Spring training is here, which means that it’s officially snowbird season. Midwesterners are making their annual migration south thanks to the promise of preseason baseball and some Arizona sunshine. We’re running a series of articles covering everything you need to know about spring training.
Today we’re doing a deep dive on all things NL Central. The Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds all play here in the Valley every spring and we’re here to guide you to the best gameday experience. Ditch the coats, put on your flip flops and check out this essential guide to NL Central spring training.
The Chicago Cubs
Location: Sloan Park, Mesa
Let’s go Cubbies! The Chicago Cubs are arguably the hottest ticket in town thanks to their droves of fans and the newly-minted Sloan Park. Located near Mesa Riverview Park, this quintessential stadium has earned its reputation as Wrigleyville West. It’s chock-full of Wrigley favorites like the Chicago dog and has a replica of the Wrigley Field marquee. You can even join in on a rendition of “Go Cubs Go” after a home game victory.
Sloan Park doesn’t have the only taste of Chicago in Mesa. Cubs fans regularly make their way to Groggy’s Bar and Grill, a classic Chicago-style dive only a few miles from the stadium. Diamond’s Sports Grille is another crowd favorite thanks to its Cubs paraphernalia and extended happy hour. It’s hard to resist, however, the allure of the Chicago-style eatery Portillo’s. This Tempe Marketplace staple is famous for serving up Chicago style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Word to the wise? Cubs tickets go fast so be sure to purchase yours well in advance. You can also pay $10 for reserved parking at the stadium, which is well-worth avoiding the headache.
The Milwaukee Brewers
Location: American Family Fields, Phoenix
Milwaukee Brewers fans are no stranger to pleasant surprises. Their upstart squad shocked the world by making a deep playoff run that went all the way to game 7 of the 2018 NLDS. Now, they’re about to be pleasantly surprised by American Family Fields.
This newly renovated facility used to be Maryvale Park, which has housed the Brewers since 1998. The $60 million renovations brought better parking, more concessions and a state-of-the-art scoreboard to the game day experience. Don’t worry, Brewers fans. The new stadium will stay host proud Brew Crew traditions like Hank the Dog, Hot Dog Races, and sombrero-wearing man-cationers. Brewers fans are notorious tailgaters, so your best bet for a pre-game beverage is packing a cooler full of ice cold Miller Lite. If you’re looking for a sit-down, your best bet is Casey Jones Grill. This Packers bar has happy hour Monday-Saturday with deals on domestic beer and tasty bar food.
The Cincinnati Reds
Location: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, AZ
Behold, the wonders of skyline chili! Cincinnati Reds fans can get a taste of home at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, on the west side of Phoenix. This state-of-the-art complex is one of the Valley’s finest thanks to its 360-degree concourse views, ample lawn seating and shaded areas. Red’s fans can also enjoy Ohio favorites like the Cleveland Polish Boy with Bertman Ball Park Mustard.
Looking for a pregame beverage? Make your way to Saddle Mountain Brewing Company located just two miles from the park. This renowned hotspot is the first microbrewery in Goodyear and has 10 local beers brewed in house. You can also try out Rudy’s BBQ for southern favorites like smoked brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and baby back ribs.
Looking for info on the AL Central, AL West or NL West spring training in Phx? Check out the full #FrayLife guide to spring training in Phx.
If you’re looking to play during your free time, think about forming a corporate team with your colleagues! PHX Fray has got you covered with a variety of sport options and the best player perks.
View More Articles By John Kuells