Spring Training is in full swing this year. If you’re not a baseball fan, you may be ignoring a large influence in our market. There are 15 major league teams at 10 ballparks across the Valley which generate an estimated $300 – $400 million of economic benefit each year. Events that bring visitors to the Valley, especially reoccurring events like Spring Training, are good for the real estate industry as frequent visitors often consider investing in a property or rental during their stay. Some may be surprised to know that baseball has been contributing to our economy pre-Cactus League (1947).
People have been watching and traveling to the Valley to watch baseball since the late 1880’s. For example, Riverside Park (pictured above) was built around 1884. The park hosted minor league baseball and major league exhibition games when teams passed through Arizona to California. The park was the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers in 1929. They played visiting teams such as the Cubs, Pirates, and Angels that year. It was located at Central Avenue and the Salt River but was demolished shortly after 1937 when Phoenix Municipal Stadium (I) was built (pictured below).
Phoenix Municipal Stadium (I) (1937-1963)
Located at Central Avenue & Mohave, it opened 10 years before the Cactus League was founded but continued to serve until Phoenix Municipal Stadium (II) replaced it at another location. The stadium hosted the Giants, Yankees and many others.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium (II) 1964 – ? (now home to ASU baseball)
The replacement of Phoenix Municipal Stadium (I). This stadium hosted the Giants at first and then Oakland A’s. It’s now the home of ASU Baseball since the A’s left for Hohokam park in 2014.
Images courtesy of the Arizona Collection.
James leads marketing, business development and training as Director of Brand. He’s seen tremendous change at the MLS in his nine-year tenure. He’s a Lumberjack having studied advertising at NAU.