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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

Tempe Diablo Stadium – Los Angeles Angels Spring Training


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Tempe Diablo Stadium 2200 W Alameda Dr Tempe, AZ 85282



Year Opened: 1968

Capacity: 9,785

 

Angels in Tempe

Tempe Diablo Stadium is the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Angels, a part of the Cactus League.  The stadium opened in 1969 as the spring training facility for the Seattle Pilots.  It served as the spring training site of the Milwaukee Brewers for a few years and the Seattle Mariners from 1977 – 1992.  It is the oldest spring training facility in the Cactus League. 


The city renovated and expanded the stadium in 1992, just before the Los Angeles Angels residency in the spring of 1993.   Another major expansion occurred in 2006, which focused on increasing the number of practice fields and upgrading the seating.  In 2021, the Angels agreed to play in Tempe through 2035, with options to play there through 2045.  More renovations are in process and expected over the next few years.


The stadium is built near the mountain formation known as the Twin Buttes, which makes for an admirable backdrop beyond the left-field corner.


Food & Beverage 4

Tempe Diablo Stadium offers plenty of refreshment choices, with the best options down the third base concourse, where carnival-like kiosks sell their fare.  The venue is cashless; all sales are debit/credit card.

The infield concourse has what is becoming more standard (but boring) at sports stadiums:  Grab and Go Markets, where fans pick up their beverage cans or bottles and packaged food and pay at a register.


The venue has a Right Field Patio down the first baseline concourse.  It has bratwurst, hot dogs, and canned soda and beer for sale.  It also has a cocktail stand.


The third base/left field concourse has 8+ concession tents (helmet nachos, freshly squeezed lemonade, margaritas, rice and noodle bowls, grilled teriyaki ($14.50), Chick-fil-A, Karen’s Creamery (ice cream), chicken tenders, cheeseburgers, fries and garlic fries, chicken and veggie wraps ($12.50), wood-fired pizza ($16 - $20), corn dogs ($7 - $13), and more.  This is the area to visit for refreshments at Tempe Diablo.


Temple Diablo Stadium Third Base Patio, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Vendors selling snacks like lemonade, popcorn, beer, and water roam the seating area, and many sell their fare along the concourse.  Beer choices include Budweiser, Corona, Modelo, 805, Coors Light, and the like, and run $13 - $15.50 plus tax.  Unfortunately, the stadium does not serve local AZ or specialty craft brews anymore. 


The left and right field concourse and patio areas have picnic tables for consuming purchased food and drink.  Hot dogs still seem to be the fan favorite.


Fans can bring in a bottle of water and small snacks placed in a clear quart-sized bag.


Atmosphere 3

Spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium provides a few hours of baseball entertainment.


Seating consists of one level of green stadium fold-down seats and green bleachers with backs. All seating offers minimal legroom.  The bleachers start just after first and third base sections 1 – 4 and 18 – 24.  A grassy berm seating area extends from the third base and beyond the left field wall. 


Fans walk in onto the concourse and go down to their seats.  The rows run A – W, with W the furthest from the field.  Handrails are not available for going up and down the steps.  Thin-thickness nets extend to the end of the dugouts.  Sit in sections 1 – 4 and 18 – 24 to be net-free.


Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat.  For afternoon games, the third base side gets the full sun.  Shade is on the first base side and behind home plate in the high rows (R - W). 


One main team store is on-site with an ancillary booth down the third base concourse. The spring training games offer small sponsor-related promotions and a 50/50 raffle.  Those fit well for these events. A basic dot matrix scoreboard sits in right-center field with the Angels A halo on top.  It displays the line score, the at-bat player’s name, and the Angels player’s previous year’s stats. 


The music level and selection are acceptable, though the game-day music person feels the need to blast ‘noise’ between some pitches, which is annoying.  The PA announcer does a fantastic job of calling the starting lineups (not too fast) and announcing the multiple-player changes that occur during a spring training game.  The music person plays tunes when the PA announces the Angels starting lineup and sponsor-related ads, making it a bit difficult to hear.   



Tempe Diablo Stadium Scoreboard, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


My perception is there are a lot of rules and security when attending a spring training game at this stadium.  How to exit the souvenir shop, where to park, and where to stand (or not stand) are all understandable for traffic and safety issues, but these rules seem abundant at Tempe Diablo Stadium.


A surprising number of armored police with dogs guard the inside and the outside of the venue.  I didn’t think Tempe was a hotbed of criminal activity, but perhaps that has changed. 


Neighborhood 3

Tempe Diablo Stadium is located between “The Buttes,” an industrial business park, I-10, and practice fields.  Except for the restaurant on top of the butte (inside the Marriott), restaurants are not really within walking distance. 


For places to stay, the Marriott Phoenix Resort Tempe at The Buttes is adjacent to the ballpark.  Other lodging nearby not quite as costly (though still exorbitant during spring training) are the H2Suite by Hilton or the Fairfield Inn & Suites across Highway I-10. 

 

Downtown Tempe is just under five miles from the stadium and offers a plethora of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping, nightlife, hotels, cultural events, the ASU campus, and more, and is well worth visiting when in town.  Legoland Discovery Center is two miles away.

 

Boulders On Broadway is about a 3-mile drive from the stadium and may be worth checking out for craft beer, sandwiches, or burgers before or after a game.

 

Other sports to see in the area during spring training include Arizona State University (ASU) baseball at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, ASU basketball at Desert Financial Arena, the NBA Phoenix Suns, or any of the other spring training facilities in the area with Sloan Park (Cubs) being the closest. 


Fans 3

Many Angels fans travel down from California: Long Beach, Bakersfield, and the like.   Fans vary from families with children to retirees, school groups, or middle-aged buddies who drink too much (maybe that’s why there’s all the security).


They cheer on their team and the players well but somehow seem less relaxed and more intense, not as pleased to be there than as fans are at other Cactus League stadiums.  


Access 3

Getting to and from Tempe Diablo Stadium isn’t too bad as it is located right off I-10, approximately ten minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.  Check Valley Metro for possible bus routes to the venue. The city has some road construction occurring nearby, so be cognizant of that when driving to the stadium.


Two parking lots are on either end of the stadium, costing $10.  Traffic leaving the park can be brutal on well-attended games, so hold on to your patience. 


A grand stairway leads up to the park’s main entrance by home plate with two ramps on each side.  A few benches are outside for fans to wait for friends, and the steps provide places to sit.  Gates open 1 ½ hours before the first pitch. 


Once inside, the concourse on top of the seating bowl is extremely narrow and crowds easily.  Down each end of the concourse, space opens up a bit.  Fans cannot walk the circumference of the stadium. 


Several clean restrooms with diaper-changing tables line the inner concourse.


Return on Investment 3

Spring training ticket prices are rising; it’s not the affordable outing it once was.  Ticket prices for an Angels spring training game run from $24 (lawn seating) to $67.  Parking is $10, and concessions are on the high end (but similar to other spring training parks in the Cactus League).  


Extras 3

Tempe Diablo Stadium has historical posters and plaques posted on the infield concourse columns for intriguing information on Cactus League history and baseball in Tempe, AZ. 


The carnivalesque-like third base concession area is worth an extra mention. 


The view of the Twin Buttes is eye-catching.


Final Thoughts

Built in 1968, Tempe Diablo Stadium is the oldest in the Cactus League.  Join the Angels fans and see a game if visiting Arizona in the spring.

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