All Team and League Schedules for 2014 Have Been Posted
The 2014 spring training schedule is set, as all 30 teams have officially released their schedules, and a close to evenly split 452 exhibition games will be played in Arizona and Florida. The Cactus League schedule features 222 games to be played in 11 ballparks. There are 230 games on the Grapefruit League docket, with 14 ballparks being used to host them. Combined, the two leagues have 51 night games scheduled. To find links to all schedules, including those for every team, visit the Spring Training Schedules page. And if you like and then follow Spring Training Connection on Facebook, notices about schedule additions and changes will be mentioned there when they happen.
Single Game Tickets On Sale for All Teams
Box offices, online and telephone sales channels are now selling tickets for the 2014 season for games at all 24 spring training ballparks. The 2014 Spring Training Ticket Information Guide covers all the aspects a fan needs to know about for obtaining tickets to attend a game anywhere in Arizona or Florida this February and March. From listing on-sale dates to primary and secondary ticket providers, posting box office phone numbers and alerting you to ticketing trends that can drive up, and in some cases down, prices, the inaugural ticket guide compiled by Spring Training Connection is full of details and information about the ticket buying process for 2014.
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Spring Training Ballpark News
Spring Training in Tucson is Officially Over
The Old Pueblo, as Tucson is nicknamed, will not host a spring training game this year, and thus a 66-year tradition in the birthplace city of the Cactus League will end. Site of the first "league" game on March 8, 1947, the Indians, Rockies, Diamondbacks and White Sox all permanently trained in Tucson at various times over the ensuing decades, playing games at Hi Corbett Field and Tucson Electric Park through 2010 spring training, and 7 games were still played in Tucson in 2011-13, with the city's Triple-A team, the Tucson Padres, organizing the exhibitions. But with the T-Padres moving to El Paso, TX, for 2014, a lack of permanent staff contributed to doom a return of 2 or 3 Cactus League games to Tucson in 2014. And thus, at last, spring training in Tucson is officially history, although it's possible/probable an annual game or two will be staged in future years, as the teams most likely to travel to Tucson for a game based on recent history (the Cubs, Dodgers and D-backs) all had issues preventing them from doing so in 2014.
Minnesota Day Set for March 16
Annual promotions are a rarity at any spring training ballpark, but the Twins' home in Fort Myers, Hammond Stadium, has been hosting a popular one for quite some time: Minnesota Day. It's simply a tailgate party amongst Minnesotans held prior to a game, and Minnesota Day is taking place on Sunday, March 16th in 2014, when the Marlins make the long trek from Jupiter to face the Twins. As for where the pre-game festivities take place, the party is held near the lake in the southwest corner of the Twins' complex, so all Minnesota natives should head there rather than inside the stadium.
Tigers Allow Fans Early Entrance to Watch Batting Practice for $5
In general, the gates at spring training ballparks don't open early enough for fans to see the home team hit, which usually happens between two and three hours before game time. That being the case, the Tigers in 2013 came up with the idea to offer fans that opportunity...for a fee. For $5, fans in 2014 can once again get into Lakeland's Joker Marchant Stadium an hour or so early to watch the Tigers take their BP from the place where BP homers often land: the grass hill in left field. For fans wanting to partake in the "batting practice experience," the cost of a Batting Practice Pass is added onto the regular cost of a ticket at the box office, where already bought tickets can be upgraded for the same $5 price. You must have a game ticket to be eligible to get in early and the only part of the ballpark that is open early is the berm and left field line bleacher grandstand. Admission is via the 3rd base gate only and the time for early batting practice admittance can vary slightly. For day games, it's usually 10:00 a.m. but it actually depends on when the Tigers start hitting, which could be later like 10:15 but is always going to be in the 10:00ish range. While many teams will likely copy the Tigers and offer such access in the future, right now they're the only one doing it exactly this way.
Spring Training Features
Before the games begin, players have to report to camp. To see when pitchers and catchers report and first practices are held for your team, visit the 2014 Spring Training Reporting Dates page.
Let's Watch Two
Ernie Banks famously said "Let's play two!" and while there are no doubleheaders during spring training there are plenty of opportunities for fans to watch two games in one day. With 51 games scheduled to be played at night in 2014 fans can enjoy a day/night DH at different ballparks. Check out the list of 2014 Spring Training Night Games to plan your creative double dip.
Tips For Getting Autographs
How do you get autographs in Spring Training? Joe Connor answers that question. Read his article, How to Get Autographs During Spring Training, to learn about the three important factors autograph seekers must be aware of in their quest.
A Guide to Attending Spring Training Practice...and Getting Autographs at Them
Proximity to the pros at a price that can't be beat. That sums up the free to attend practice only portion of spring training, during which time autographs are easy to come by and barriers between players and fans are often remarkably minimal. Spring training in February has an ambiance of fan-friendliness that's unmatched in professional sports. To help you bask in it, Graham Knight has compiled a guide with team-by-team listings of where practices are actually held, when you should be there, and the guidelines for getting autographs at them.
The Best Ballpark Atmospheres During Spring Training
In 2011, Joe Connor ranked, from worst to first, the general game day atmosphere found at each Grapefruit and Cactus League ballpark. Not surprisingly, the rabid Red Sox and Cubs fan bases ensured that their teams topped the respective lists.
Things To Do In Arizona and Florida During Spring Training
Fans of all ages have plenty to experience and see in the Grand Canyon and Sunshine States besides watching their favorite team train in their winter home. Joe Connor details a “starting nine” of sports and recreation things to do when you're not at your favorite team’s ballpark.
Planning For Spring Training
What do you need to know before you go? Joe Connor helps you answer that question in his article, 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Spring Training Trip.
To Dine For: Ranking the Ballparks Based on the Food They Offer
In 2009, Peoria and Lakeland topped our list by having the best ballpark concessions fare in their respective leagues. Which other ballparks also did a good job at satisfying appetites? See the rankings and explanations for all 26.
Spring Training History
Spring Training Sites of World Series Teams
Shockingly, more teams have advanced to the World Series after training in Cuba than in Sarasota, from which no team has ever embarked on a championship run despite 80 years of trying. To see where the World Series winners have wintered (and the runner-ups too), we've listed the city/states where all 108 Fall Classic participants held their Spring Training camps, breaking the list down into two eras: 1947 to present, and 1903-1946. That split was chosen because 1947 was the first year that teams permanently set up camp in Arizona. Since that groundbreaking spring training, the only states to send their trainees to the World Series are Arizona and Florida; prior to '47 the finalists came from 10 states.
2013 Spring Training Recap
For the first time in five years, no team made a debut at a new site or ballpark in 2013, when all teams spent more time than normal in their spring training camps thanks to the World Baseball Classic.
Because of the WBC, spring training was expanded by a week, which allowed for 515 games to be played, the first time the 500-game mark had been surpassed since 2009, when the WBC last interrupted spring training.
To help teams prepare for the WBC, MLB teams played 10 of the participating countries in 20 exhibition games that added an international flair to Cactus and Grapefruit League schedules and contributed to the grand total of 3,425,705 fans who paid to watch baseball during 2013 spring training at 27 ballparks in Arizona and Florida.
In the Cactus League, 255 games were played by 15 teams in 12 ballparks. Total attendance was 1,743,443, an average of 6,837 per game. Nine games were rained out, all on March 8. Two of the league's games were played at Tucson's Kino Stadium, and they drew 21,942 fans to the former spring training home of the Diamondbacks and White Sox. The Diamondbacks' current regular season home, Chase Field, also hosted two games, contributing 28,907 fans to the 2013 Cactus League total.
In the Grapefruit League, 260 games were played by 15 teams in 15 ballparks. Total attendance was 1,682,262, an average of 6,546 per game. Just two games were rained out. The Rays played one official spring training game in their regular season dome, Tropicana Field, and it drew 15,167, while another 13,049 were added to the final tally as that's how many paid to watch a small number of games between Major League clubs and collegiate teams.
The average attendance for a spring training game in 2013 was 6,691, which was down 536 fans per game from 2012, when 465 games drew a total of 3,360,742 fans to Cactus and Grapefruit League ballparks.
While no new ballparks opened in 2013, a very old one got a new and updated look, as Bradenton's McKechnie Field (est. 1923) was the beneficiary of a $10 million upgrade, which increased its capacity (from 6,602 to 8,500) and added numerous amenities. The Pirates' spring training home became the fourth Florida ballpark to be substantially renovated in a 5-year span, as the Sunshine State continues to invest in improving facilities to prevent teams from bolting to Arizona.
The Dodgers bolted from Florida to Arizona in 2009, and in 2013 they hosted the largest crowd to ever attend a game in a spring training ballpark -- 13,721 -- for their March 23 game against their complex mates, the White Sox, at Glendale's Camelback Ranch. The new record bested the old one, which the Dodgers set the previous spring at Camelback Ranch, by 66 fans.
Long synonymous with big crowds has been Mesa's Hohokam Park, but the Cubs bid their mere 16-year old ballpark adieu in 2013. They drew 2,610,736 fans to Hohokam for 264 games but the ballpark won't be hosting any games in 2014, when the Cubs will still be playing in Mesa but a few miles west of where they've been since 1997 thanks to the construction of a new, and approximately $100 million, world-class facility that the city is builiding for the franchise that has never played in a World Series during the history of the Cactus League.
Hohokam's not done as a spring training ballpark, however. It will just be on a one-year hiatus, as the ballpark is being downsized to welcome the Cactus League's most decorated franchise, the four-time World Series champion Oakland A's, come 2015.
2013 Attendance Rankings
(home games only, ranked by per game average)
* Attendance figures include all games in which paid admission was collected at a spring training ballpark
|Grapefruit League ||City ||Average ||Total
2. Red Sox
12. Blue Jays
Port St. Lucie
|Cactus League ||City ||Average ||Total
9. White Sox
* Standings only include games played in Arizona and Florida between MLB teams
2013 Grapefruit League Standings
| ||W ||L || T ||GB
|Orioles ||19 || 9 || 4 || -
|Braves ||20 ||15 || || 2½
|Tigers ||19 ||14 || 2 || 2½
|Twins ||17 ||16 || || 4½
|Cardinals ||16 ||15 || 1 || 4½
|Phillies ||16 ||15 || 1 || 4½
|Red Sox ||17 ||17 || 1 || 5
|Mets ||15 ||15 || 3 || 5
|Rays ||15 ||17 || 2 || 6
|Astros ||14 ||16 || 3 || 6
|Blue Jays ||14 ||17 || 1 || 6½
|Nationals ||14 ||17 || 2 || 6½
|Marlins ||13 ||16 || 2 || 6½
|Pirates ||13 ||18 || 1 || 7½
|Yankees ||13 ||18 || 1 || 7½
2013 Cactus League Standings
| ||W ||L || T ||GB
|Royals ||25 || 7 || 2 || -
|Mariners ||21 ||11 || || 4
|A's ||15 ||12 || 3 || 7½
|Rockies ||16 ||14 || || 8
|Giants ||15 ||13 || 4 || 8
|Indians ||17 ||16 || 2 || 8½
|White Sox ||13 ||13 || 3 || 9
|D-backs ||16 ||17 || 2 || 9½
|Padres ||16 ||18 || ||10
|Cubs ||15 ||17 || 1 ||10
|Rangers ||14 ||16 || 2 ||10
|Brewers ||12 ||17 || 2 ||11½
|Reds ||13 ||20 || 2 ||12½
|Dodgers ||11 ||19 || 3 ||13
|Angels || 9 ||18 || 4 ||13½
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
- Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby
"It's the fans that need spring training. You gotta get 'em interested. Wake 'em up and let 'em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll.”
- Harry Caray
Contact Us With Any Questions About Spring Training