Peoria Sports Complex became the first shared spring training facility in the Cactus League when it opened in 1994. The San Diego Padres had trained in Yuma since the expansion team entered the National League in 1969. The Padres spent their final Yuma spring at Desert Sun Stadium in 1993. The Seattle Mariners, a 1977 American League expansion team, had always called Tempe their spring home. In 1993, the Anaheim Angels relocated from their headquarters in Palm Springs to Tempe leaving the Mariners homeless for one season. That spring, the Mariners became road warriors by playing their entire spring training schedule as the visiting team while waiting for the Peoria Sports Complex to be completed.
The $32 million complex has separate practice facilities and offices for each club and includes 12 practice fields. Peoria Stadium, designed by renowned ballpark architects HOK of Kansas City, accommodates 11,000 fans—8,000 seats and 3,000 on the lawn. Fittingly, the Padres and Mariners opened the stadium by facing each other on March 2, 1994.
Peoria Stadium FAQs:
The Mariners open their 18-game home schedule on Friday, February 22 against the San Diego Padres
Schedule notes: The M’s actually play 20 games in Peoria, but two of those are against the Padres with whom they share the ballpark. Peoria has a very active night game schedule. The Mariners play four 7:05 games including one game in which the Padres are the host. Those games are; March 15 (Opponent TBD); March 19 (Giants) March 21 (Cubs); March 22 (Padres are home team). Another hot spot on the schedule is the Saturday March 2 game against the star studded Dodgers. All day games begin at 1:05.
The Padres open their 19-game home schedule on Saturday, February 23 against the Seattle Mariners.
Schedule notes: The Padres play 21 games in Peoria including two games in which the Mariners are the home team. The will host two 7:05 night games; March 14 (opponent TBD); and March 22 against the Mariners. The hometown Diamondbacks visit Peoria on Saturday, March 16 and the World Series Champion Giants come to town on Wednesday, March 20.
Peoria Stadium: 8131 West Paradise Lane; Peoria, AZ 85382
Capacity: 11,000 (8,000 fixed, 3,000 Lawn)
Dimensions: LF 340’; CF 410’; RF 340’
Tips: From the I-10, exit on Cactus, go west to 83rd Ave and north to the ballpark or take the 101 North to the Bell Rd. Exit and head east to 83rd Ave; turn right on 83rd and then left on Paradise LN. Never take the I-10 to Bell Road unless you want to finish listening to that CD while you wait in traffic……..
Mariners in 2012:
Regular Season: 75-7, ERA 3.87; BA .234; HR 149
Spring Training: 16-9; ERA 4.54; BA .297; HR 28
Padres in 2012:
Regular Season: 76-86, ERA 4.01; BA .247; HR 121.
Spring Training: 20-16; ERA 4.61; BA .289; HR 42
More on spring training in Peoria
The Mariners largest home crowd came on March 12, 2004 when 13,366 watched the Mariners play the Cubs. The M’s single season spring mark is 145,146 set in 2002. The Padres largest crowd was 10,497 on March 19, 2010 against the Dodgers. The Friars best season at the gate came in 2008 when they drew 132,361 to home games.