What could be better than watching your favorite Major League Baseball team play this summer? For a lot of families, it's catching them play this spring.
Spring Training is underway in Arizona and Florida, which means less commercialized ballparks, plus opportunities to get closer to players and maybe even score a few autographs. It also means more affordable baseball tickets, not to mention peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jacks. Looking for a place to stay? Use this guide to see where you can catch the boys of summer this spring.
Spring Training: Where to Catch the Grapefruit League in Florida
The action is spread out over a fairly wide area, but individual teams are based in three pockets -- on the west coast between Tampa and Fort Myers, in Central Florida near Orlando, and on the east coast between Port St. Lucie and Jupiter. Pick a home base near your favorite team's home ballpark. The 2011 Grapefruit League schedule lets you see which teams are playing each day.
- Red Roof Inn is offering a 15% discount during spring training season.
- The InterContinental Tampa is offering a Spring Training Package that includes a 25% discount off the best available rate (from $135 instead of $149 per night) plus a Fan Tool Kit complete with a team-specific chocolate, a baseball for signing, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, popcorn, bubble gum, and soda. Call tel. 866/402-0758 and mention rate code ILQGA and your favorite baseball team at the time of reservation.
- The Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg is offering a Home Run Baseball Package. Starting at $169 per night, this package includes accommodations, breakfast for two, and transportation to and from Tropicana Field in Tampa for two people. It also includes a spectator survival kit complete with a tote bag, Cracker Jacks, Big League Chew Bubble Gum, roasted peanuts, and two padded stadium seat cushions. Mention promo code SPE.
- The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is offering a Spring Training Getaway Package that includes breakfast for two each morning and a Welcome gift bag (a baseball, an autograph pen, and a box of Cracker Jacks). If you present your game tickets, you'll also receive a $10 credit for a hot dog and beverage at Roger Dean Stadium. Call tel. 866/943-0950 and mention promo code SPRING.
- With the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel's Baseball Spring Training Offer, when you buy one night, you get your second night for 40% off.
- The Sheraton Safari Hotel in Orlando is offering a Baseball Spring Training Package. Rates start at $109 per night and include breakfast for two.
Spring Training Deals: Where to Catch the Cactus League in Arizona
All of the action is conveniently centered in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, with the ballparks located within an hour's drive of each other. The 2011 Cactus League Schedule tells you which teams are playing each day.
- The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's discount page highlights many spring break offers, including discounts on hotel and attractions.
- The Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau spotlights hotel packages during spring training at 14 local hotels. Some packages include discounts on rental cars, too.
- Red Roof Inn is offering a 20% discount during spring training season when guests stay at least two consecutive nights.
- The Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix is offering a Stay & Play Spring Training Package with Breakfast. Rates start at $149 per night and include breakfast for two. Book online or call tel. 866/716-8134 and use promo code SPRING1.
- The Wigwam Resort in Phoenix is offering a "Home Run Spring Training Package" during March with 15% off two-night stays, 25% off three-night stays, and 35% off four-night stays. Book by calling tel. 800/327-0396.
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