Signs of spring are popping up in Florida and Arizona, as full squads are reporting this week—and this year, fans can look forward to more than just the games. In both the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues, teams are releasing spring training promotions schedules that feature giveaways, special events, and discounted ticket prices.
While for many fans, the simple site of baseball and the warm weather can be a powerful lure, teams have taken extra steps to draw people to the ballpark. Last year’s edition of this post highlighted that trend, which has definitely continued in 2016.
In Arizona, it appears that ticket specials are being offered as a big incentive for fans. Camelback Ranch—home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox—is offering discounted prices every Sunday through its Uptown Alley Family Sunday. As part of this package, $3 berm tickets will be available for kids 12 and under, who will also be allowed to run the bases after the game.
Elsewhere in Arizona, look for a few interesting offers from the Peoria Sports Complex. A matchup of the ballpark’s two tenants—the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners—on March 30 will be highlighted by Fan Appreciation Day, which will feature buy one get one free tickets for bleacher, lawn, and outfield box seating, as well as special concession prices. On April 1, a firework show will follow the Mariners’ contest against the Colorado Rockies.
Those who are Padres fans and dog lovers will be in for a treat on March 4, which is dog day at the ballpark. For an advance purchase price of $5 per person and $4 per dog, attendees will be able to obtain lawn seating. All proceeds from the dog tickets will benefit the Arizona Humane Society.
Whether it’s for a home game for the Cincinnati Reds or the Cleveland Indians, Goodyear Ballpark will have a special event for the fans. Before every night matchup, attendees will be able to enter the ballpark two hours before first pitch time for a happy hour that will feature food and drink specials. There will be four happy hours this spring, the first of which will take place before a contest between the Reds and the Mariners on March 4.
Fans looking for a good giveaway will also want to keep an eye on Goodyear’s back-to-back bobblehead giveaways. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis will have a bobblehead day on March 5, with the following afternoon’s game featuring a bobblehead of Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Both items will be available to the first 2,000 fans in attendance.
Bobblehead collectors will find a haven at Maryvale Ballpark, spring home of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are set to giveaway several bobbleheads this spring, including a likeness of Hall of Famer Paul Molitor on March 21 as well as former commissioner, and one-time team owner, Bud Selig on March 12. The Molitor bobblehead will be available to the first 1,500 fans, while the first 5,000 in attendance will receive the Selig giveaway.
Out in Florida, the promotional slate will also be busy, with the offerings including a few special theme days. The Miami Marlins will give fans a chance to celebrate their faith on March 13 as part of Jewish Heritage Day (JHD) at Roger Dean Stadium. In conjunction with the Jewish National Fund, the Marlins are offering special discounts as well as a commemorative baseball for the first 300 fans to enter on JHD tickets. Those interested in learning how to obtain the tickets can do so by clicking here.
Among the Grapefruit League teams with robust promotional slates is the Philadelphia Phillies, who will host an alumni day at Bright House Field on March 20. There are also a few giveaways in the offing, including a vintage bobblehead on March 3 and a Coors Light bucket for those age 21 and over on March 10. The bobblehead will be paired with the first of two Senior Days, an offering that will allow fans 60 and older to purchase a field box seat at the stadium box office for $20.
In Bradenton, the Pittsburgh Pirates once again have a busy events calendar for the fans at McKechnie Field. The spring will kick off on February 26, when the team hosts its seventh annual pep rally, featuring live music, family entertainment, and autograph sessions. Keep an eye on a few other theme days and giveaways as well, such as Military Appreciation Day on March 3 and a tumbler giveaway on March 13. It should be noted as well that the Pirates are planning a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, adding to a matchup that was listed among our best for the afternoon.
Just down the road in Sarasota, the Baltimore Orioles have a few giveaways planned for their first game back at Ed Smith Stadium on March 2. That afternoon, every fan in attendance will receive a free spring training magnet schedule, while the first 1,000 women in attendance will be presented with a Bird of Paradise Flower. The Orioles are also hosting a post-game firework show after their first night game on March 7.
Every year, the New York Yankees run out a fairly packed slate of promotions. This year is no exception, with some of the featured items including a spring training pin on March 11, a portable charger on March 11, and a water bottle on March 28.
Perhaps the most notable of the giveaways is the George M. Steinbrenner Collectors Series Ring for the 1977 World Series, which fans can receive on March 29. For each of the past six springs, the Yankees have honored the legacy of their late owner by handing out a replica ring from a World Series Championship team won under his watch. This year will mark the seventh and final ring in the series.
Whether your spring travels will take you to Florida or Arizona, or both, these promotions should provide plenty of opportunities for you to add to your spring training experience.