I was so happy to be able to see some spring training games in late February and early March of 2019 for the first time ever! I am a HUGE Angels fan and was lucky enough to see them play at their spring training home stadium Tempe Diablo However, I also got to see them play At Salt River Field at Talking Stick which is the home spring training stadium for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. It was actually the first stadium I visited, and it was incredible. It has views of Camelback Mountain, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, Red Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains. Since I live here in Colorado now, I like the Rockies too, so it was going to be fun to see both teams play each other.
I was so excited to see my first game and got there way early to check out the park and take some pictures. After entering the stadium, I was glad I got there early as there was a lot to see and do. I was quite pleased at how friendly al the ushers and vendors were, even though I was wearing my Angels gear, lol. Everyone just seemed to love the game of baseball and looking forward to a few hours of fun.
One of the first things I noticed, besides the beautiful diamond, was the batter’s eye. It was several levels and filled with cacti. You don’t see that at any major league parks, lol. I thought it was cool and hoped that I would see a homerun ball land there. Sadly it didn’t happen, but it was still beautiful.
They also had a pretty interesting scoreboard with the name of the stadium. It wasn’t displaying much before the game, but it was quite colorful anyway. Later I learned that the colors actually meant something. The word ‘SALT’ is in red in honor of the Diamondbacks, the word ‘RIVER’ is in green for the sustainability of the stadium, and ‘FIELDS’ is purple for the Rockies.” As you can see other people got there early too and were sitting on the grass out there in left field. It is also very huge standing at 24′ by 48′. Definitely can’t be missed.
I mentioned the vendors earlier and they were plenty of them, 55 of them actually. Around Salt River Field you will find some of the following establishments, Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar, Salty Senorita, Cold Stone Creamery, Tweety’s Pima Frybread, Berrie Kabobs, and Home Plate Hot Dogs. Vegetarians will find more options than normal, as specialty wraps, salads, bean burritos, and sweet potato fries are part of their line-up.
Just like at Tempe Diablo Stadium, if you are most interested in the beer selection, Salt River Field has a great section. You can find Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss, Red Lager and Summer Shandy; Belgian White and Spring Ale by Blue Moon; the old standbys of Coors Light and Miller Lite; Mexican brewed Dos Equis and Pacifico, and locally-based SanTan Brewing’s Devil’s Ale. Those should keep most fans happy for a while, lol
I eventually found my seat and enjoyed a soda while watching the players warm up. I also learned a little bit about Salt River Field from a brochure I found while walking around. Apparently, construction of the field began on November 17, 2009. There are 7,000 fixed seats in the grandstand and 4,000 lawn seats for a total estimated seating capacity of 11,000. Each team has an 85,000-square-foot clubhouse, six full-size practice fields, two infield-only practice diamonds, and batting cages. I wish I had been able to do a tour of the stadium. Anyway, the stadium was completed before the 2011 season, with the first game being played between the Diamondbacks and Rockies on February 26, 2011.
The game eventually started but not before the first pitch was thrown. I can’t remember who threw it, but I think I have a good reason. It was Rockies Dog Days at the park and there was a dog on the field. He ran after the ceremonial first pitch ball when the person threw the ball wide and the catcher missed it. Dinger, the Rockies mascot, also had a pet dog that he had running around with him throughout the game. There are only a small number of dogs that are allowed into the park on Rockies Dog Days, and I enjoyed watching them too as I walked around the stadium. Made me wish I had my dogs with me, and we could all sit outside and enjoy the game. Maybe some other year we can drive down to Phoenix and bring them.
I really enjoyed the game and my experience at the game. Like I said everyone was very nice, the stadium was amazingly beautiful, and it was a perfect day to catch a game. Below I am going to add some important information if you plan on catching a game at Salt River Field in the future. If you need more info, here is a link to their website. BTW, the Angels won, sorry to the Rockies fans. lol
Salt River Field Visitor Information
7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
From Sky Harbor International Airport
Take the 202 East to merge onto the 101 North. Exit at McDonald Dr. and turn left (heading west). Turn right onto Pima Road (heading north). Three entrances to Salt River Fields will be available off of Pima Road.
From the Northeast Valley
Take the 101 North toward Scottsdale. Exit at 90th Street and turn right heading south. Continue on 90th Street which becomes Pima Rd. Three entrances to Salt River Fields will be available off of Pima Road.
From the Southwest Valley
Take the I-10 West toward Phoenix. Merge onto the 202 East. After approximately nine miles, merge onto the 101 North. Exit at McDonald Dr. and turn left (heading west). Turn right onto Pima Road (heading north). Three entrances to Salt River Fields will be available off of Pima Road.
From the East Valley
Take the US-60 West toward Phoenix. Merge onto the 101 North toward Scottsdale. Exit at McDonald Dr. and turn left (heading west). Turn right onto Pima Road (heading north). Three entrances to Salt River Fields will be available off of Pima Road.
From North Phoenix and Northern Arizona
Take the I-17 South toward Phoenix. Merge onto the 101 North. Exit at 90th Street and turn right heading south. Continue on 90th Street which becomes Pima Rd. Three entrances to Salt River Fields will be available off of Pima Road.
There are four designated gates at Salt River Fields. Their locations are as follows:
Center Field Gate – East side of facility located off the Center Field Parking Lot
Home Plate Gate – West side of the facility located off the Home Plate Parking Lot
D-backs Gate – North side of the facility located off the Desert Parking Lot
Rockies Gate – Southside of the facility located off the Mountain Parking Lot
Guests are encouraged to come early and watch batting practice, infield workouts, and pregame ceremonies. For all games, gates will open 1 hour and 40 minutes prior to game time. These times are subject to change during day/night doubleheaders.
There are over 4,000 parking spaces on-site at Salt River Fields. Day of game parking is available in all lots for $5. RV and bus parking is available for $15. Salt River Fields parking lots will open on game days at 9 AM. In addition, Hybrid Parking Spots are available around the complex courtesy of APS.
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