Both the Padres and Royals call northwest Phoenix home for the spring. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

The metropolitan Phoenix area hosts the Cactus League, the spring training league for several Midwestern and West Coast Major League Baseball teams. Fifteen teams participate in the Cactus League at several different ballparks across the region, with four teams calling northwest Phoenix home.

The Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers play at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, while the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners play at Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria.

From the end of February to the end of March, baseball fans from around the country can watch their favorite teams play in stadiums across Phoenix. If you’re making the trip to northwest Phoenix to see these teams play, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know to attend their spring training games, plus some 55+ communities to see while you’re there. If you’re staying in the area, take a look at our guide to southwest Phoenix spring training games, too.

Surprise Stadium - Surprise

Surprise Stadium is a modern complex with plenty of unique food options to try. (Image via Random9Thought)

Located in Surprise, Arizona, Surprise Stadium opened in 2002 and seats 10,714 people. The ballpark is located at the Surprise Recreation Campus athletic facility that also features 12 baseball fields and an 8-acre multi-purpose field.

Inside the stadium, fans can find quotes from Babe Ruth, George Will, Bob Lemon, Bryant Gumbel, Red Smith, and Humphrey Bogart. The lower deck concourse also features plaques that commemorate the greatest players and managers from the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals as well as local community heroes.

Another unique feature of this stadium is the surplus of people in yellow shirts that baseball fans see at spring training games. They are the Surprise Sundancers, the official spring training volunteer organization of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. This registered non-profit organization consists of over 750 members.

Who Plays Here

Surprise Stadium is the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. Both teams opened the Surprise Stadium in 2003 as the first and only MLB teams to train there.

Game Schedule

The Rangers and the Royals will open and close their spring training seasons with games against each other. The teams play head-to-head on Saturday, February 23 to start the season and then on Sunday, March 24 to end the season. The teams play each other twice more during spring training, with games on Monday, March 11 and Thursday, March 14.

The Royals play 32 Cactus League games in 2019, with 17 in Surprise and 15 on the road. The team has two off days scheduled for March 4 and March 18. The Rangers play 33 Cactus League games in 2019, with 18 in Surprise and 15 on the road. The team has one off day scheduled for March 13.

How Do I Get There?

With its location approximately 45 minutes northwest of Downtown Phoenix, baseball fans have plenty of options to drive to the stadium. From Downtown Phoenix, take Interstate-10 west to SR-303. Then take Bell Road to Bullard Avenue and look for the stadium in half a mile.

From the northwest valley, take SR-303 south to Bell Road. Take Bell Road to Bullard Avenue and look for the stadium in half a mile. From the southwest valley, take 1-10 East to SR-303. Then take Bell Road to Bullard Avenue and look for the stadium in half a mile.

The nearest international airport is the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, about 40 miles away. From the airport, take 1-10 West to Route 303 North. Take the Bell Road exit and turn right on Bullard Avenue. For those who want to use Uber or Lyft, the airport has plenty of pick-up locations.

When driving, follow the signs to park in one of the lots outside of the center field entrance.

How Much Are Tickets?

Ticket prices range from around $8 to $45. Baseball fans on a budget can find the least expensive tickets in the lawn, which range from $8 to $12, and the outfield reserve in Sections 121-124, which range from $15 to $20.

Plaza seats in Sections 117-120 range from $20 to $25 and infield seats in Sections 113-116 range from $25 to $25. The higher price range of $45 can put you in the lower premium seats behind home plate. Ticket prices may vary depending on the day’s game and how far in advance tickets are purchased.

What Else Do I Need To Know Before I Go?

Both the Rangers and Royals have played in Surprise Stadium since 2003. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

Parking at the Surprise Recreation Campus is free, but make sure to arrive early for the best spots. Gates open 90 minutes prior to the start of games. The practice fields open to the public each morning at 9:30 with free admission. In fact, the best chance for fans to add to their autograph collections is to come early and catch the players on the back practice fields during morning workouts.

Surprise Stadium prohibits coolers, backpacks, and open containers. The stadium allows any bags smaller than 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches. Fans can also bring in a clear, sealed one-liter water bottle, single-serving juice boxes, and food in clear, sealed bags.

Fun Ballpark Fare

Surprise Stadiums brings baseball fans all of the traditional concessions that they know and love, as well as some modern fare. A handful of specialty concession stands can be found on the concourse down the left field line. The concession stands offer a rotating selection of specialty dishes, plus its regular fan favorites.

Popular choices include funnel cakes, cheesesteaks, and barbecue sandwiches. Fans might also want to try the roasted corn, puffy tacos, fried pork tenderloin sandwiches, and elephant ears. French fries come both wavy and curly. A cool shaved ice “snowie” in over 30 flavors is a great way to cool off.

What To Do Before & After Games

If you have a few hours before or after a game, you might want to check out the things to do in the surrounding area. The nearby Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium, and Safari Park, has one of the largest collections of exotic animals in Arizona.

Those who want to spend time outdoors can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, biking, and RV camping at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park just over 11 miles away. Just 12 miles southeast, the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley features over 75,000 square feet of adults-only fun with five restaurants and more.

Nearby Away Game Destinations

The closest spring training ballpark to Surprise Stadium is the Peoria Sports Complex where the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners play just about 10 miles away. The Royals play the Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex on Monday, March 11 and the Padres on Saturday, March 16. The Rangers face the Mariners at Peoria on Tuesday, February 26 and return to play the Padres on Thursday, March 7.

Fans can also drive about 13 miles to the nearby Camelback Ranch Stadium where the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers train.

Nearby 55+ Communities

The active adult community located closest to Surprise Stadium is Sun Village, which is just one-and-a-half miles from the stadium. This gated 55+ community of 1,382 homes features a 47,000 square-foot clubhouse called the Sun Village Community Center. This active adult community provides its residents with services that include a hair salon and a full-service restaurant, plus an unbeatable location for the biggest Cactus League fans.

With 16,900 homes, Sun City West offers large scale active adult living for 55+ residents who want reasonably priced homes and luxurious amenities. This community features the largest activity center in Arizona, the R.H. Johnson Center, which contains 118,000 square feet of amenities under one roof. Sun City West boasts three additional amenity centers, nine golf courses, and nine restaurants.

Del Webb’s Sun City Grand welcomes 45+ residents into this community with a lower age restriction and 9,802 homes. The community’s four championship golf courses, called Cimarron, Desert Springs, Granite Falls North, and Granite Falls South, all take their designs from PGA Hall-of-Famer Billy Casper and renowned golf course architect Greg Nash. Additional outdoor amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, and pickleball courts.

The age-restricted Arizona Traditions community contains 1,768 homes with access to a desirable line-up of amenities. Residents have access to a 20,400 square-foot clubhouse that includes a 700-person ballroom, library, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The on-site Arizona Traditions Bar serves drinks and food in a sports bar setting. Outdoors, the amenities continue with three pools, a softball field, and biking trails.

Peoria Sports Complex - Peoria

Peoria Sports Complex provides plenty of fun for visitors. (Image via Dirk Hansen)

The Peoria Sports Complex opened in 1994 with a capacity of 12,224. The baseball complex consists of its main baseball stadium, Peoria Stadium, and twelve practice fields. Its location in Peoria, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, puts it within reach for many local and visiting baseball fans. The Peoria Sports Complex was the first MLB spring training facility in the country shared by two baseball teams.

Who Plays Here

Both the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners host their spring training seasons at Peoria Sports Complex. The stadium has hosted these two MLB teams for the Cactus League since it opened in 1994. Both teams are also leased to train there through 2034.

Game Schedule

The Padres kick off their spring training season against the Mariners on Saturday, February 23. The Padres play the White Sox at home the following day on Sunday, February 24. San Diego plays 31 Cactus League games in the 2019 season, with 15 in Peoria and 16 on the road.

The team has two off days scheduled for March 11 and March 21. They will play its final two games at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, March 23 and the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, March 24.

The Mariners start their season a few days earlier with two games against the Oakland Athletics. The Mariners face the A’s on Thursday, February 21 away and Friday, February 22 at home. Then, the Mariners will play their home-stadium neighbor the Padres on Sunday, February 24.

The Mariners play 24 Cactus League games in this spring training season, with 15 in Peoria and 9 on the road. The team is not playing games in Arizona on March 4, 14-18 and 20 because they will head to Japan for a special preseason series. Mariners spring training end with their two final games on Thursday, March 21 against the Cincinnati Reds and Friday, March 22 against the Los Angeles Angels.

How Do I Get There?

Peoria Sports Complex is located at 16101 N. 83rd Avenue in Peoria. Driving south, take I-17 S to AZ-101 Loop West. Then take exit 14 for Bell Road. Driving north, take I-10 W to AZ-101 Loop North. Take exit 12 for Thunderbird Road.

The nearest international airport, the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, is just 30 miles away. From the airport, take I-10 W to AZ-101 Loop North. Take exit 12 for Thunderbird Road. The airport also provides plenty of opportunities to take an Uber or a Lyft.

How Much Are Tickets?

Ticket prices range from approximately $9 to $35. The least expensive seats on the lawn range from $9 to $11 depending on the game. Bleacher seats run around $16, while infield box seats cost around $30. The cost varies depending on the game of the day as well as how far in advance tickets are purchased.

Shaded seating can be found in the club seat Sections 305-308 and upper box Sections 309-219. Additional shading seating includes Upper Box Sections 200-215, 217, and 219, Rows HH and above.

Children under 3 do not require a ticket.

What Else Do I Need To Know Before I Go?

Whether you want something adventurous or just a simple hot dog, Peoria Sports Complex has it. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

Parking costs $5 for all personal vehicles. RV parking is $10. Buses carrying groups are not charged for parking. The Practice Field gates open at approximately 9 a.m. during spring training, while the gates at Peoria Stadium typically open 90 minutes prior to game time.

The Peoria Sports Complex offers several theme nights for added fun. February 24 and March 3, 20, and 23 will be Kids Days. Children 8 to 12 can take the field with a player, announce a batter, or sing the seventh-inning stretch, with one activity per child, subject to availability. After the game, every child can run the bases. Just visit guest services up to one hour before the first pitch on game day to register for an activity.

February 25 and March 6, 9, and 21 will be Dog Days, where fans can sit on the lawn with their dog at the game. A $5 dog admission ticket can ensure entry for your furry friend, and all proceeds will be donated to the Arizona Humane Society. Water troughs will be provided.

Even when the Mariners are out of town for a special preseason series, fans can still watch their favorite team. Enjoy a pair of $1 admission games to watch the top minor league prospects of the Mariners and Padres go head-to-head in the stadium. Plus, the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a surprise giveaway item.

Fun Ballpark Fare

Cracker jacks, hot dogs, popcorn, and more classic baseball fare can all be found at Peoria Sports Complex, but the concessions don’t end there. At the Taste of the Cactus League stand behind home plate, fans can find luxurious meals like salmon Caesar salad and Baja fish tacos for the home teams, along with rotating dishes that represent the cities of away teams.

The Power Alley station also provides unique dining choices, including gyros and burritos. A specially priced kids meal of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a hot dog with chips and a soda can be found at the concession stand by the wiffle ball field.

What To Do Before & After Games

In between spring training games, baseball fans can explore the surrounding Peoria area.

Across from the stadium, Arrowhead Towne Center features plenty of shops and restaurants. Additional entertainment options close by include Arizona Broadway Theater and AZ Ice Peoria.

Nearby, Peoria Eighty Three, or P83, is the city’s cultural gateway to entertainment opportunities, outdoor recreation, and shopping. One of the attractions in the area is Modern Round, a virtual shooting lounge complete with state-of-the-art technology and a full restaurant and bar. Local restaurants include Osaka P83 Teppanyaki & Sushi and Revolu Modern Taqueria and Bar.

Nearby Away Game Destinations

The closest spring training ballpark to Peoria Sports Complex is Surprise Stadium where the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers play. The Mariners play the Royals at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, March 2. The Padres play three games at Surprise Stadium during their spring training season. The Padres face the Royals on Thursday, February 28 and Sunday, March 10, with a game against the Rangers on Sunday, March 3.

Fans can also drive about 12 miles south to the nearby Camelback Ranch Stadium where the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers train.

Nearby 55+ Communities

Some of the most famous active adult communities in the Phoenix area are located near Peoria Stadium, so a trip for spring training might be an ideal time to explore these 55+ communities that you have to see to believe.

The active adult community nearest to Peoria Stadium is Westbrook Village, a well-established community of 3,910 homes. Residents of Westbrook Village appreciate the community's proximity to the 101 Loop for convenient access to everything Phoenix has to offer. Desirable amenities include two amenity centers, a Fine Arts & Learning Center, and two restaurants.

Just six miles away from the stadium, the 55+ community Ventana Lakes includes 1,701 homes surrounded by nine well-stocked lakes, several waterfalls, and walking trails. Outdoor amenities include courts for tennis, bocce, and volleyball and four swimming pools. A full-time activities director schedules monthly bus trips as well as additional events.

One of Arizona’s most famous active adult communities, Sun City, is also nearby. This Del Webb 55+ community of 27,492 homes was the first active adult community in the state and in the country, so it set the standard for age-restricted resort-style living. The community boasts one of the highest rates of golf holes per capita of any active adult community in the country. Additional amenities include seven recreation centers, a performing arts theatre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and much more.