As we begin to seriously map our spring training plans, it’s time to focus on the only “holiday” in February and March: St. Pat’s Day 2023. And while teams don’t lean into St. Patrick’s Day as they once did, it’s still a festive day in many spring-training ballparks.
Making St. Pat’s Day 2023 an even bigger deal: it’s scheduled for a Friday, leading into the perfect three-day weekend. By mid-March the fans finally start showing up for spring-training games, and we won’t be very surprised if most of the March 17 games sell out, especially with so many rivalry games on the slate.
Here are recommended St. Pat’s Day games for 2023. We’ll start with the Grapefruit League:
Tampa Bay Rays at Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:05 p.m. The Pirates have always gone big with their St. Patrick’s Day games, with themed giveaways and players decked out in green uniforms. Many in the crowd will be decked out in green as well, and don’t be surprised if we see a merch special or two. Check out the ticket situation here.
Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m. In a unique situation, the Blue Jays and Phillies will face off twice on St. Pat’s Day, with each team hosting a game. When these games were first announced, we were hoping we would see a day-night doubleheader, beginning the day in Clearwater, followed up by break time (perfect for sampling the many fine offerings of food and beverage in downtown Dunedin) and then a night game at TD Ballpark. Alas, this was not to be: both teams will be hosting a day game. (Sigh.) Though we’re big fans of TD Ballpark, the Phillies usually make St. Pat’s Day an occasion with merch and drink specials. Check out the ticket situation for the Phillies here; check out the ticket situation for the Blue Jays here.
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers, 1:05 p.m. The unique layout of Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium—a small number of rows sit closest to the field, with the larger grandstand separated by a walkway—makes for an intimate neighborhood of season-ticket holders. And traditionally they’ve shown up for spring training decked out in green and creating a festive atmosphere. The ballpark atmosphere should be even more frenetic with the New York Yankees and their rabid fan base in town. Check out the ticket situation here.
One thing to keep in mind: We only have one night game scheduled in Florida on St. Pat’s Day. What a travesty! We know many fans have enjoyed day-night doubleheaders when traveling on St. Pat’s Day. The only night game, by the way, is in Port St. Lucie, with the Miami Marlins visiting the New York Mets. The game is set for 6:10 p.m. You can combine that night game with an afternoon game at Jupiter (St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins, 1:05 p.m.) or West Palm Beach (Washington Nationals at Houston Astros, 1:05 p.m.).
In the Cactus League:
Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 1:05 p.m. Let’s face it: we always see a party atmosphere at Sloan Park, and with the Dodgers in town, we expect a full house, lots of Cubs fans on hand for a three-day weekend and a very festive time within the ballpark gates. No, the Cubs aren’t known for anything particularly special for St. Patrick’s Day—but we’d still recommend this game anyway. Check out the ticket situation here.
Cleveland Guardians at Cincinnati Reds, 6:05 p.m. This game has turned into a genuine rivalry event, and we expect a big crowd for an evening St. Patrick’s Day game. And, as a bonus, we have a giveaway—a rarity in spring training these days. The first 2,000 fans in the gates will receive what’s billed as a “festive St. Paddy’s Day pint glass.” Check out the ticket situation here; looks like there are some bargains to be had.
Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres, 6:40 p.m. Another rivalry game in the works—heck, maybe even a World Series preview game, given last year’s performances from both teams. We love Peoria Stadium for a night game, which traditionally draws well. Come early and grab a spot in the outfield berm and seating areas. Check out the ticket situation here.
The advantage of planning a night game on St. Patrick’s Day: you can combine it with a great afternoon game and create your own doubleheader. Other rivalry day games worth checking out: Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox, 1:05 p.m.; San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics, 1:05 p.m.; and Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies, 1:10 p.m.