Phoenix Municipal Stadium (known as Phoenix Muni to locals) opened its gates in 1964 for a San Francisco Giants spring training game. It hosted the Phoenix Giants (former AAA team of the SF Giants), and is now the spring training facility for the Oakland Athletics as well as hosts the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League.
It was renovated in 2005 which included more comfortable seating, better access to concessions and team shops, and created private indoor suites and a covered patio suite.
Like its parent club, the Athletics, spring training is more about the baseball than any other frills or gimmicks. It is just basically baseball which, for this author, is quite refreshing.
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 your standard ballpark fare here: dogs, burgers, peanuts, pizza, pretzels. An A's combo which includes a big dog, a beer/soda, and a small bag of peanuts is $13.25.
Other options include a BBQ pork sandwiches, nachos, and foot long dogs ranging from $6 - $8. Beer options include Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Coors Light, etc.
Not a whole lot of vendors invade the stadium stands. Those that do, offer snacks such as churros and sno cones.
My very favorite spot is the Beer Garden down the left field line. It has Blue Moon ($9.25) and Coors Light (other concessions are available as well). There are picnic tables and a huge tree that has lots of birds singing pre-game. I found it so very soothing and relaxing after having to cross that bridge (more on that later).
If you're one who likes to get to games early, head to the left field side and experience the Beer Garden and the birds singing and a drink of your choice.
Two points of note:
- A fan can only buy one beer at a time. If you are getting a beer for yourself and a friend, either bring your friend with you or plan on making two trips. I experienced this in all the spring training ballparks so am not sure if it is an Arizona rule or a spring training rule.
- According to several neighbors in my section, after waiting in line for a long while, they discovered some beer vendors ran out of beer and some concession stands ran out of fries and corn dogs.
Recommendation: get there early if you want to eat and drink.
Since Phoenix Muni is one of the oldest ballparks in the Cactus League (Spring Training in AZ), it has lots of history.
Historical events are etched in the concourse floor. Most folks ignore them or don't realize they are there. Do take the time to stroll around the concourse and read the etched messages in the floor to read the history this stadium offers.
There are banners honoring individuals who have been recognized in the MLB Hall of Fame as well as the World Series championships of the Oakland Athletics. Nicely done.
At the game I attended, famous MLB old timers were signing autographs for a fee which was donated to a local charity: Dave Stewart, Bert Campaneris, Fergie Jenkins, and others. Pretty cool.
If you want to sit in the shade (recommended on those hot AZ spring days) choose upper box seats above row 4 for tickets.
The scoreboard is small and hard to read; it provides minimal information. Bring binoculars if you care about reading the scoreboard. The music volume level was absolutely fine during the game allowing fans to talk with their neighbors vs. yelling at them.
As mentioned above, watching a game here is about baseball. Not the other stuff. That said, there are a few promotions and giveaways during the game.
There's not much to see or do walking distance from the stadium.
Phoenix Zoo (about ˝ mile from stadium) and Desert Botanical Gardens (about 1 mile from stadium) are both nearby.
Both are worthwhile visiting before or after the game (the zoo closes at 5pm so that might be a better pregame visit).
There are minimal local or chain restaurants within walking distance. There's a Ladybug Café, a Starbucks, a Filiberto's Mexican Restaurant, and Samis Gyros all ˝ mile from the stadium.
Besides that, there's just not much close by.
It was a full house with an announced attendance of 8,799 this St. Patrick's Day, 2012. Many Athletic fans were decked out with St Paddy's Day green and gear, even green hair.
One just has to admire Athletic fans for following their team even though the current ownership does not appear interested in investing in the team.
They were engaged, respectful of the visiting teams fans, and cheered their Athletics on to a 4-3 win this game.
Most fans stayed till the very last out which shows a great admiration and love for the game.
If you have a fear of heights (like this author does) then you will have trouble. The parking lot is across a 4-lane street. One must walk across a bridge to get to the stadium. If you do have a fear of heights, try the light rail mentioned in next paragraph or have a friend drop you off on the stadium side of the street. Handicapped parking is available on the stadium side of the venue so no worries for those folks.
There is a light rail station two blocks from the stadium. I do find their website difficult to figure out.
Plenty of bathrooms are available and they are clean with a minimal wait after the game. There was ample seat and leg room.
The concourses did get extremely crowded during the game making strolling through them impossible. Do arrive early if you have a desire to check out the entire venue.
Tickets range from $12 - $25 for a spring training game. If you live in the area, Phoenix Muni also offers some season ticket packages as well as 10-game packages.
The food prices seem high to me - $9.25 for a Blue Moon, for example.
Getting to a stadium to see a game where the game is more the focus than the other features is always a plus in my book.
The Beer Garden down the left field line and listening to the birds sing was perfect.
Seeing former Rockie, Seth Smith, pelting 3 hits and providing 2 outstanding plays in RF and seeing former Rockie pitcher, Manny Corpus, pitch two relief innings was an extra bonus.
Watching a game at Phoenix Muni is about the baseball being played on the field.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
There are no local food and drink entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!