The Ins and Outs of Spring Training Baseball

by Daniel Nikulin

After the beaches, golf and outlet malls, why not catch a MLB baseball game?

Snowbirds know the drill, as do some college and university students wanting a break from the usual Spring Break shenanigans during their wobbly week in the sun. Starting each year around the middle of February and lasting into early April is Major League Baseball’s Spring Training, an action-packed break in the regular season where new players fight for roster spots, veterans work off nagging injuries and teams go through extensive practices, exhibition games and other camp duties to prepare for the upcoming regular season.

For those that live in baseball cities charging an arm and a leg for a decent ticket, it is the perfect time to catch your favourite team for less, to get that sought-after autograph from your favourite player and to enjoy some professional baseball on a much more intimate scale. The weather is ideal and the vibe is relaxed. It is a great opportunity to catch the brightest young stars and to get a sneak peek at what your team might look like come Opening Day.


If you’re ready to experience baseball from an entirely new vantage point, we’ve compiled the ultimate Spring Training guide to keep you organized. Like the American and National Leagues of the regular season, springtime baseball is broken down into two leagues, Florida’s Grapefruit League and Arizona’s Cactus League. The difference here is that American League and National League teams cross over and aren’t aligned as they are during the regular season, making for more games between teams you’d only see compete against one another in a handful of games between April and October.

Whether you’re a casual fan or are ready to take your baseball fandom to a new level, here is a list of participating MLB teams (all of them) and where you can find them down south.

Grapefruit League (Florida)

With a dozen teams training along the east and west coasts and another three in the centre of the state, it isn’t hard to plan an all-encompassing Florida vacation that includes beaches, Walt Disney World, and you guessed it, baseball.

Off-season ball has been a tradition in the Sunshine State since the 1890s. Some of the newer parks here (Phillie’s Bright House Field, Tigers’ Joker Marchant Stadium) are mini-replicas of the team’s stadiums back home while others offer fun on-site extras like tiki bars or mini golf.



Team City Venue
Toronto Blue Jays Dunedin Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
Washington Nationals Viera Space Coast Stadium
Atlanta Braves Lake Buena Vista Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World
St. Louis Cardinals Jupiter Roger Dean Stadium
Baltimore Orioles Sarasota Ed Smith Stadium
Boston Red Sox Fort Myers JetBlue Park at Fenway South
Tampa Bay Rays Port Charlotte Charlotte Sports Park
Detroit Tigers Lakeland Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton LECOM Park
Houston Astros West Palm Beach FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
Philadelphia Phillies Clearwater Spectrum Field
Miami Marlins Jupiter Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
New York Yankees Tampa George M. Steinbrenner Field
Minnesota Twins Fort Myers CenturyLink Sports Complex
New York Mets Port St. Lucie Port St. Lucie


Cactus League (Arizona)

Nowhere else can you catch the action of 15 different teams within a driving radius of less than one hour. Hop on the Legacy Trail and enjoy a multi-stop tour of Arizona’s famous Spring Training facilities and memorabilia collection spots, including ‘Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience’ exhibit, an ever-growing collection of autographs, artifacts and souvenirs relating to the league’s 60+ year history.

And after you get your baseball fill, enjoy Arizona’s dry heat, soothing spas, world-class golf and more.



Team City Venue
Texas Rangers Surprise Surprise Stadium
Arizona Diamondbacks Salt River Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Seattle Mariners Peoria Peoria Sports Complex
Chicago Cubs Mesa Sloan Park
San Francisco Giants Scottsdale Scottsdale Stadium
Chicago White Sox Glendale Camelback Ranch
San Diego Padres Peoria Peoria Sports Complex
Cincinnati Reds Goodyear Goodyear Ballpark
Oakland Athletics Mesa HoHoKam Park
Milwaukee Brewers Phoenix American Family Fields of Phoenix
Cleveland Indians Goodyear Goodyear Ballpark
Los Angeles Dodgers Glendale Camelback Ranch
Colorado Rockies Salt River Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tempe Tempe Diablo Stadium
Kansas City Royals Surprise Surprise Stadium

As you can see, teams in both leagues sometimes share a Spring Break ballpark, especially cool if you’re both a Cardinals and Marlins fan or into the Diamondbacks and Rockies, for example. Spring Training teams can play NCAA teams (college), minor league clubs, intra-squad games (a single team playing itself by dividing its roster) as well as split-squad games, where a club plays two games in a single day by splitting their team. Of course, there are games between MLB franchises too, making for an all encompassing array of action.


Spring Training Tickets

Here’s the best part; tickets can start as low as $22.50 CAD for a baseline seat and less than $200 CAD on average for a seat in a box. If you’re cool with a seat in the stands, tickets can be even cheaper than that. Keep in mind that the stadiums are much smaller than they are on the big stage (Sloan Stadium is the largest Spring Training venue at 15,000 capacity but most seat less than 10,000) and even though it is just training, many games do sell out.

Pre-booking your game seats is always a good idea and the best way to get yours is by visiting the MLB Spring Training page.


Flights, Hotels & Car Rentals

You’ve come to the right place! At Flight Centre, we’ve been sending snowbirds south for years. Whether you’re spending the entire winter away or would simply like a week (or even weekend) to warm up and catch some ball, we’ve got everything besides your baseball tickets.

Fly with your favourite airline, whether it’s Air Canada, WestJet, or Air Transat. Cruise between parks (top-down!) with our great car rental options and get the most out of the perfect weather. Come back ready for Opening Day and the regular season refreshed, knowing just a little bit more about your favourite team and what it takes to get ready for another beautifully gruelling season of ball.


Game on! Spring Training means fun for the whole family, especially if you combine a game or two with a visit to an amusement park, a resort on the beach or some world-class golf. Book it all with any one of our Expert Travellers anytime at 1 877 967 5302 or by visiting your Flight Centre store today. 


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