Sun, beaches and baseball.
For baseball fans, it really doesn’t get any better than that.
It’s that time of the year again – spring training. And that means it’s time for that annual road trip to Florida to watch an exhibition game or two (or three) for those can’t wait for the regular season to start.
For those not in the know, Florida is home to the Grapefruit League
, which consist of 15 teams that include the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. During March, fans (and those who travel with them) can take in a game in a more relaxed, less crowded and more importantly, affordable,
Who is Where
The teams are scattered throughout central and south Florida. Beginning with the Kissimmee/Orlando area, you’ll find the Atlanta Braves
at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista and the Houston Astros
at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. Washington Nationals
can be found at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Lakeland is the training home to the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium
. In Tampa, there’s the New York Yankees
at the aptly named George M. Steinbrenner Field. Clearwater is the spring host for Philadelphia Phillies
at Bright House Networks Field. In Dunedin, you can see the Toronto Blue Jays
at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates
are at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, with the Baltimore Orioles
at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. New York Mets
play in Port St. Lucie at Digital Domain Park. Port Charlotte
is home to the Tampa Bay Rays who use Charlotte Sports Park. Fort Myers hosts two teams, the Minnesota Twins
at Hammond Stadium at Lee County Sports Complex and the Boston Red Sox
at City of Palms Park. And rounding out the list, is the St. Louis Cardinals
and the Florida Marlins
both at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
What’s Their Schedule
Good news is there basically a game every day, so there really isn’t a bad time to go. The games run through March 28. The majority of them start at 1:05 p.m., with a few that have times of 1:10 p.m., 6:05 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. Always check your teams schedule, but do be aware that things can change.
How Much Does it Cost
Prices depend on the game and varies for each team. Cost for baseline/lawn/bleachers/bern can range anywhere from $6 up to $20. Also be aware that some places charge for parking as well. Expect to pay between $5 to $10.
There are deals available throughout the area for catching a baseball game during spring training. Here’s a few to consider.
photo credit: baseballs, flickr, creative commons by mikeyallswell
- Through March 27, present your ticket or ticket receipt at Orlando World Center upon check in to receive complimentary self-parking and a room rate of $179/night.
- The Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista is offering a room rate of $49.99/night for stays through March 31. Be sure to request the Spring Training rate. As an added bonus for $10 more, you can enjoy a game day lunch that includes two fountain drinks, two hot dogs and two small chips from the property’s Lite Bite Restaurant.
- Through April 4, InterContinental Tampa has a spring training package with rates beginning at $149/night. The package also includes a Fan Tool Kit that comes with a baseball for signing, a box of Cracker Jacks and more. When booking, use code ILQGA.
- Use promo code SPRING when booking Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa’s Spring Baseball Getaway package. Through April, the package includes a welcome gift, breakfast for two each morning and more. Rates start at $269/night.
- Palm Beach Gardens Marriott’s MLB Spring Training package, good through March 31, includes breakfast buffet for two, $25 food and beverage credit, and a spring training survival kit. Rates begin at $164/night.