(Abbreviated review: Full review coming 2014. Wanted to save some in the Valley for next year, since I’ll be there)
Game in March 2005: Reserved Grandstand
March 7th, 2011: Upper Box
By: Cole Shoemaker
Scottsdale Stadium has always been one of my favorites in the Cactus League, simply because its really the only one left in Arizona that has an old school charm.
There is some debate as to whether to call the new structure built in 1992 a renovation or a new ballpark, as the playing field of old Scottsdale Stadium has been here since 1955. Like HoHoKam Park in Mesa, I think you have to call it a new ballpark that opened in 1992, because the entire structure was gutted. But unlike that park, Scottsdale Stadium really does feel like a renovated ballpark from the 50s.
The ballpark’s primary asset is its location in Old Scottsdale, certainly the most vibrant local scene of any spring training ballpark in baseball and arguably the best overall location. Inside, fans are greeted with colorful array of landscaped trees throughout the concourses and beyond left field, which are arguably the aesthetic strongpoint and perhaps the sensation that evokes this old school vibe. The palm court behind the home plate concourse is a must see.
Scottsdale Stadium is not without faults, lacking space for many modern amenities. The ballpark also has some serious sightlines flaws down the lines and way too many bleachers, some of which are even located at the top of the infield grandstand.
There’s a lot more fun stuff to talk about, but I’ll get to that next time. What Scottsdale Stadium lacks in amenities and functionality, it makes up in charm, something that is really in short supply in the Cactus League with all these new modern cookie cutters.
Check out the photo gallery and come back for the full, in-depth review next year!NEXT - Setting