Cactus League baseball drives area economy

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By Danny Bush

 

The calm after the close of the National Football League season has ended and tradition abounds in the metropolitan area yet again. The Cactus League is welcomed by city natives and visitors alike here in the month of March. Spring training starts as 15 Major League Baseball teams warm up under the warmth of the Valley of the Sun.

15 teams, primarily from the West, collide against each other in 10 different stadiums within driving distance from each other starting on March 3. Several games are played daily until April 4.

Tickets can be purchased by phone or by logging in to cactusleague.com and buying tickets for individual games. Each teams generates its own tickets, which means that a separate phone number is provided for each stadium in order to buy tickets. There are several websites for each stadium as well. Facts about the stadiums and links to their sites can all be found on the Cactus League main page.

This league, which plays over 200 games in the month, draws approximately 1.5 million baseball fans each year. “The Cactus League is our state’s history maker,” said Brad Curtis, after a report was issued to describe how the season drives Arizona’s economy each spring. The league is estimated to have an economic impact of over $300 million.

Along with the games themselves, fans can be treated to educational activities about the history of baseball and the Cactus League.

The Mesa Historical Museum is home to the Arizona Spring Training Experience. For $5 adult tickets, fans can explore museum on 51 East Main Street in Mesa. The exhibit is open Wednesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Fans can also visit Goodyear Ballpark at 1933 South Ballpark Way in Goodyear and the Tempe Diablo Stadium at 2200 East Alameda Road in Tempe. More info about the museum and about the Cactus League Hall of Fame can be found on the Spring Training Experience website, azspringtrainingexperience.com.