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Official Review by Jason Bartel, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The San Francisco Giants have held spring training in the latest iteration of Scottsdale Stadium each year since 1992. They currently have a lease to play in the stadium through 2025, with an option to extend that to 2035.
The current stadium was built on the same ground as the original Scottsdale Stadium, which was built in 1956. The construction of the current stadium took less than a year, just so the Giants would not have to hold 1992 spring training at a different location.
The location of Scottsdale Stadium is perfect to tie a Giants spring training game into a more extended vacation in the Old Town Scottsdale area. There are plenty of hotels in the area, and with the free trolley and overall closeness of everything, it’s a neat little area to spend a few days.
The Giants are always one of the top drawing teams in the entire Cactus League, right up there with the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks. The experience is great, as long as you’re prepared to pony up the money and spend a lot of time in the hot sun.
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".
The place where you're going to find the most variety of food at Scottsdale Stadium is down each baseline. There's a food court set up on both sides, offering a wide variety of options from noodles to barbeque and everything in between.
As you walk around the stadium, you'll never go too far without having some sort of alcohol available for purchase. This is especially true in the outfield area, where there are several different stands set up offering Bay Area craft beers, as well as some local Arizona favorites. One interesting touch is the amount of places you can purchase wine, bringing some of that Napa Valley flavor to Scottsdale.
As is the case with a lot of Cactus League parks, the Giants have a special area set up in right field where fans can upgrade their tickets to sit in the shade and have exclusive access to a bar area. This is called the Charro Lodge at Scottsdale Stadium. They offer an All-inclusive food and beverage package for $85 per person.
The food prices are a little on the expensive side. For example, it costs $6 for hot dogs and $5 for a bottle of water. I got a $13 BBQ sandwich with cole slaw and chips at a barbeque stand located behind home plate. It was great, but still, $13 is a little much for not even getting a drink.
A lot of the alcohol options cost somewhere between $8-$12, about as much as meals for a person. It's definitely not a cheap place to eat. If you plan it out well, you can grab lunch at a restaurant nearby, and then after the game, grab dinner somewhere in Scottsdale as well without having to pay the absurd amounts of money for ballpark food.
The main concession stand is located behind home plate, and the lines for this aren't usually too long as there are a ton of cashiers open. If you're looking for all the traditional fare like hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and more, this is where you'll want to go.
Scottsdale Stadium is a Coca-Cola facility, along with a bunch of different beer vendors and wine options as well.
As you approach the stadium on Drinkwater, it is very unassuming, blending in with the Old Town feel that surrounds it.
The seating area is unique in that the top of the stands is bleacher seating, along with where you would typically find bleachers down each baseline. Sitting on these high up bleachers is well worth it on the hot, sunny days though as they are in the shade pretty much the entire game. There are even misters above this part of the seating area, helping you cool off even more.
Another place to try and get shade is in left field, where there are many trees up at the top of the berm, blocking out the sun for fans. If you're going to sit on the lawn, it's probably a good idea to get to the stadium as early as possible and set up shop in the shade.
If you do sit in the outfield, just know that you will know less about what is actually going on during the game than if you were sitting in the main grandstands. The PA announcer cannot be heard as well out there, and the scoreboards that you can see do not show the current batter and pitcher.
The main scoreboard is located in left field, and has a video board that shows who is up to bat. There are two more scoreboards on each baseline above the grandstands. These just show the score, count, and outs.
You'll notice helicopters flying overhead throughout the game. That's because of the hospital next door, and it gets kind of irritating at times. Even Madison Bumgarner had to step off the mound and wait for the chopper to get a little further away before pitching to the next batter.
Most people enter the park through Gate B, which is located on the first base side. There are giant lineups posted on the wall so that you'll know who's playing that particular day. The Giants also sit on the first base side, with the visitors in the third base dugout.
Scottsdale Stadium is located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, in the Old Town district. There are many restaurants, museums, galleries and more within walking distance of the stadium.
One of the most popular and closest restaurants and bars is Union Barrelhouse. Here you'll find some great burgers, sandwiches, and a wide selection of beers.
Another popular place right on Scottsdale Rd. is Salty Senorita. They are known for their margaritas as well as their tacos. It's one of the best Mexican food options right around the stadium. We also highlight more places to eat and drink in our AZL Giants review.
But there's a lot more to downtown Scottsdale than just the restaurants and bars. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is right next to the stadium, but is typically only open while baseball games are going on. If you want to go here, it's best to combine it with a night game.
Throughout March, there are many events going on, particularly art festivals. Each Thursday night from 7-9, there's an Artwalk going on all around Old Town.
For shopping, there are plenty of small shops, and there's also the Scottsdale Fashion Square. There's Waterfront shopping here along the Arizona Canal, a movie theater, and more.
If visiting from out of town, I'd recommend staying in a hotel somewhere in the area. That way you can either walk or take pedicabs or golf carts that are driving around in the area to get you everywhere. No matter what you're into, downtown Scottsdale has it.
The Giants are always one of the top drawing teams in the cactus league. But the fans that show up are not particularly loud or get any chants going. It's a very casual baseball crowd, but it is an enormous baseball crowd every game.
Even though the neighborhood is great, getting to it from other parts of Phoenix is not exactly easy. The stadium is not located near any of the many highways in the Phoenix area, so you'll be driving on surface streets for a long time. If you're coming from the north or south, taking Scottsdale Rd. until it breaks off into Drinkwater is your best bet. If you're coming from the east, Indian School is the best option.
Parking in the area is free, it's just a matter of finding an open spot. The closest garage is located at 2nd St. and Drinkwater next to the library, but this fills up early. Other parking garages include 2nd St. and Brown, or 3rd St. and Craftsman Court. However, there's no need to drive if you don't want to with the free trolley available. This trolley goes throughout downtown, and even all the way out to Salt River Fields during spring training. Scottsdale has plenty of pedicabs and people driving golf carts to get you around as well.
Once at the stadium, there can be long lines to get in. It can also be difficult to walk around the stadium as some of the concession lines in the food court areas on each baseline can get crowded. It also gets very crowded along the walkway in the outfield.
If you have difficulties getting around, I would not recommend sitting in the outfield. It can be difficult to get up on the outfield berm. It's just a really steep hill coming off of the main walkway. There are plenty of handicap accessible areas along the main walkway of the stadium though. And there's an elevator to get up to the right field seating area next to the right field foul pole.
Giants games are not cheap. Depending on the game, it could cost anywhere from $17-$90 to go to Scottsdale Stadium. Combine that with the really expensive food prices found throughout the stadium, and you are looking and dropping a sizable chunk of change on a game that doesn't actually count. It's a good thing parking is free, or it would be even more outrageous to spend that kind of money on spring training.
The Giants World Series Championships are honored on the third base side along the main concourse. On that side of the stadium you can also find the Scottsdale Sports Hall of Fame. On the third base side they also have QR codes that you can scan to get that day's lineup. It's a pretty interesting use of technology at spring training.
On the first base side, the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame honors those who have played in the Fall League and gone on to have great MLB careers. Scottsdale Stadium is also home to the Scottsdale Scorpions in October and November.
Another point for the greatness of the neighborhood around Scottsdale Stadium. You really can't go wrong with anywhere you go in the area. And it's all right there within a mile or so of the stadium. It's a great way to spend a day, or even a few days.
And last point for the scenery. The way the stadium's built, you don't really notice the buildings on all sides of it, and you can just see the mountains off in the distance. It's a nice touch considering that it's located in the middle of a very busy part of the city.
Member Review by bdenny29
There are two certainties for the month of March in the Phoenix metropolitan area - 90 degree temperatures and Cactus League baseball. Over the past 65 years, Spring Training baseball has become a staple of the Valley sports scene and with recent additions from the Grapefruit League, there are now fifteen teams housed in ten stadiums across the greater Phoenix area.
One of the most popular destinations - and certainly the one with the greatest "place to be" factor - is Scottsdale Stadium, the spring home of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. Originally constructed in 1992 with renovations in 2005, Scottsdale Stadium seats 12,000 and is most worthy of the popularity fans have bestowed upon it.
Member Review by Tejasduck on Mar 10, 2016
A day spent in Old Scottsdale along with a Spring Training game should be on everyone's list when visiting Arizona in March.
7245 E Main St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
4400 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
3748 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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