Fans, Arizona reap Spring Training benefits

By admin March 7, 2013 00:45

Fans, Arizona reap Spring Training benefits

AZLatinos Spring Training 1.2By Thomas O’Brien

Spring training brings 15 Major League Baseball teams to Arizona, attracting fans locally and from across the nation and boosting the state’s economy.

It is estimated that the 2012 spring-training season brought about $422 million in direct economic benefit from out-of-state fans, according to a study released by the non-profit Cactus League Baseball Association.

On a past Sunday afternoon, Marina Sambrano and Monica Hernandez were among the crowd gathered at Tempe Diablo Stadium to watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Anaheim Angels. The two friends said they had traveled with their families from Orange County, California to support the Angels and take in all Arizona had to offer.

“We try to bring out another family each year,” said Hernandez, who has been visiting Arizona since 2003 to catch the pre-season games.

“The games are a great preview for the coming season,” Sambrano said. She explained that their group follows the Angels and stays at least two nights in Tempe each trip.

But the chance to get a sneak peak of their team before the official season starts is not the only advantage of the trip.

 “We usually buy all of our team clothing for the year here because the prices are so much better at these games,” Hernandez said.

For Valley locals, the spring-training games offer the opportunity to see some of their favorite out-of-state teams that they’d otherwise not get to watch regularly.

Alex Delafuente of Mesa brought his family out to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to enjoy the weather and watch his Oakland A’s play against the Colorado Rockies.

“It’s such a nice day,” Delafuente said. “You have a couple beers, get some good seats . . . it makes for a nice family outing.”

Delafuente, who is originally from Fresno, California said the previous year he attended one regular season A’s game. But here in the Valley he heads out to as many games as he’s able to attend.

AZLatinos Spring Training 2.2

At that same stadium, Jerry Thomas brought his friend Darryl Todechine for his very first spring-training game.

“I like the atmosphere, the green grass, good music; everything about it.” Todechine said about his first experience at a pre-season baseball game.

“I like that you’re closer to the players and it’s a lot cheaper,” Thomas said. Thomas, a spring-training veteran, tries to catch as many games as he can and follows all the teams.

Multiple teams, great deals on seats and merchandise, and the overall atmosphere of the spring-training experience lures baseball fans to spend an afternoon with the nice weather and baseball.

But the benefits of spring training don’t end with the baseball teams and their fans. A study conducted by Elliot D. Pollack & Company analyzed the contributions of other tournaments and festivities held at the spring-training facilities. Their findings determined that other events held at the Cactus League stadiums during the remaining months of the year also add an estimated $210 million a year, based on 2011 data. To search the schedules of your favorite teams, visit 

AZLatinos Spring Training 3.2

By admin March 7, 2013 00:45
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