Best places to encounter MLB players during Arizona spring training (Part I)

Downtown PhoenixThis week, iFollo.com is your source for the best places to encounter the players and fans that have flocked to Arizona and Florida for Major League Baseball spring training.

Our first stop is the Cactus League in Arizona. Today's blog will focus on the East Valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Tuesday's scope will shift to the West Valley.

The state of Arizona is home to 15 spring training camps. 13 of these teams are based in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Because so many franchises operate in and around Phoenix, March in the Valley of the Sun is heaven for a baseball fan. 13 teams within 37 miles, it is as simple as that.

The East Valley is the more crowded and vibrant area of Phoenix.  In fact, the city of Scottsdale is the center of activity for the entire region. 

Four teams call the East Valley home. These teams are the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

MLB.com provides an excellent map noting the locations of each team.  The smaller, more accessible layout of spring training stadiums present a fantastic opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with players.

Below is a breakdown of the hotspots in this area.  Keep in mind that many of the West Valley based players will head east to enjoy the best of Arizona nightlife.

Scottsdale - Home of the Giants

Scottsdale Stadium         7408 East Osborn Rd.

Downtown Scottsdale is home to the highest concentration of restaurants, shopping and nightlife in the metro area. It is the center of nighttime activity for all MLB players and fans.

Six Lounge & Restaurant, Martini Ranch and the Saddle Ranch are among the top places to mix it up with baseball's best.

Hotel Valley Ho and the W Scottsdale are the sites of constant player activity during spring training.

Don & Charlie's Steakhouse combines great food and one of the most renowned collections of sports memorabilia in the country.  The walls are filled with photos of athletes who have dined there through the years.  It is a revolving door of baseball personnel during spring training.  Get your reservations early, this place fills up fast.

 

Phoenix - Home of the Athletics

Phoenix Municipal Stadium     5999 East Van Buren

East Camelback Corridor

The Biltmore Fashion Park and adjacent restaurants are a gathering spot for teams and fans from throughout the area. Morton's the Steakhouse-Phoenix is one of the prime dining locations.

This area represents a common meeting spot for players due to its proximity to a collection of very high end hotels.  These properties include: The Phoenician Resort, Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix and the Arizona Biltmore.

Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix Suns home games are the venue where many spring training players congregate at night.  Here is a list of the remaining Suns games this month.  

US Airways Arena       201 E. Jefferson St.

 

Mesa - Home of the Cubs

HoHoKam Park             1235 N. Center St.

Sluggo's Sports Grill is always hopping with members of the Cubs organization and their fans.  It is truly Chicago Southwest.

Best Western Dobson Ranch Inn has been the Cubs' spring training headquarters for more than 30 years.

 

Tempe - Home of the Angels

Temple Diablo Stadium    2200 W. Alameda Dr

The Mill Avenue District is the center of activity for nearby Arizona State University.  It also serves as the epicenter of Tempe's spring training scene. Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant and The Big Bang- Tempe are hotspots in this area.

Rustler's Rooste, located near Tempe Diablo Stadium (restaurant technically within the city limits of Phoenix) is a well known haunt for players and fans alike.