Cherry Field – Tucson Saguaros
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.86
Cherry Field 425 S Cherry Ave Tucson, AZ 85719
Year Opened: 2008
Capacity: 350 (estimate)
Saguaros – Finding a Home Field
The Tucson Saquaros are a member of the Independent Pecos League (baseball) and currently play their home games at Tucson Unified School District-owned Cherry Field less than a mile from the University of Arizona in Tucson AZ.
They joined the league in 2016 and immediately won the championship their first season. They have bounced around a bit their first few seasons trying to find a permanent home field with games played at Kino Sports Complex (former home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox spring training), Reid Park Sports Complex #5, and some games at historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee as well as games in Winslow at Vargas Field. This 2019 season finds them playing full-time (for the first time) at Cherry Field.
The old Cherry Field was demolished and reconstructed in 2008 as part of the Cherry Field Detention Basin which is used for both flood control and Tucson High School athletic teams (and now the Saguaros). The American Legion also hosts tournaments here. The new Cherry Field has two baseball and two softball fields with some removable fencing to allow for soccer or football.
Food & Beverage 2
Basic snacks are for purchase at a Saguaros game with hot dogs freshly cooked on a portable grill. Hot dogs ($3), nachos ($4), chips, cookies, peanuts and Sno -cones ($1.50 – $2) round out the menu. Cans of Coke products ($2.50) and water ($2) are the beverage choices. Alcohol is not served. Certainly not a huge variety but with prices ranging from $1 – $4, it’s definitely affordable. Many fans bring in their own frozen bottles of water and snack (multiple bottles are needed in this hot city in the summer).
Keep in mind this is Arizona and temperatures easily reach the triple digits even for a 7pm game in late June and July. It is advised to bring sun screen and plenty of water. Bug spray is another item to pack for games.
Metal bleachers without backs or handrails behind home and on the third baseline are the permanent seating choices. The third baseline set of bleachers face directly in the sun (a drawback the first few innings) and there is a small set behind home is in the shade. Many fans bring their own folding chairs and set up shop just behind the chain link fence surrounding the infield or up on the concourse/deck area.
Cherry Field - Bleachers, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
The sound system is a couple of speakers but not too scratchy. The PA announcer and two other officials sit behind the chain link fence directly behind home plate. A pleasant volume and selection of music is played between innings (after – not during – announcements (yeah!) and walk up songs are played for the Saguaros.
The scoreboard is a basic, dot-matrix style with balls, strikes, outs (lit dots) runs, and inning displayed. A traditional batter’s eye is not seen, instead, the center field outfield chain link fence is colored just a little darker.
The grass looks remarkably green for an Arizona grass lawn in the summer.
Tucson is a great city to visit and Cherry Field is within a few miles of many places to tour, eat, drink, and sleep; though none right smack next to the ballpark.
Two breweries close by are Barrio Brewery (brewpub – good beer, even better food) and Iron John’s Brewing Company (independent brewery – no food but nice staff and good beer). At least five or six more are within about two or so miles that include Pueblo Vida Brewing Company, Ten55 Brewing Company, and Sentinel Peak Brewing Company.
Welcome Diner (farm to table American fare), Leru’s Fine Mexican Food (known for their tamales), and Barrio’s are nearby eating establishments worth visiting.
Tourist attractions include Reid Zoo Park (go in the morning before it gets too hot), Children’s Museum, Arizona History Museum, Sentinel Peak Park “A” Mountain for a view, or stretch those legs and stroll the Presidio Trail – a historic walking trail of downtown Tucson.
There are various hotels and motels within a few-mile radius of Cherry Field. Most are along the I-10 corridor but some are downtown Tucson. National brands include LaQuinta and Double Tree, several Marriott brands, and more. For a B&B, check out Adobe Rose Inn.
Other sports during baseball season in Tucson are the Tucson Sugar Skulls of the Indoor Football League and FC Tucson of the USL League One. A stadium journeyer may be able to make an extended weekend and see all three depending on schedules.
One can easily chat with players before or after game. Fans seem to know the players and vice versa. Though there’re few fans in attendance, the ones who attend are supportive and pleasant and many can be seen wearing an attractive Saguaro ball cap or t-shirt.
Cherry Field is off I-10 just south of the University of Arizona campus; about a two-hour drive from Phoenix.
A small parking lot (no charge) is on the corner of E 13th St and South Kino Pkwy. A locked chain link fence surrounds the complex during the day and opens just a few hours before game time. The venue does not appear to be wheelchair accessible – well, the venue and upper concourse is but getting down to the field consists of four sets of nine steps each. Fortunately, one can park their wheelchair at the top of the concourse and watch the game from there.
Restrooms are clean but check for toilet paper first when heading into one of the stalls.
Return on Investment 4
The sign says $7.50/adults, $5 military and seniors, children under 6 free. On the day of our visit, we walked in and couldn’t find out where and/or who to pay. Parking is free and concessions are low-priced. It’s an admirable cost if you’re one who enjoys going for the ball game and not the gimmicks.
The Saguaros and Cherry Field have two additional items worth noting.
One – a really cool looking logo – a Saguaro with spikes coming out of its trunk and branches and a baseball bat across its shoulders beginning the T in Tucson.
Two, a statue and memorial for Chris Moon is on display in the upper concourse/deck. Moon gave up a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arizona and instead served his country. He died after stepping on a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Moon played high school baseball for the Tucson Badgers and the Atlanta Braves showed interest in him drafting him (he went unsigned) in the 35th round.
The Saguaros baseball games are simple and pleasant. They are for those who enjoy the game. Watching baseball in 104 ° F weather does wear you out. I don’t quite know how the players do it. If at all possible, go in the earlier part of the season (late May or early June) and hopefully it won’t be so hot.