Spring is time for baseball in Arizona. And Scottsdale is more than ready for baseball fans. There are more than 15 teams in the Valley of the Sun, three of which call Scottsdale and the nearby Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community home, during the month of March for Cactus League Spring Training.
Celebrate the opening weekend of the season at the Spring Training Festival. From noon to 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, Scottsdale Civic Center Park in downtown will host baseball greats, Cactus League merchandise and memorabilia. Care to enjoy a stadium hotdog or two? Or maybe three? Then you may want to partake in this year’s stadium hot dog tasting. Rock out to tunes performed by Rock ‘n’ Roll High School students, and witness the “Science of Baseball” through demonstrations from Arizona SciTech Fest.
Get an intimate look at the history and characters of Cactus League Spring Training with a self-guided tour of downtown Scottsdale’s legendary baseball hangouts on the Cactus League Legacy Trail. Throw one back at Karsen’s Grill, where umpires tend to gather. Admire the jerseys, shoes, baseballs and autographs signed by Hall of Famers at Don and Charlie’s restaurant. Then, chow down on the Baseball Winner Parfait— marshmallow topping, strawberry and mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, and a maraschino cherry— at Sugar Bowl, a hangout for rookie players since the 1950s. Your stomach and your inner fan will thank you. Or stop by the newly renovated Pink Pony, which opens in February. Despite new ownership, the restaurant will continue to display the original restaurant’s historic Cactus League memorabilia.
After all that, you may want to run off some of those calories. Sign up for The Scottsdale Giant Race, sponsored by the Scottsdale Charros. This inaugural event on March 8 takes participants on 9K or 3-miles runs around Scottsdale Stadium. Slide into the finish line to the sound of cheering spectators in the stands as you end the race on the Scottsdale Stadium field.