rocky Mountain theme – a theme dropped when the national chain failed to locate a restaurant near any Rocky Mountain city. Still, the wood-fired grilled streaks are pretty good. Firebird’s, Arrowhead Fountain Center, 16067 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Drive, Peoria; 623-773-0500; firebirdsrestaurants.com.
Where to Stay: Staying in Peoria is problematic. On the one hand, there are many hotel rooms available within two miles of the ballpark (some are located in Peoria, others in Glendale). But tour operators, who combine a hotel room with game tickets, reserve many of those rooms months in advance. The rooms that are available typically go for $175 or more a night – which is a lot to pay for a room during spring training.
To be within walking distance of the ballpark and have an affordable room, you’ll need to make a hotel reservation almost a year in advance or else buy a package from a tour operator.
An alternative, should you not want to stay in the midst of a suburban strip mall, is just to stay somewhere else in the Phoenix area and then drive to the ballpark. In the middle of the day the freeways of Phoenix are not packed, so there’s usually very little advantage to staying close to the ballpark.
Other than dining, drinking, and golf, there aren’t too many other attractions in Peoria. One attraction perfect for the entire family is the Challenger Space Center, which features exhibits on the history of America’s manned-space program from Project Mercury through the space shuttles. It also contains Arizona State’s Center for Meteorite Studies. Challenger Space Center, 21170 N. 83rd Av., Peoria; 623/322.2001; azchallenger.org.
Flying In: The closest airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It’s served by all the major airlines, including United, Delta, Air Canada, American, US Airways, and Southwest.
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