Over 3.3 million tickets were sold for games at spring training ballparks in 2016. To get one, or more, for the 2017 spring training season, use the table of ticket information below. And read the article below the tabular info for more details about buying tickets.
Grapefruit League Teams
|Team ||Stadium ||On-Sale Date ||Provider/Phone ||Box Office # ||Reseller
|Astros ||The Ballpark of the |
|Saturday, January 14 ||Tickets.com |
|Braves ||Champion Stadium ||Monday, December 12 ||Ticketmaster |
|Blue Jays ||FL Auto Exchange Stadium ||Thursday, December 8 ||Ticketmaster |
|Cardinals ||Roger Dean Stadium ||Saturday, January 7 ||Tickets.com |
|Marlins ||Roger Dean Stadium ||Saturday, January 7 ||Tickets.com |
|Mets ||Tradition Field ||Saturday, January 14 ||Tickets.com |
|Nationals ||The Ballpark of the |
|Saturday, January 14 ||Tickets.com |
|Orioles ||Ed Smith Stadium ||Saturday, January 21 ||Tickets.com |
|Phillies ||Bright House Field ||Thursday, January 5 ||Tickets.com |
|Pirates ||McKechnie Field ||Saturday, January 21 ||Tickets.com |
|Rays ||Charlotte Sports Park ||Friday, January 13 ||Tickets.com |
|Red Sox ||JetBlue Park ||Saturday, December 3 ||Tickets.com |
|Tigers ||Joker Marchant Stadium ||Saturday, January 14 ||Tickets.com |
|Twins ||Hammond Stadium ||Saturday, January 7 ||Tickets.com |
|Yankees ||Steinbrenner Field ||Friday, January 13 ||Ticketmaster |
Cactus League Teams
|Team ||Stadium ||On-Sale Date ||Provider/Phone ||Box Office # ||Reseller
|Angels ||Tempe Diablo Stadium ||Friday, December 2 ||Ticketmaster |
|A's ||Hohokam Stadium ||Tuesday, November 15 ||Tickets.com |
|Brewers ||Maryvale Baseball Park ||Monday, December 5 ||Tickets.com |
|Cubs ||Sloan Park ||Saturday, January 7 ||Tickets.com |
|Diamondbacks ||Salt River Fields ||Saturday, January 7 ||Ticketmaster |
|Dodgers ||Camelback Ranch ||Monday, January 9 ||Tickets.com |
|Giants ||Scottsdale Stadium ||Thursday, January 12 ||Tickets.com |
|Indians ||Goodyear Ballpark ||Thursday, December 1 ||Ticketmaster |
|Mariners ||Peoria Sports Complex ||Saturday, December 10 ||Tickets.com |
|Padres ||Peoria Sports Complex ||Saturday, December 10 ||Tickets.com |
|Rangers ||Surprise Stadium ||Saturday, December 10 ||Tickets.com |
|Reds ||Goodyear Ballpark ||Thursday, December 1 ||Ticketmaster |
|Rockies ||Salt River Fields ||Saturday, January 7 ||Ticketmaster |
|Royals ||Surprise Stadium ||Saturday, December 10 ||Tickets.com |
|White Sox ||Camelback Ranch ||Monday, January 9 ||Tickets.com |
Box Office Sales
Dates on which ballpark box offices open vary, and don't always coincide with when tickets go on sale. Such is the case in Tempe, AZ.
In most instances, ballpark box offices don't sell tickets to individual games except for on game day. The sole exception may be that the box office will handle ADA (handicapped) seating requests for fans, otherwise the box office limits itself to group, suite and season ticket sales, leaving the primary ticket provider (either Ticketmaster or Tickets.com) to handle individual game sales online or by phone.
So calls to the box office won't be fruitful if buying tickets to single games is your goal, although any stadium's ticket office should know more about their seating situations than the national outlets that handle most of their ticket sales, and thus be able to at least dispense some advice in lieu of tickets.
Although you can't generally call the box office to buy tickets, and thus avoid the service charge that you'll be charged by the primary ticket sellers, you can go to the box office and buy tickets. Every ballpark's ticket office is open during the spring training season, although some don't open until shortly before the first home game is played. So it's possible that you can't buy tickets in advance in person until after they've been available online or over the phone for a while.
That depends on the venue though, as the Red Sox's box office at JetBlue Park opened for business the same day that tickets went on sale for their 2016 season. But, for example, the Angels' box office at Tempe Diablo Stadium didn't open for ticket selling business until February 20, 2016, whereas their tickets officially went on sale on December 9, 2015.
If you want to know when a ballpark's box office opens for walk-up sales, call it using the phone numbers provided above.
Now, it's time to answer a very common question that most fans have...
Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Yes, if going to see the Red Sox or Cubs in their winter home parks. No, if planning to attend Brewers' games in Maryvale or those of the Nationals in Viera.
Otherwise, the answer depends on individual game circumstances, such as when the game is being played, and against who the home team is playing.
If going to games early in the spring training season, then tickets will be much more readily available. But after about the first third of the exhibition season has been completed, crowds get bigger and bigger for games until, near the end of spring training, when the regular players are playing for most of the game, sellouts or near sellouts at most venues are common. Those that have berms (grass seating) rarely ever turn away fans, so you can usually buy a lawn/general admission ticket to get in, but for ballparks without large areas to host fans sans seats admission can be problematic. So it's best to buy tickets in advance at stadiums without berms (like Dunedin and Sarasota in Florida) when the opponent is a popular one, or the game is on a weekend in late March.
The popular teams, like the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Giants, are known to draw large crowds for their road games, and those games are often considered "prime" by the team hosting them, which means not only will the tickets be harder to come by, but they'll be a few bucks more expensive due to their designation as a prime game.
Games on weekends generally draw larger crowds than games during the week, and night games outdraw day games. So if going to a weekend game in the later half of March, then it's often wise to buy tickets in advance. But if you're going to see a typical game on a Wednesday afternoon during the first week of the exhibition game season, then you shouldn't have much of a hassle with being in attendance.
Just like at major league ballparks, you'll find people selling tickets outside of and near spring training ballparks. More often than not though, it's regular fans that are trying to sell their extras, which are usually good seats that are part of a season ticket package, so even soldout games can be gotten into at a regular price if you're in the right place at the right time, but the more tickets you need the harder it will be.
And even when games are sold out in advance, there's almost always a handful of tickets that go on sale at the box office the day of the game. Some of those tickets are returns and will be good seats, while other teams wait to sell standing room only (SRO) until game day. So just because a game is showing sold out online, not all hope is lost; it just means you'll need to arrive around gate-opening time to get in line and buy the tickets that become, or are made, available.
Also, and this is important to remember, you usually cannot buy tickets on the day of the game online. So if a team's website is telling you on the morning of the game that tickets can no longer be bought for that game, it doesn't mean they can't be bought for that game. It's just that you can't buy them online anymore and will need to get them at the box office at the ballpark. That part is not usually explained, leading to confusion and the assumption that a game is sold out, even if it's not.
Primary Ticket Providers
All teams use one of two sources to provide fans, officially, with their spring training tickets: Ticketmaster or Tickets.com. With both, the look and feel of where you buy the tickets online is similar to that of a team's website, making it seem as though they are an extension of the team's website, which actually links buyers to either primary ticketing company to make purchases.
When purchasing by phone, Tickets.com usually creates a unique phone number for a team, whereas Ticketmaster promotes their national sales line (800-745-3000) for most of the teams they have contracts with.
As of the 2016 spring training season, 9 teams partnered with Ticketmaster and 21 with Tickets.com, which is actually owned by MLB's online division, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, as they acquired the website in 2005.
The Secondary Ticket Market
You can usually buy tickets online at "ticket marketplaces," such as StubHub or TicketsNow, prior to the official on-sale date for single game tickets. This is often because their supply of seats comes from season tickets, which go on sale (or are renewed by past season ticket holders) well before tickets to individual games do.
Most teams don't offer individual game tickets for sale prior to Christmas; just 10 of 30 teams did so for their 2014 home game schedules, and the number is 13 of 30 for 2016. As illogical as that sounds, depriving the public from purchasing them as holiday gifts, the secondary, or reseller market, enables tickets to be given as Christmas presents or stocking stuffers.
After teams have put tickets on sale, getting them from the well-known resellers, such as eBay-owned StubHub or Ticketmaster's TicketsNow, in addition to lesser known but still national secondary ticketing sites, like TicketNetwork or Vivid Seats, is an option to choose the seats you want at a price offered that varies depending on demand. Some tickets will be below face value, others above.
So the secondary ticket market is an option, and one that quite a few people start with, for spring training tickets, and if nothing else you can use the various broker websites as a barometer to check on a game's popularity, which can be easily gleaned from the price ranges.
Fittingly, given this day and digital age, every one of Major League Baseball's 30 teams have an official secondary ticket market provider, with most using league-sponsor StubHub. So buying tickets this way is becoming an increasingly common choice for fans, who can usually get very detailed information online about the seats that are available at the various secondary ticket websites that in many ways compete with Ticketmaster or Tickets.com for sales.
Ticketing Trends Worth Knowing About
Five are worth mentioning, as they are becoming more common, although they still have a ways to go to become de facto.
Although fans would naturally believe that single game tickets aren't supposed to go on sale until the official announced date, some teams get a jump on sales with presales. The Blue Jays have been doing this for years, offering tickets for their home games in Dunedin for a 36-hour window in early December, then not allowing tickets for individual games to be bought again until January. For the 2016 season, the early buying option period spanned parts of December 3rd and 4th, with the back on sale again date being January 6.
While the Blue Jays announce their presale and regular on-sale dates when they release their schedule, not all teams announce presale opportunities in advance. To find out if such "early bird" opportunities are an option, you can check the spring training tickets page on each team's official website (the Pirates always list their presale info on their respective page), or if a team uses Ticketmaster you'll notice "presale begins" instead of the official "on sale" date when you go to the Ticketmaster website (links in the ticket table will take you directly to each ballpark's ticket page so you can easily find out).
But since not all presales are listed by teams on their websites, or announced when they release their schedule, they can be easy to miss, especially since a presale generally lasts for a very short period of time, and sometimes happens well before the official on-sale date (other times it occurs in the days immediately preceding the regular on-sale date).
And if you follow a particular team, sign up for their official e-mail newsletter, as subscribers (or "insiders" as the team often terms them) will be sent ticket presale information...if there is a presale. Also, some teams have ticket presales specifically for their newsletter subscribers.
- Very Mini "Season" Ticket Plans
If you're going to see a few games in the same ballpark, check to see if that ballpark offers what is best generally referred to as "flex packs."
Often sold in multiples of 3 games, and often with a built-in discount, the flex packs make sense for those flocking to the same place for at least three games. Not all teams offer them, and those that do have policies that can vary widely -- premium opponents can be excluded, or the packages are sold in specific mini plans -- but you'll have the same seats for each game and, by whatever name a team sells them by, flex packs are worth checking out so long as you're allowed to pick all of the games you want to attend.
As for where to find potential flex pack info, that's the one thing that's pretty consistent: each team's website will list the plans if they are available, always on their spring training tickets page (which may not be easy to find itself, but can be found pretty quickly through Google with a basic search query, such as "giants spring training tickets" for the Giants, etc.).
- Pricing by Classification
This has become a widely implemented model, in which teams classify games as, for example, regular or premium. A specific example would be the Tigers' white, orange and navy pricing tiers for their games in Lakeland, FL. "Navy" games are the most expensive -- these are against the likes of the Cardinals and Yankees -- and "white" is the least expensive, as they feature the least attractive opponents that come to Joker Marchant Stadium (Astros and Marlins, for example).
A sign of the times: tickets prices are regular or premium, depending on who visits Dunedin.
Games can be grouped for a particular designation/classification by opponent and/or day of the week, as Saturday is more "premium" than Tuesday, while even a game played on March's "holiday" -- St. Patrick's Day -- might be reason enough for it to be priced a little higher than normal.
- Prices Go Up on Game Day
This went on for a while at the big league level, before stadiums at the spring training level decided to start doing the same. Once it's game day -- and that means 12:01 a.m. -- ticket prices increase, and in every seating category. Avoiding this "surcharge" is the best reason to buy tickets in advance at the box office if you can, otherwise day of game purchases are priced X dollars more per ticket in some places. At the Pirates' McKechnie Field that's $3 in 2016; the Braves' Champion Stadium really ups the ante on game day, charging an extra $5.
Such "walk-up fees" are not yet the norm, but they are becoming more normal...and more expensive. In 2013, Camelback Ranch, home to the Dodgers and White Sox, tacked on $2 come game day. For 2014, the price increase on the day of the game was $3 per ticket, although that just applied to weekday games; weekend games at the Ranch are all considered "premier" and their prices are all inflated in advance. But, in Glendale, at least, the premier seats don't get any pricier on the game's date.
- Dynamic Pricing
This means there is no face value, as ticket prices fluctuate depending on market demand. Essentially, this is the principle by which the secondary ticket market has long operated by. The Giants, in 2011, became the first team to permanently go the dynamic route and their cross-bay rivals, the A's, implemented the model in 2013. Those were the only two teams to do so as of 2014, but the likelihood is more will follow in the future the words used by the A's to explain their ticketing policy: "Single game ticket pricing is based on current market value. Pricing can fluctuate based on factors affecting supply and demand."
And sure enough, in 2016 the Angels became the most recent convert to the dynamic pricing model for their games in Tempe, where "the Angels adjust ticket prices upward or downward on a daily basis based on changing factors." So although it's happening slowing, expect this ticketing trend to become more widespread.
Face Value Prices for Spring Training Tickets
Face value is getting harder to determine, due to factors that make it impossible at many places to define the "normal" price for any particular section of seats.
The variable pricing given to us by various game classifications (premium, prime, regular, gold, etc.), the uncertainty that enables prices to fluctuate when they're dynamically priced, adding walk-up fees on game day purchases...all these factors contribute to the difficulty of listing face value prices for many of the 24 ballparks used during spring training. More often, those ballparks are setting a price range for each of their seating categories, as opposed to the traditional method of one price that remains unchanged regardless of opponent or day.
And, of course, unless you buy at the box office, you'll pay service charges, or "convenience fees" as the ticketing industry likes to call them, for each ticket ordered online or over the phone. Although at quite a few parks nowadays, you'll need to buy your tickets at the box office in advance of game day to avoid the "prices go up on game day" increases.
So whatever the "base price" is on tickets for the games you want to see, having fees of some sort being tacked onto the total is often a reality in the modern era of going to see America's pastime in the springtime. Still, what you pay will be a lot less than it costs to watch the same players play come the summer, and that's just part of the beauty of spring training baseball!
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all two dozen of the currently used spring training stadiums have either been built or modified to comply with the law and provide handicapped fans, and their companions, with special seating areas, which are generally found on the concourse or cross aisle and feature wheelchair spaces aside a permanent type of seat for a companion.
Handicap accessible seating, often referred to as ADA seating, is offered in multiple areas of each ballpark, although such seats are limited in general. You can usually buy them in real time online, although it's probably easier to do so by calling either the primary ticket provider or box office.
Note: On each ballpark guide page at Spring Training Connection, under the Notes about the seating subheading, you'll see a recap of all handicap accessible seating spots for that particular park.
Do Children Need Tickets?
That depends on their age, but usually if the young'un is 2 or below, then no, so long as the child can sit on a ticket holder's lap. Policies vary by ballpark and all are listed on their guide page at this website, under the Tickets subheading. To jump to the answer for each quickly, clicking the team links in the "Ticket Types, by Team" section on this page will take you directly to a ballpark's policy on what age children need to have a ticket. And if a kid is too old to get in for free, then a full-priced ticket must be purchased.
That should cover most topics of concern or interest for the spring training ticket buying public. If it doesn't, then sending an e-mail will probably get you an answer that's at least somewhat helpful, as this article on the whole was intended to be.
, the author of and information collector for this article, has many, many, many ticket stubs saved from attending spring training games dating back to his days as a young teenager (in the late 1980s). Every year, he obtains many more of such souvenirs in Arizona and/or Florida, usually buying at the box office on game day, and occasionally from other folks outside of the park, and every so often online in advance. He has seen multiple games in every spring training ballpark, most recently adding Sloan Park in Mesa (Cubs) to the multiple visit list during its inaugural season (2014).
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