It’s February which means that while the rest of the country is freezing their toes off, those of us blessed to live in Arizona and Florida are gearing up for some MLB Spring Training. For those of us in these states, we are presented with a rare opportunity to watch a handful of teams play baseball that we might not otherwise get to see. This is the second in a four part series that covers AL & NL teams that hold Spring Training in the Cactus League (Arizona) and the Grapefruit League (Florida).
The Rest of the Spring Training Series
- Where American League Teams have Spring Training in Arizona
- Where National League Teams have Spring Training in Florida
- Where National League Teams have Spring Training in Arizona
Find your favorite team, slap on the sunscreen, and get ready to enjoy some Spring Training Baseball.
Grapefruit League Teams & Schedules
If you live in or plan on visiting Florida in March, a wide range of teams will be on display. Unfortunately, seeing a game at every Spring Training facility in Florida is not as easy as it is in Arizona due to large travel distances. However, the atmosphere down there is exciting and fan-friendly, which is what Spring Training is all about. Find your favorite American League team playing in the Grapefruit League this Spring. You can buy tickets, Google the Address, and be enjoying some pre-season ball before you know it.
American League Teams With Spring Training in Florida
Facility Name: Ed Smith Stadium
Address: 2700 12th Street, Sarasota, FL, 34237
About halfway up the Gulf Coast in Florida is the city of Sarasota and the Spring Training home of the Baltimore Orioles. The new ballpark is literally being built as we speak and is on schedule to open the first day of Spring Training. This lovely new stadium will have plenty of shade, seating and even an outfield pavilion – something not too common at Spring Training facilities. While it may not be as beautiful as Camden Yards where the Orioles spend their regular season, you will probably be impressed with the architecture and attention to detail in the new ballpark (trust me – I’ve seen pics online).
Facility Name: City of Palms Park
Address: 2201 Edison Avenue, Fort Myers, FL, 33901
Since regular season tickets at Fenway are just about impossible to get, why not hang out with Beantown’s finest in Fort Myers Florida? Sure, there’s no Green Monster, but there is plenty of lawn seating in addition to 7,500 stadium seats for Red Sox fans to get their hands on. If you can’t get enough Yankees/Sox matchups, then you will be happy to know that the two squads will cross paths a few times this Spring Training. This quaint park opened in 1992 and sits on the Gulf side of the state (that’s the west). Pack your sunscreen and your mosquito repellant – we’re headed to Florida for some Boston Red Sox Spring Training games!
Facility Name: Joker Marchant Stadium
Address: 2301 Lakeland Hills Boulevard, Lakeland, FL 33805
The Tigers have called Lakeland Florida their home since 1934, which makes it the longest relationship between Spring Training city and team in MLB history. Catching a few Detroit Spring Training games is the perfect excuse to get out of the cold of Michigan and head down to sunny Florida for a week. The Tigers are looking to put a consistently competitive team out on the field for the first time in a few years and they have some exciting new stars to keep an eye on. Get your tickets early, however, the Tiger’s Spring Training stadium only seats about 9,000, and space is limited.
Facility Name: Osceola County Stadium
Address: 631 Heritage Park Way, Kissimmee, FL 34744
Every Spring, Houston heads across the Gulf of Mexico to Kissimmee Florida which is smack dab in the middle of the state. If I haven’t mentioned it before, Spring Training facilities in Florida seat a lot less than the ones in Arizona for some crazy reason so you should get your tickets early. Osceola Stadium is no exception, as it seats just over 5,000 fans. It is one of the more fan-friendly stadiums in the Grapefruit League, however, which means that there will be plenty of opportunity for autographs and interaction with the players during practice and warm-ups.
Facility Name: Hammond Stadium
Address: 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912
The Twins have the southern-most Spring Training facility in Florida, which means that if you were going to make the horseshoe-shaped trip to visit all of the Grapefruit League stadiums, they would probably be first or last on your list (depending on which way you started). The Twins have held their spring games here since 1991 and actually won the World Series the first year that they called Fort Myers home. This is another relatively small ballpark (8,100 seats) so make sure you get your tickets early since you probably aren’t the only one looking to get out of Minnesota for the rest of the winter.
Facility Name: George M. Steinbrenner Field
Address: One Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, FL 33614
If you were surprised that the Yankees play at George Steinbrenner Field, you probably don’t know much about the Yankees or about baseball in general. The Yankees Spring Training games have been held here in Tampa, FL since 1996. You would think that holding Spring Training in Tampa, this close to the Rays, would give the Yankees some tips on how to put a good team together for cheap, but apparently that’s not how things work. All joking aside, this is a gorgeous facility, funded primarily with the tears of small children and Red Sox fans. It seats over 11,000 people but that doesn’t mean that tickets are easy to come by since the Yankees travel well.
Facility Name: Charlotte Sports Park
Address: 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Why the Tampa Bay Rays leave home at all to hold Spring Training is beyond me, but hey, everyone likes a change of scenery, right? The Tampa Bay Rays Spring Training facilities are just down the road from their home stadium in Tampa Bay, in Charlotte Florida. They have a teensy tiny ballpark, with seating for less than 7,000 fans. I suppose that the general thinking is that not too many people will want to catch their Spring Training games when they could see games that matter in 30 days. Still, if you are interested in driving further to see a Rays Spring Training game than you would for a regular season game, the option is there for you. I tried to promote these guys – I just can’t.
Facility Name: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
Address: 373 Douglas Ave. (at Beltrees Street), Dunedin, FL 34698
This is another small stadium (about 5,500 fan capacity) but this is most likely due to the fact that the Blue Jays don’t travel well and when they do, it’s international travel. Still, you would think that getting out of Toronto and heading for Florida during the late winter/early spring would be appealing, but not with today’s currency exchange rates. The Blue Jays Spring Training facility is one of the only parks with corporate sponsorship which is just kind of sad. If you have nothing better to do in Florida this March, why not head on over to catch a Blue Jays Spring Training game? They could use the attendance and you could use the laugh.