|Dimensions||340L, 385LC, 410C, 385RC, 340R|
|Season Ticket Prices||Starting at $133|
|Tickets on Sale||Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at 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 Spring Training: Party Time in Peoria
Peoria Stadium is considered by many to be among the best ballparks in the Cactus League, despite being one of the oldest these days. The Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres share the ballpark, so a visit to Peoria – a suburb of Phoenix – during any point in spring training will undoubtedly find a game going on, with tickets available for most dates.
The ballpark itself isn’t very distinguished, with an exterior is done up in Arizona adobe brown. And the design is questionable at times: the interior concourse is crowded for most games, the outdoor concourse is usually filled with standing-room-only types, and the seating can be on the cramped side. (All of these issues should be addressed as the ballpark is upgraded in coming years.) So what makes a game at Peoria Stadium such a great experience? Because the fans get so enthused about their team.
There is outfield grass seating; you won’t want to sit there during the day unless you brought your SPF 30 suntan lotion, but if you do you’ll have a great view of the action. (Arrive early to claim a good spot: the best spots in the outfield go quickly.) All in all, the ballpark is very accessible, has good sight lines, and can accommodate larger crowds very nicely.
The complex was the first MLB spring-training facility shared by two teams. (There had been situations where two teams played games in the same ballpark, but they maintained separate training facilities.) Today, of course, almost every new training camp in the Cactus League is built for two teams.
The Peoria Stadium complex contains two 40,000-square-foot clubhouses, indoor and outdoor batting tunnels, 12 major-league-sized practice fields (two lighted), and four half fields. The extensive facility allows both teams and their minor-league squads to practice simultaneously.
More than any other Cactus League facility, any spring-training game at Peoria Stadium feels like a real event. There’s always a lot of traffic and excitement surrounding a game – both the Padres and the Mariners draw well during spring training – and the games certainly sport a carnival-like atmosphere. There are some who decry the location of the ballpark (set, essentially, in the midst of a series of strip malls), but fans seem to love the wide variety of restaurants within walking distance of the park. The ballpark and the games also feel like they are part of the local community: you can expect to see many members of the Peoria Diamond Club – the “Red Shirts” at games – who raise funds for local charities.
The ballpark and the complex will be undergoing a major upgrade in coming months; the work has already begun.
Spring Training History
The San Diego Padres have trained in Arizona since their National League inception in 1969: from 1969 to 1993 the team trained in Yuma, while in 1994 the team moved to the new ballpark in Peoria.
To receive spring-training information via email, please sign up for the Spring Training Online email newsletter.