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Official Review by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex is the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Angels as well as the Arizona League (rookie league) Tempe Angels. It was founded in 1968 and underwent an extensive renovation in 2005. The Angels have extended their spring training lease through 2025, so they will be at this stadium for many years.
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 concession stands on the concourse offer you the traditional fare: nachos, jumbo hotdogs, fries, etc. One stand has a "Big 5 Combo" for $15 that includes 2 hotdogs, 2 bottles of water, 1 small soda, and 1 bag of peanuts (I'm still trying to figure out where the 5 came from). Beer is offered from $4.50 - $9.00 depending on size and if it is domestic or premium.
Snacks include chips, peanuts, sun flower seeds, cracker jacks, candy, etc.
Probably the better place to visit is the food tents down left field side of the concourse. This area has picnic tables and it contains concession stands such as the Home Run Grill, Triple Play Grill, and Line Drive offering items like cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, garlic knots, meatball sandwich, etc. ($5 - $11). There is a Corona Cantina as well as a Leinenkugel Leine Lodge who offer their respective beers ($7.25 - $9.00).
Some stands or lines take cash only so check for signage indicating such.
Music level and selection is just fine, e.g., "Put Me In Coach". Up to 2 sealed water bottles per person are allowed in the stadium.
Brandon Phillips played catch with fans. He was throwing a ball back and forth with some fans above the third base dugout. How cool is that?
The customer service was admirable. There was no problem getting assistance.
The starting line-up is posted on a white board on the concourse which, as a scorekeeper, I found to be valuable. They did also announce the line-up pre-game; it was an extra treat to see it beforehand.
Don't expect to find all kinds of current information on the scoreboard about the player and what he has done in the game. The scoreboard is simple (perfect for spring training). It contains balls, strikes, outs, runs, hits, errors in the game and includes the previous year's stats of the player (batting avg., hits, doubles, HRs, etc.) if available.
Tempe Diablo Stadium is in an industrial area with no neighborhood.
There is, however, a hotel resort right next door - Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes. This resort has several restaurants and lounges to enjoy. It is .2 miles from the stadium.
There are other hotels within a ½ mile walking distance of the stadium - Homewood Suites and a Hampton Inn.
There are food chains within walking distance (1/2 mile) including Panda Express, Whataburger, JB's Restaurant, Papa John's, and MrGoodcents Subs & Pasta.
A few miles from the stadium is the Mill Avenue District which is the downtown area of Tempe. It is the area ASU students populate over the weekends. It provides many dining, shopping, and other entertainment events for visitors to the Tempe area.
Attendance was 9,337 at the game I attended - just short of a sellout.
The Angels and its fans have the Pujols fever. A majority of the souvenirs had his name and number; even the drinking cups had the #5 printed on them.
The fan base wore red at the game I attended. Not only for the Angels and but also because they were playing the Cincinnati Reds.
The fans were respectful to each other and the players on the field.
Most fans stayed for entire game.
There are only 2 parking lots ($5) and they fill up quickly. The concourses are small, narrow, crowded, and cramped.
I only noticed 2 bathrooms per gender (there may have been more) and I did experience issues with lines.
The very worst part was leaving the stadium after the game. There is only one exit. We waited 30+ minutes to finally get out of the parking lot. Your options are: leave the game early, stay an extra hour after the game before heading out, or try the 'Mill Avenue Trolley'.
My recommendation is to take the trolley.
The Angels are milking the Pujols trade including their merchandise and ticket prices.
Tickets range from $10 (lawn seating) to $34 (home plate MVP). Prices here are noticeably higher than the other spring training venues I visited.
Seeing CJ Wilson pitch and Albert Pujols play in an intimate spring training setting.
Seeing Jeff Francis pitch 3 innings.
Access around and from the stadium is the biggest complaint. Aside from that, seeing a game at Tempe Diablo Stadium is worth the visit and I'd recommend visiting this stadium if you are doing a spring training tour in AZ.
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2000 W Westcourt Way
Tempe, AZ 85282
4750 East Cotton Center Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85040