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Official Review by Jason Bartel, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The San Diego Padres have been holding Spring Training at Peoria Sports Complex for over 20 years now. They have shared the facility with the Seattle Mariners every February and March since the complex was built in 1994. It was the very first complex to be shared by two Major League teams. That is now the norm in the cactus league, with only a few clubs having their own facilities. Both the Padres and Mariners are leased to stay in Peoria through 2034.
The Padres use the complex for year-round conditioning and rehab for all of the organization’s players, both major and minor leaguers. The AZL Padres, the San Diego rookie league affiliate, play home games at Peoria Sports Complex in the summer. The Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League use it in October and November. The stadium seats 11,000 for baseball.
The facility has 12 full-sized baseball practice fields for the Padres and Mariners to utilize throughout the year, and is also used to host various local baseball tournaments. Concerts and trade shows are held on the grounds during the year as well.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is certainly no shortage of food options at Peoria. Even the regular concession stands have a huge variety of food at them.
Tents are set up along the outfield walkway as well as some spots in the infield where there are even more food options. Down the right field line, there is the "Redhook Brewery All You Can Eat Deck," where anyone can upgrade their tickets to be in the all-you-can-eat section. It can be a really good value for those who come to the game starving, and it also offers shade on those hot Arizona afternoons.
Down the left field line is a pavilion that you can rent out for private parties. It's a huge spot with a lot of shade located just above the left field bullpen. In left-center field is a bar area, where you can get some Four Peaks and other brews. It also has a few tables set up under a tent as another place to escape the sun.
Other options in the outfield include a taco booth that has all kinds of tacos, and a fry bread stand in right-center field. Behind the batter's eye, you can also find a general concession stand. There are also small concession tents and beer tents and carts throughout the rest of the concourse. No matter where you are, there is always food and drink nearby. Even the club seating and suites have their own snack bars up on the second level behind home plate.
Above the third base seating area is Point Loma Landing. This has a full bar, plus other food options to go with it. This is another great place to eat lunch since there are a ton of tables set up in the area, and there's also a bar-style seating area facing the field at the top of the main seating area.
The Power Alley Food Court along the third base line has the most variety per square foot in the stadium. Here you'll find barbeque, teriyaki, fried foods and desserts, chicken strips and a few other things as well. It's set up like a carnival, and there are even some seats in the shade right next to the area as well.
There is also a concession stand located at the end of the bleachers down both baselines that only serve drinks and peanuts and sunflower seeds. That's nice for people who are just looking to grab something to drink and not have to wait in line for other people to order full meals.
Peoria Sports Complex is a Pepsi facility. They've also got a ton of beer options, including local Arizona beers, San Diego beers, and Seattle beers. You can bring your own water in, as long as it's still sealed. The parking stub you get tells you exactly what you can and cannot bring into the stadium.
Spring Training games are always so relaxed, just a bunch of people taking in America's pastime. And Peoria may be the best in the cactus league to just sit and relax.
With the Padres and Mariners having similar colors, it makes it easy for Peoria to make the stadium feel like home for both teams. The Padres offices are the main backdrop when looking out past right field, as they are located just beyond the walkway in right field. The Mariners offices are tucked away behind the stadium on the first base side. Far off in the distance are some mountains, adding to the overall vibe. The infield bleachers face out to the northeast, so if you're looking for shade during a day game, you will want to sit somewhere down the first base line, probably in the upper section.
The main gate to enter is right behind home plate, right where the parking lot and ticket office are located. You can't get out to the seating area from right behind home plate because it has the main concession stand and restrooms right there. With the exception of the bleacher areas, the seats themselves are comfortable, and all have cup holders. Farther down the outfield lines are metal bleachers instead of the typical seats found in the rest of the main seating area.
The seating area doesn't really get too close to the field, giving the fielders tons of foul territory to make a play. When sitting out in the outfield lawn area, you can sit right up against the fence. There are suites and club level seating available if that's what you're looking for.
The Padres dugout and bullpen are both on the first base/right field side, while the visiting team uses the Mariners dugout and bullpen on the third base line. The scoreboard is out in left field. It has a video board with player names and stats, as well as the baseball basics. The video board is nice for those spring training games where a whole bunch of guys are in the game that you've never heard of before.
Peoria Sports Complex is just one part of the newly branded "Peoria Eighty Three" area. Pretty much anything you could ever ask for is in the P83 district. From a wide variety of restaurants, to shopping, to live theater, it's all there.
I would say Salty Senorita is the place most out-of-towners should visit. It has some of the best Mexican cuisine you'll find, as well as great Happy Hour specials on margaritas and other Mexican drinks that coincide with the baseball games.
The reality is you won't go wrong no matter where you go to grab a bite to eat and some drinks in P83. Whatever you're in the mood for, it's within walking distance of the ballpark.
As far as entertainment goes, you have live theater at Arizona Broadway Theater. There's also a movie theater right across the street from the stadium. And then you've even got an ice skating rink with Polar Ice Peoria and a roller skating rink with Rollerplex Roller Skating Rink.
And last but not least, you can stay at a wide variety of hotels in the area, meaning you never really have to drive to get anywhere. Every major hotel chain has a property somewhere within a mile or two of the stadium.
I would say most fans that go to spring training know a lot about baseball, and are going to an exhibition baseball game just for fun and to see some of the game's best up close and personal. Padre fans seem relaxed but knowledgeable in general as well, and that translates well to Peoria. It's just a fun, relaxed baseball atmosphere.
Peoria Sports Complex is just east of the Loop 101 Agua Fria Fwy in between the Thunderbird and Bell exits. The parking lot entrances are on 83rd Ave., which runs right next to the Loop 101. Parking costs $5, and the parking lots are all connected to the stadium. There is also some parking out beyond the outfield if you are coming from the east on surface streets. From 75th Ave., you take Paradise Ln., which is just south of Bell.
When you enter from behind home plate, you have to walk down either line a little bit to find a tunnel to the seating area. There is the outer concourse, which will take you to all the concession areas, or you can walk along the inner concourse, which goes through the middle of the seating area. The right field path has a bridge that goes over the batting cage storage area and team bus parking area.
It's really easy to get anywhere you want in the stadium. The concession lines stay pretty short for the most part, and nothing clogs up either walkway. Everything is very accessible. Getting into the stadium is nice and smooth, and moving around the stadium is the same way.
Peoria is one of the more affordable of the various cactus league parks. All tickets that are in the main seating area with normal chairs cost at least $20, but you can get general admission tickets for less than $10. If you come on a day where there aren't too many people, it is pretty easy to move to a better seat.
Parking costs $5, which isn't too bad, and then the food prices are relatively cheap. Most of the traditional ballpark items are fairly reasonable, anywhere from $4-$8, and then the more unique foods being somewhere from $7-$9. I think spring training games are always a better value to attend than regular season games because it gives you the opportunity to see some of your favorite players up close for a lot less than it would cost to go to a regular season game.
Getting the chance to watch the Padres practice before the game is a good plus. If you're going to do this, you should probably park in the outfield parking lots by the Salty Senorita, as that's where their fields are. Then you can get into the stadium for the game through the outfield gates.
The P83 neighborhood deserves an extra. It's an area with some of the most diverse entertainment and dining options you'll find, and it's all easily walkable from the stadium. Not a ton of places in the cactus league can say that.
For visiting fans, there's an area down the right field line where you can line up and try and get player autographs as they come off the bus. You can also get Padres' autographs here, or you can try and get them along the first baseline.
One last extra for the additional Seattle and San Diego theming found throughout the park. You'll notice the concession stands behind home plate have names based on the two cities. Throughout the park, craft beers from those cities are sold as well as ones that are made in Arizona. Making fans of the Mariners and Padres feel at home is certainly a plus.
Overall, going to Peoria for the day to take in some spring training is just a great experience.
Member Review by JasonBartel on Mar 22, 2013
The San Diego Padres have been holding Spring Training at Peoria Sports Complex for 20 years now. They have shared the facility with the Seattle Mariners every February and March since the complex was built in 1994. It was the very first complex to be shared by two Major League teams. That is now the norm in the Cactus League, with only a few clubs having their own facilities. Both the Padres and Mariners are leased to stay in Peoria through 2034.
The Padres also use the complex for year-round conditioning and rehab for all of the organization’s players, both major and minor-leaguers. The Padres rookie league team, the AZL Padres, also plays home games at Peoria Sports Complex in the summer, and an Arizona Fall League team, the Peoria Javelinas, uses it in October and November. The stadium seats 11,000+ for baseball.
The facility has 12 full-sized baseball practice fields for the Padres and Mariners to utilize throughout the year, and it is also used to host various local baseball tournaments. Concerts and trade shows are held on the grounds during the year as well.
8011 W Paradise Ln
Peoria, AZ 85382
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