Sports

Spring training brings tourism, unique events to Arizona sports season

By Carl Justice ’21

THE ROUNDUP

Spring Training is an annual event in Arizona. The Cactus League, hosted across Phoenix and its surrounding suburbs, draws two million fans to the valley per year.

The Arizona Republic told the story of the beginning of the Cactus League in March 2017.

“What would become today’s Cactus League began in 1947 with just two teams,” the article explained.

Those two teams were the Cleveland Indians and the New York Giants. Since then, the Cactus league has grown into a 15-team organization. Five of those teams even have their own stadiums.

Augie Walters ’21 is a regular attendee of Spring Training and a member of the Broncos’ baseball team.

“I probably go to two or three games per year,” Walters said.

Walters goes to these games because he believes that they are an enjoyable experience for all.

“I like to go to games because I love watching baseball, but I also like having fun with my friends for a few hours,” Walters said. “Also, I can see teams play in Arizona that do not normally play here, which allows me to have many options on which game I want to go to when I have time.”

Walters continued that these experiences are the ones that bring people from across the country to Phoenix each spring.

“Spring Training brings many different fans in from other cities to see how their teams are doing and view some of the players before the season has started,” Walters said. “With the good weather and the plentiful amount of games for each team, fans from different cities want to come to Arizona to see their team play.”

In the end, Walters is a believer in spring training being a positive thing for people.

“I do recommend people to attend Spring Training games no matter if you like baseball or not because it is a fun way to spend a day with all of the action, food, and fun activities,” Walters said.

The Oakland Athletics won the 2019 version of the Cactus League with a record of 14-8. Following them were the San Diego Padres, the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs.