Rangers Spring Training
|2013 First Practice Dates
|Pitchers & Catchers:
|Year ||Total ||Average
Royals Spring Training
|2013 First Practice Dates
|Pitchers & Catchers:
|Year ||Total ||Average
Spring Training Info
| Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers Spring Training
||Area Info - Surprise
Spring Training home of the Rangers and Royals since 2003
15960 North Bullard Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85374
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Surprise Stadium is the centerpiece of the city's Surprise Recreation Campus, a 132-acre complex that includes a little bit of everything. In addition to baseball practice facilities, the campus is home to the city's aquatic center, tennis complex, community park, and a regional library, all of which are across the street from the stadium's main entrance.
Take I-10 to the Loop 101 North. Exit at Grand Avenue (exit #11) and head west. Drive for 6 miles on Grand (aka Hwy 60) and turn left onto busy Bell Road. Go 1½ miles and turn left onto Bullard Avenue. The stadium is a short distance ahead on the right. You'll see its light towers from Bell Road.
There's a small paved lot behind left field and then a large grass field beyond that to handle most overflow, with the rest of the excess parking in the paved lot across the street at the Surprise Aquatic Center. Both lots are close to the stadium and have a price that can't be beat.
Surprise Stadium exudes a wow factor, as everything was done first class. Built at a cost of $48.3 million on the former site of a World War II pilot training field, the stadium is essentially split into two halves. Everything Royals - dugout, bullpen, clubhouse, logos, banners - is on the left (third base) half; the Rangers get the same treatment on the right (first base) side. The stadium was the brainchild of the architects at HOK Sport and they followed the recent minor league stadium trend of including a small second deck. Surprise's upper level overhangs the lower seating bowl. Those sitting in the Lower Dugout seats benefit from that design with shade, thanks in part to the sun descending behind the grandstand during the afternoon. The first ribbon scoreboards found at a spring training ballpark adorn the two facades of the upper level. Designed to be exceptionally fan, and specifically, family-friendly, the stadium features a free to ride carousel for kids and their accompanying parents on the first base concourse. Near the merry-go-round fans can watch Rangers hitters hit in their covered batting cage building through chain link fencing. The Royals have a similar back of the concourse batting cage setup on their side of the stadium, where their four cages are behind a food court. Games are played on Billy Parker Field, named in honor of the former Angels infielder and city's first Parks and Recreation Director. Parker died a month before the first Cactus League game was played in Surprise. The entire facility is sometimes referred to as the Surprise Recreation Campus as the stadium also contains the city's Community and Recreation Services Department building.
Fast Facts Fans enter the ballpark at street level through gates in the outfield. The main entrance is behind center field. Lesser used gates can be found in left and right field, each slightly to the foul side of the foul pole.
All nine ticket windows are located just to the right of the center field gates. The Will Call table is an equally short distance away to the left of those same gates.
The main concourse completely encircles and is open to the playing field. It's above the lower level seating bowl and covered only where it runs beneath the upper level.
The upper level concourse is covered by a roof and has TVs.
Hall of Fame plaques for the Surprise Recreation Campus began appearing along the covered part of the main concourse in 2007. Award winners from Texas and Kansas City are automatically inducted, and in addition to the Gold Glovers, etc. are plaques honoring the owners of the Rangers and Royals at the time of the Hall's inception (Tom Hicks and David Glass).
The playing field is 19 feet below street level.
Just like in Arlington, a roped off section of grass makes up the lower half of the hitter's backdrop in center field. And just like at Rangers Ballpark, fans scamper into that grass to retrieve any home run balls hit there.
Both bullpens are cut into the outfield berm near the foul poles - the Royals' in left, Rangers' in right.
The stadium's main scoreboard is located behind the berm in left-center field and has a video board and electronic line score. It also displays the speed of each pitch. Scoreboards on each side of the upper level's facade list basic game information for fans sitting in the berm.
The backside of the main scoreboard serves as the stadium's welcome billboard, positioned so that it is visible from anywhere in the main parking lot.
Two souvenir shops, both called The Sport Shop, carry a small selection of Rangers and Royals gear. The shops are located behind home plate and center field. Because it's a little bigger, the home plate location is considered the stadium's main shop.
Practice Fields The training complexes for both teams are near and behind the main ballpark. The Royals' six fields are parallel to the left field line; the Rangers' six fields are behind home plate.
Although they are in different locations, the practice field gates for both teams open at 10:00 a.m.
Spectator parking for the Royals' practice facilities is in the main stadium's parking lot. The gate to Kansas City's practice fields is at the far end of the parking lot, where the road alongside it is named Buck O'Neil Way.
Fans wishing to view Rangers practices and pre-game preparations should park in the lot near the intersection of Bullard Avenue and Tierra Buena Lane. The Rangers' complex gate is not too far from the first base entry gate of the stadium and the designated parking lot for fans is across the street from the Texas practice facility.
Types of Seating Stadium seats: All sections, totaling 7,000 fixed seats
Berm: Can hold up to 3,600 people
All seats have chair backs, armrests and cup holders. A berm extends the entire length of the outfield.
Notes about the seating The Royals dugout is on the third base side. To make sure you're on the Kansas City side of the stadium, buy your tickets in any odd numbered section.
The Rangers dugout is on the first base side. To make sure you're on the Texas side of the stadium, buy your tickets in any even numbered section.
Handicap accessible seating is available in railed off platforms at the top of these sections: 101-102, 107-112, 117-120, 201-202. Handicap seats are always in row V in the lower level and row G in the upper level. In the outfield, a single row of unmarked seating behind each bullpen is set aside as ADA seats.
The protective screen behind the batter extends from sections 101-106 but is very unobtrusive, unlike some parks.
Most seats have at least a glimpse of the distant mountain ranges that ring the stadium. Fans in the right field berm and upper level have the best views of Arizona's natural skyline, which feature the Estrella and White Tank Mountains.
Standing room is plentiful on the 360-degree concourse, which includes numerous free standing tabletops and picnic tables for fans who don't want to eat in their seats.
Fans are free to roam the stadium and sit where they choose thanks to the friendly and lenient ushers, although the upper level is off-limits to non-ticket holders until after the 5th inning.
Sections and rows Rows for stadium sections range as follows:
E to R in sections 101-102; B to V in sections 103-106; D to T in sections 107-108; D to R in sections 109-110; D to T in sections 111-112; A to V in sections 113-116; A to T in sections 117-118; A to R in sections 119-120; A to V in sections 121-122; K to V in sections 123-124; A to G in sections 201-206.
Rows I and O are skipped in all sections.
Tickets Sections 101-112 are sold as Lower Dugout.
Sections 113-120 are sold as Infield Seats.
Sections 121-124 are sold as Plaza Seats.
Sections 201-206 are sold as Upper Dugout.
Space on the outfield berm is sold as Lawn.
Children ages 2 & under are admitted free but are required to sit on a ticket holder's lap if in the grandstand.
Seats to avoid
It's a minor detail, but all seats in sections 115-118 and many in sections 119-120 are angled towards center field, not home plate. The grandstand corrects itself in the middle of sections 119 and 120 so that some seats there and all beyond are pointed in the proper direction.
Seats in the shade
The Upper Dugout seats (sections 201-206) are covered by a roof and they overhang sections 107-112, where rows N and up are covered by the overhang. Fans sitting in the Lower Dugout seats (sections 101-112) are protected from the sun thanks to the upper level, which blocks the rays completely at varying times depending on the section. By the time of a typical afternoon start (1:05), most seats in sections 101, 102, 104, 106, 108, 110 & 112 are in the shade and remain so throughout the game. Seats on the opposite side of the stadium (sections 103, 105, 107, 109 & 111) enjoy full shade by 2:30.
Suites with outdoor balconies are on both sides of the press box in the upper level. The Home Run Party Deck is in right field, erected in the berm next to the Rangers bullpen. An all you can eat buffet and drink voucher comes with the price of party deck admission. The food served there isn't the standard stuff either, as it's supplied by local restaurants.
All gates open an hour and a half before game time.
Food, drink and bag policy One plastic bottle of water per fan is allowed inside, although the bottle must be sealed (unopened). Boxed fruit juices and baby formula are also permitted.
Food can be brought into the stadium as long as it's presented in a clear, sealed plastic bag and is able to fit under a standard stadium seat.
Bags can be brought inside provided they don't exceed the maximum allowable size of 16" x 16" x 8".
Fans will have difficulty obtaining autographs before the game as teams generally don't take batting practice inside of Surprise Stadium. The Rangers and Royals instead hit on one of their practice fields while visiting teams often take BP in their home park before boarding their bus to Surprise. About an hour before the game begins fans of visiting teams should position themselves directly behind home plate and alongside the tunnel that is cut into sections 101 and 102. That tunnel is used by visiting players to get to and from their clubhouse and they have to utilize it to get to the playing field. Since the Rangers' and Royals' clubhouses are in the outfield corners their players don't have to come in close contact with fans unless they choose to. The good news is that when it gets closer to game time a handful of players will sign near their respective dugouts. The best place to station yourself is in sections 113-118, with Rangers players signing down the right field line and Royals players signing down the left field line. Also, players from the Rangers and Royals will sometimes sign after they have been removed from the game as they walk along the warning track back to their respective clubhouses. The best place to be at that time is sections 122 and 124 (Rangers) and sections 121 and 123 (Royals). Post-game autographs can often be plentiful at those same places, but any section will do so long as it's between the dugout and outfield corner clubhouse entrance.
Unique ballpark fare
A handful of specialty concession stands can be found on the concourse down the left field line. The diverse offerings change yearly, but barbeque, funnel cakes, and cheese steaks seem to be a constant. Coca-Cola controls the soft drink market but alcohol choices are numerous, with wine sold by the glass, margaritas served frozen, and many beers available on tap. Not all beers are served at all stands, although the Beer Garden is almost an exception since it taps a keg of most. You can find the Beer Garden mixed in with the specialty concession stands.
Ballpark Area Info
Surprise Stadium is the northwesternmost spring training ballpark in the Phoenix area, found 23 miles northwest of the Arizona Capitol building. Just as the two team complex in neighboring Peoria spurred stadium-centered development, so too is the case in Surprise. But the immediate development surrounding the stadium in Surprise is much more community oriented than in Peoria. Residences, schools, public recreation and service buildings flank different sides of Surprise Stadium, while a Mecca of commerce can be found a short drive away on Bell Road. It all adds up to a perfect mix of live, work, play...and a lot of traffic congestion on game day. So be prepared for stop and go traffic before and after games.
Travelers' notes The closest major highway is the Loop 101, about 8 miles away.
There are no safety concerns here.
Hotels close to Surprise Stadium
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|Distance ||Hotel ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|0.1 miles ||Holiday Inn Express ||16540 N Bullard Ave ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-975-5540
|2.4 ||Hampton Inn ||14783 W Grand Ave ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-537-9122
|2.8 ||Windmill Suites ||12545 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-583-0133
|2.9 ||Quality Inn ||16741 N Greasewood St ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-583-3500
|2.9 ||Days Inn ||12477 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-933-4000
|3.3 ||Lodge at Sun Ridge ||12129 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-583-0993
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Restaurants close to Surprise Stadium
|Distance ||Restaurant ||Street Address ||City/Zip ||Phone
|1.1 miles ||Carrabba's ||14043 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-214-3299
|1.1 ||Red Robin ||14015 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-556-9066
|1.1 ||Lucky's Pizza ||15508 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-584-2203
|1.1 ||Subway ||15508 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-546-8551
|1.2 ||NYPD Pizza ||13980 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-544-6915
|1.2 ||Macayo's Mexican Kitchen ||15565 W Bell Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-214-5950
|1.3 ||China Buffet ||17119 N Litchfield Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-584-9198
|1.5 ||Nick's Diner ||15693 N Reems Rd ||Surprise, AZ 85374 ||623-556-1733
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Airports close to Surprise Stadium
|Distance ||Airport ||Airport Code
|23.5 miles ||Phoenix Sky Harbor International ||PHX
|134 ||Tucson International ||TUS
|145 ||Yuma International ||YUM
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