Mariners fans, it’s that time of year again: spring training is now underway in Peoria, Arizona. With some new offseason trades for the likes of Drew Smyly (pitcher), Jarrod Dyson (outfielder), and Jean Segura (infielder); Robinson Cano (infielder), Nelson Cruz (designated hitter), and Kyle Seager (infielder) looking to create some magic on offense; and King Felix Hernandez on a serious mission to get the M’s its first playoff in over a decade, it’s an exciting time to be a Mariners’ fan.
The Mariners kick off spring training this year against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, February 25th at 1:10 p.m. And if you would like to get away from Seattle’s record setting wettest rainy season ever and cheer on your favorite ball team, here’s what you need to know.
Where do the Seattle Mariners play? The Mariners play in the Cactus League in Arizona and all of its games are held at the Peoria Sports Complex. This is the twenty-fourth year the Peoria Sports Complex has played host to the Seattle Mariners at its shared home field with the San Diego Padres for spring training.
How do you get to Peoria from Phoenix? Getting to Peoria is relatively easy; it's approximately a thirty-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (a shuttle bus can take you to and from the car rentals). Renting a car is your best bet to get to the M's home away from home. If you don’t want to drive, Uber, Lyft or a cab are your other best options to get around.
Where are the away games? Cactus League games are sprinkled throughout neighboring towns outside of Phoenix like Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. All are within a relatively short drive away.
Who plays in the Cactus League? The Cactus League is comprised of fifteen teams: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, L.A. Angels, L.A. Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners.
What is the Peoria Sports Complex like? The Peoria Sports Complex has something for everyone. You can eat at The-All-You-Can-Eat Terrace for $20 (where a daily, revolving menu of American, Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisine is offered). And for those wishing to quench their thirst on a warm sunny afternoon (which these days hovers in the low 70’s), the Craft Courtyard allows fans to either mix or match up to five 1-ounce whiskey pours or 12-ounce craft beers from the Pacific Northwest, Southern California and the Southwest for $20.
Is the Complex family friendly? Yes. With a list of new upgrades this year (including a 2nd floor terrace and box office), the Peoria Sports Complex has dedicated its time to creating a fun kids’ zone named the “Peoria Cove,” the perfect place to let your kid stretch in between innings. There’s a kid friendly café, a free wiffle ball field that’s a third of a Major League infield called “The Ballyard”* and a captivating playground called “The Shipyard,” a 40-foot ship supporting a mast and sail. This sea faring playground draws inspiration from both coastal cities of Seattle and San Diego and it also includes a splash pad and a play structure. *Kids can test their hitting and pitching at the skills stations at “The Ballyard” for a $1 fee which contributes to the Peoria Diamond Club, a charitable fund benefiting local youth charities.
Are there any promotional days? There are days like the Family 4 Pack, Fan Appreciation Day, the Bowwow Powwow (where fans can bring their dogs to the game) and other family fun promotional days.
What else is there to do in Peoria? Peoria has many gems that include a variety of shopping, dining, entertainment and plenty of outdoor activities for people who are wanting to experience nature’s playground, like: Arizona Broadway Theatre: An exciting dinner theater with tableside service, azbroadway.org; Arizona Challenger Space Center: Travel through space by walking through many of their cool satellite exhibits, azchallenger.org; Lake Pleasant: A perfect getaway to enjoy multiple outdoor activities such as, bass fishing, hiking, jet skis and kayaks, pleasantharbor.com; Lucidi Distilling Company: Enjoy an array of spirits in the tasting room or learn about the distilling process with a tour of the facility, lucididistilling.com