Ever since 2011, my former girlfriend and now current wife have made it our tradition to make an annual trip out to Arizona for Spring Training. You might know that my wife was born bleeding Dodger Blue, which as you know, means she is a very cold person. Since I bleed orange and black, it means that I am always ready to dress up, and normally I do so as a baseball fanatic. This year as I was planning out our trip, I wanted to try and get to places we had not been before, and with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim playing the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles, I thought this would be a good chance to check out a new facility. Since the game times were at 1PM MST and we left at 6AM PST, we got there just in time for the national anthem and not much time to really tour the stadium, or the facility.
In terms of getting here, just type in “Tempe Diablo Stadium, West Alameda Drive, Tempe, AZ” into Google Maps and it’ll give you what you need. For those that want to see where it is without going to the site, this is about where it is:
Southeast of the 101 loop and the Phoenix Airport, so you can see why it might take some time to get there from the LA area where I was driving from and live at.
Back to the stadium, according to the Angels’ website, the Angels signed their lease to start playing here in ’91, and their lease is signed through 2025, pretty close to the Rays and their disaster of a major league stadium. The entrance to this stadium suggests that good things are to come:
A Mike Trout car? I’ll take twooooenty seven, please! We parked in a lot maybe a block away that we were directed to, cost: $5. If you can find free street parking, it’s probably because you got there early, you lucky duck. Inside the stadium is not shabby:
All the pictures you’ll see are taken with my old iPhone 4 (stop laughing at me, guys…), and this one was taken from the walkway, so you can see you’re still pretty close to the action, with no seats behind the walkway. The seating capacity is 9,315, and the only lawn space you’ll find is in the LF area, as you can see there. We had seats in that LF lawn area, so we had to battle the crowd to get there and find a spot.
Not bad, and although we had to listen to a bunch of “bros” talk in front of us, and eventually some drunk fans spouting racial slurs behind us about political stuff, this wasn’t a bad place to sit. Reminder though: sunscreen is very important for these trips. Even though it was only mid-70s, I still got burned on a part of my neck that I didn’t get good enough.
I was trying to get a picture of the scoreboard there, so you could see what they display, but I have a hard time remembering: AVG, R, H, 2B, 3B, HR, SB, I believe. Old-timer stats, to be sure. Still some important ones on there, but we’re still a ways away from getting some more advanced metrics up there.
Chicken sandwich, pork sandwich, gelato, and a bottle of water cost us $26. I believe our lawn tickets were less than that.
When you sit in the outfield at Spring Training, you get to see players doing sprints and stuff. We got to see guys like Skip Schumaker, Dee Gordon, and Yasiel Puig go by. Let me tell you, that Puig kid is already man-sized.
This is what the concession stands built into the stadium look like. You’ll notice there is a sun ball on the top right, making for bad spring training pictures. If you squint, you can tell that the hot dog combo meal is $13.50. Not sure what comes with it, but I’m sure it’s overpriced.
That is what shady fans look like.
At Spring Training, especially early on, people will start leaving in the 5th inning because the regulars are getting subbed out, and it’s pretty friggin hot out there and people want to go out and do other things. This will make for plenty of open seats in normally highly priced areas of the stadium! Make sure you keep an eye on the spots you can swoop up, if that is something you like to do. My wife hates doing it because they’re not the seats we paid for. I like doing it because they’re great seats! Also, we found out that these seats have cup-holders! This is exciting because apparently, not every Spring Training stadium will have them, which is dumb.
One last pro-tip: if you know the game is being televised, make sure you do something to be noticed:
I like to live in the past, so I do a modified Gangnam Style… er, don’t stare at that GIF too long.
Overall, I’d say Tempe Diablo is a pretty good stadium, and the attendance was pretty good that day as well. My stamp of approval is certainly on this stadium, and I like to believe that I’ll go here again. I’d say this is also my second-favorite stadium when it comes to Cactus League stadiums, so if you’re considering a trip there, I say you should make it happen.