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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

Peoria Sports Complex – Peoria Javelinas

Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

Peoria Sports Complex

16101 N 83rd Ave

Peoria, AZ 85382

Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 12,882


Peoria Javelinas Baseball

The Peoria Javelinas are one of six teams to play in the Arizona Fall League. The Arizona Fall League is a developmental instructional baseball league played in various spring training complexes in the Greater Phoenix area. The season lasts a little over a month during October and November. Major league teams send some of their most highly touted prospects to play in the league for additional practice.

For the 2022 season, the Padres, Mariners, Guardians, Mets, and Nationals sent players from their minor league teams to join the Javelinas.

The Javelinas play at the Peoria Sports Complex, home to the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners in the spring, and the ACL (Arizona Complex League) Padres in the summer. NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) Nippon-Ham Fighters and KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) Doosan Bears, Lotte Giants, and NC Dinos have used the facility for their spring training in the past. It is owned and managed by the city of Peoria.

The two best features of Peoria Sports Complex are the spectacular sunset views and the scoreboard.

Best Scoreboard in the Fall League, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

Food & Beverage 2

The stadium does not offer a whole lot of fare for Fall League games. The concession prices are a tad lower than other venues in the league.

Food choices are jumbo hot dogs ($4), nachos ($6.50), soft pretzels ($5), popcorn ($4), and chips ($3).

Bottled soda (Pepsi) is $3.50, and water is $3. A 24 oz can of domestic beer is $10, while premium beer cans are $11. Domestic beer selections are the popular Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, Coors, and Miller Lite. Premium choices include local Hop Knot IPA, Moon Juice IPA, and 805. Cider, wine, and tiki rum mai tai are also for sale.

The beer selection is decent. The food choices are okay for a snack.

We recommend eating elsewhere before or after the game and getting something here as a snack if needed.

Atmosphere 3

Javelinas’ games are sort of unique when it comes to the baseball atmosphere. Since attendance is generally well below 1,000, it is a very peaceful baseball-watching experience. You can sit anywhere you want in the main stadium; the outfield lawn is closed off for most games. The seating is staggered blue stadium fold-down seats on three levels with a walkway between the first two levels. They have decent legroom but are a tad narrow.

Row O has more legroom than other rows. Seats behind home plate get the shade for day games. The seating sections past the dugouts are net free.

Be sure to visit the left field patio deck (third level). It’s a great place to catch some foul balls and see that beautiful sunset.

Peoria Sports Complex, Left Field Patio, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey

The scoreboard is the best in the Arizona Fall League. It is easy to read without binoculars. It shows the lineup for both teams, the name, number, position, and MLB affiliate of each player, which is great for learning the players’ names that will likely be in the majors in the future. The line score is displayed as well.

The pitch clock is attached to the batter’s eye in center field. It’s difficult to read at day games because of the sun but is easy to read at night games.

The music volume is just fine. Thankfully, music is not played between each pitch and batter, just between innings. This allows fans to talk with each other without competing with the music. The sounds of the game seem to be magnified with no one in the seats and no music. The cracks of the bat, players calling for fly balls, calls by the umpire - you can hear it all. It’s a very different and more pleasurable atmosphere than a typical professional game.

Be on the lookout for Danny, an older gentleman who is the bat boy and handles both dugouts. He averages 12 miles of walking each game. Some fans say Danny is the hardest working person in the AFL.

Neighborhood 4

The stadium is in the heart of the P83 Entertainment District in Peoria, AZ, a northwest suburb of Phoenix.

Retail, restaurants, hotels, apartment and office complexes, movie theaters, and more shopping all abound next to the stadium, mostly on the north side. Over 15 restaurants, bars, and fast food are within a block or two. Many are chain restaurants if that’s what you prefer. However, we recommend The Social on 83rd (good for weekend brunch). We also suggest Pho For Days (Vietnamese) and Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar (Mexican).

Besides shopping, both a Harkins and an AMC movie theater are nearby, as is an Air Trampoline and Adventure Park for those a little more adventurous. If you’re looking to get in a few easy steps, take a stroll (or bike ride) on New River Trail. Downtown Phoenix is around 20 miles.

Several hotels are within walking distance. The LaQuinta Inn & Suites is the closest. A Hampton Inn, Comfort Suite, and Residence Inn are .3 miles from the park.

Other Fall League teams to visit when in town are the Glendale Desert Dogs and the Surprise Saguaros. Check if the Arizona Cardinals or the Phoenix Suns are playing at home during your visit.

Fans 3

Fans who visit the Fall League and the Javelinas are fans of the game. Many more fans keep score at an AFL game than at a spring training, MiLB, or MLB game. Scouts generally sit up behind home plate.

Lots of retired folks are in attendance. Some families and kids are seen more on Saturday or evening games. And there are lots of autograph vultures.

Access 3

Peoria Sports Complex is less than a half mile off Loop 101 (Bell Road exit) in the northwest suburbs of Phoenix. Bell Road / 83rd Ave is a traffic mess leaving an afternoon game or getting to an evening game.

Parking is free. Only Gate B is open for Javelinas games (home plate entrance) on the corner of N 83rd and Stadium Way. The stadium is a 30-min or so drive from Sky Harbor Airport. Public transportation is not easily available from the airport; riders must make multiple transfers, and travel time takes close to 2 ½ hours.

The concourses are wide open. Minimal pedestrian congestion is found at a Javelinas game.

Restrooms are plenty and clean (at least the ladies’).

Return on Investment 4

Single game tickets are $10 (seniors 55+ are $8). Kids under 12 get in free. If you live in the area or are planning on attending 12 or more games, a season pass is a less expensive way to go. A single admission season pass is $125; a double admission pass is $150.

Concessions, though limited, are priced lower here than at other Fall League parks.

Attending a baseball game on a warm fall day or evening for the game is absolutely worth the price.


Extras 4

Finally, new this 2022 season, MLB is experimenting with some changes to help speed up the pace of play. The changes being tested are: bigger bases (18” square vs. 15”); two infielders must be on each side of second base when a pitch is thrown (the shift is gone), and a 15-second pitch timer (or 20 seconds when runners are on base). It’s quite fascinating to watch these new practices in play.

Final Thoughts

Attending a Javelinas’ baseball game at Peoria Sports Complex is a baseball purist’s dream come true. If planning on visiting any Fall League venues, be sure to put Peoria on the list.

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