PHOENIX — While the timing could have been better for a trip to Arizona, six days in the Valley of the Sun still gave me a chance to see some things that Colorado Rockies fans will need to know when heading to spring training this year at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.
A non-baseball trip (yes, those do exist) brought me to the Phoenix area just before pitchers and catchers reported to officially begin spring training, but I still had the chance to spend plenty of time in Scottsdale and the surrounding area. Here are three tips for those coming to spring training to see Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, and the rest of the Colorado Rockies this spring.
First, if you’re flying into Phoenix, be prepared for some delays if you’re getting a rental car. Construction at and around the rental car facility means you’ll be waiting a little longer for a bus from the airport to the rental car facility, and you may need a few extra minutes to return your car because of some intermittent lane closures in the area we experienced. Patience will be a key so plan ahead.
Second, I was surprised to see how much the area around the spring training complex has built up over the last year. New options have popped up for eating at the Via de Ventura exit off State Route 101, as have some hotels in the area. Of course, there are plenty of dining options in the adjacent Pavilions at Talking Stick shopping center (as well as across Talking Stick Way), in addition to a Target nearby the center if you need to stock up on any supplies for your AirBnB or hotel.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local ideas. There is plenty more to learn about the area in our complete guide to Rockies spring training.
Third, a little common sense advice when packing. Check the weather and plan ahead. Many of the folks visiting from out of state often forget that it does actually get cold in the desert at night (it dropped in the mid-30s every night I was here), so make sure you plan ahead and bring clothes to get your fill of sun during the day as well as something warmer so you can walk around Old Town or take advantage of some of the great sunsets that can be seen from outdoor dining venues.
I will be back in Scottsdale in early March to begin Rox Pile’s in-person spring training coverage. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the area or need some advice, please drop me a line below! I am happy to help in any way I can.