Tag Archives: Cactus League

baseball

Spring training attendance grows

Major League Baseball says spring training games drew a record average of 8,078 fans, up 7.3 percent from last year’s 7,527.

The previous mark of 7,793 had been set in 2008.

Overall attendance for 447 dates was 3,610,738, baseball’s fifth-highest total, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.

The Chicago Cubs drew 213,815 fans and an average of 14,254 for the first season of Cubs Park in Mesa.

baseball

Goodyear Ballpark named best in Cactus League

After a long, fierce and competitive battle of the spring training ballparks, the results are in and it’s official.

Goodyear Ballpark – the spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, has been voted as best place to see a spring training game in the Cactus League in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Poll.

Overall, Goodyear Ballpark – the crown jewel of the city which has been gaining notice on a national level also finished second nationally among Arizona and Florida spring training ballparks in the poll spearheaded by the newspaper’s longtime baseball writers Bob Nightengale and Paul White.

Goodyear Ballpark, which was completed in 2009 and seats 10,311, also recently was named the top “must see” spring training facility by National Public Radio’s Pittsburgh station’s travel reporter Elaine Labalme who traveled to spring training ballparks in both Arizona and Florida.

“This is quite an honor for Goodyear Ballpark,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said of USA Today’s 10Best poll. “We’re proud to be recognized as the No. 1 ballpark in the Cactus League, and thank the fans for voting us there.”

This year marked the first year of the Best Spring Training Facility category in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Travel Poll, an annual contest in the largest newspaper in the United States. Readers and fans were allowed to vote once a day for a month – from Feb. 24 to March 24.

Goodyear was edged out by Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla. – the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Salt River Fields, the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community, finished third.

“They told us we ran a great campaign,” said Debbie Diveney, business-operations supervisor of Goodyear Ballpark. “We tried to have fun with it – we even had fans voting live with us at the games – beginning with Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord’s urging the fans to vote during our opening weekend festivities on Feb. 28 – right up to the very end. It was a valiant effort on our part. Thanks to all the fans who participated. Wait ‘til next year.”

Westgate Entertainment District

Spring Training Deals at Westgate District

It’s time to play ball! There is no better time to enjoy a spring afternoon, the smell of freshly cut grass and the thrill of cheering on your favorite baseball team than during Spring Training in Arizona.

Baseball reigns supreme in Glendale and the West Valley from February 26 to March 29 where five ballparks host more than half of the MLB teams in the Cactus League.

With over 20 restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues, Westgate Entertainment District is the hub of activity for baseball fans looking to grab a bite, a few beers and sweet treats or enjoy live music and a little shopping before or after the game.

Westgate has partnered with Camelback Ranch-Glendale, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, to offer a flat Discount Cab rate from Westgate to the ballpark for only $15.

All season long, fans are encouraged to show their ticket stub to take advantage of the many deals offered by Westgate tenants including:

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant
Show your same-day ticket stub to receive 20 percent off your bill. Not valid during happy hour and reverse happy hour. Excludes alcohol, tax, gratuity and the purchase of gift cards. One offer per party, per table, per visit. Cannot be combined with other offers or rewards. For dine-in only.
http://www.kabukirestaurants.com , 623-772-9832

McFadden’s
Enjoy 15 percent off your total bill when you show your ticket stub. The discount does not apply on event and game days.
http://www.mcfaddensglendale.com , 623-872-0010

Just Sports
Receive 20 percent off one regular-priced item when you show your ticket stub.
www.justsportsaz.com , 623-872-9490

The Shout! House
Show your ticket stub to receive a $1 well drink or $1 domestic draft.
http://www.theshouthouse.com/az , 623-772-1500

Cold Stone Creamery
Cool down with a sweet treat and receive 10 percent off any order with a same-day ticket stub (excluding gift card purchases).
www.coldstonecreamery.com , 623-877-1580

Saddle Ranch Chop House
Guests will receive 20 percent off their total bill when they show their same-day ticket stub.
http://www.srrestaurants.com/glendale , 623-889-7770

IT’SUGAR
Enjoy 20 percent off bulk candy with your spring training ticket stub. Promote code: ST14.
www.itsugar.com , 623-877-8124

Razzleberriez Frozen Yogurt
Buy one yogurt, get the second one 50 percent off when you show your same-day ticket stub. Additionally, receive $5 off when you purchase $25 or more. Discounted yogurt of equal of lesser value; offer cannot be combined with other offers.
www.razzleberriezyogurt.com , 623-877-3542

Which Wich
Receive free chips or a cookie with every wich purchase when you show your ticket stub.
www.whichwich.com , 623-977-9424

M.U.G. Men’s Ultimate Grooming
Enjoy 20 percent off the Ultimate Haircut or Ultimate Shave when you show your ticket stub.
www.mugonline.co , 623-772-7279

la Lady Boutique
Enjoy 20 percent off anything in the boutique when you show your ticket stub.
www.facebook.com/laLadyDesigns , 623-872-9677

For more information about Spring Training deals, visit www.westgateaz.com/springtraining. For information on Westgate Entertainment District, a retailer directory or to see what’s happening today, visit www.westgateaz.com.

beer

Four Peaks Brings Local Flavor to Cactus League

Four Peaks Brewing Company will be showcasing their beers throughout Cactus League stadiums this Spring beginning February 26th. “Response to Four Peaks beers by stadium concessionaires has quadrupled for 2014 over last year” according to Greg Ross, Four Peaks Marketing Director.

Stadiums include Salt River Fields, Peoria Sports Complex, Camelback Ranch, Scottsdale Stadium, Maryvale Stadium, Surprise Stadium and Tempe Diablo Stadium. Kilt Lifter, recent Silver Medalist at the Great American Beer Festival will be featured on multiple taps at every stadium. Other styles such as 8th Street Pale Ale, Sunbru, Peach Ale, Hefeweizen and Oatmeal Stout will be on tap throughout the stadiums as well. Salt River Fields, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, will also feature local craft beers from both states in in cans.

New for 2014 will be the introduction of Four Peaks Short Hop ISA. With a lower alcohol percentage less than 5%, it’s a full flavored Session IPA. Ross adds, “Four Peaks is known for its balanced and seasonable beers. We don’t feel higher alcohol content makes better beer. We want local baseball fans and those from all over the United States to be able to enjoy a couple beers while watching their favorite team and maintain control over an afternoon of fun.”

SFCalTrain1

Scottsdale Promotes Spring Training in Denver, S.F.

Spring training is a short countdown away, and the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is reminding Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants fans that Scottsdale is the place to be for baseball and sunshine.

The bureau unveiled exterior and interior ad placements on the Denver Light Rail on Dec. 30 to promote Scottsdale’s spring training season. An estimated 12.5 million riders will see the baseball-focused advertisements while commuting in Denver through the end of March.

New to the campaign this year is a wrap placement on the San Francisco-area Cal-Train featuring #BaseballWeather, which will run from Feb. 3 to March 2. During its February run, the ad is estimated to be seen by 1.5 million riders.

In addition to the train wraps, the bureau also will promote spring training through billboard advertising in Denver, a wallscape in San Francisco, WeatherChannel.com, email marketing, pay-per-click, social media efforts and a social media contest where fans will be encouraged to tag a photo of themselves experiencing spring training in Scottsdale using #Scottsdale and #BaseballFever for a chance to win two VIP Charros Lodge tickets to one of four games at Scottsdale Stadium.

Pages on the bureau’s site as well as the 2014 Spring Training Guide (available for download) will help spring training fans plan their trip with information on nearby resorts and hotels, parking details and maps, and dining options. In addition, spring training packages and coupons also are available.

Cactus League plays host to 15 teams in nine cities and 10 stadiums throughout Arizona. In 2013, the three teams that played in the Scottsdale area, the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies, placed first, second and fifth for league attendance, respectively.

For information on Colorado Rockies’ spring training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, visit SpringTraininginScottsdale.com. For information on San Francisco Giants’ spring training at Scottsdale Stadium, visit PlayBallinScottsdale.com.

baseball

Four Peaks Makes Mark on Spring Training

This Spring Training season, locally brewed Four Peaks craft beer made its way into the hands and hearts of baseball fans from across the globe—a big step for the Tempe-based company, whose clearly-stated mission is “to craft exceptional beer and be able to share it with good people.”

Greg Ross, Director of Marketing at Four Peaks, explains the reasoning behind the recent addition: “Obviously beer and baseball have enjoyed a long marriage over the years in our country. Once we told our story to stadium management and concessionaires, we felt consumer demand and our place as the market leader could lead to a mutually beneficial addition to their concession offerings.  Our sales figures three weeks into the Cactus League season have been very strong and feedback from our concessionaires has been very positive.”

Currently, four Cactus League stadiums now boast the ever-popular Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, a full-bodied Scottish style ale, along with gold-medal winning Sunbru, a Kolsch-style lighter and more delicate style of beer. You will also find the 8th Street Ale, Arizona Peach Ale, and Hefeweizen styles at select parks. Matt Slatus, Director of Marketing & Corporate Partnerships at Camelback Ranch Stadium in Glendale which hosts both the Dodgers and White Sox, expresses his excitement: “For the first time in [Cactus League’s] history, fans have the opportunity to taste beer that may be within 48 hours of finishing the brewing process. It’s a unique opportunity for fans to enjoy a local product in its freshest state.”

Arizona is not the only state to recently introduce local craft beers to its spring training selection. This year, they are popping up in stadiums throughout the nation. Not only does this enhance the overall experience of the fans, but it also allows the unique opportunity for product exposure to markets that a company might normally miss out on. This exposure helps increase craft beer sales in those out-of-state markets where various teams are represented.

According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales rose 17 percent in 2012, while volume was up 15 percent. By comparison, the entire U.S. beer industry saw volume go up only 1 percent. Better beer coupled with a positive economic impact is a win-win for the community and the craft beer industry. This increased desire to “drink local” has made companies like Four Peaks valuable contributors to economic growth.

Kelly's Burger 2

Spring Training Fun at Kelly's At SouthBridge

When spring training starts, Kelly’s At SouthBridge in Old Town Scottsdale is a great place to stop to add to your fun-filled season! Located on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale, the 8,000 square foot swanky pub offers traditional pub classics mixed with exceptional modern cuisine and the perfect laid back atmosphere to celebrate the return of baseball!

All season long, simply show any spring training ticket and get 15% off your entire bill. Valid Sunday through Thursday until the end of spring training. This special discount excludes happy hour prices and other offers.

The perfect spring training menu item: Kelly’s Original Four Cut Burger, recently awarded best burger in Scottsdale by Phoenix Magazine and Best Burger by Arizona Foothills Magazine. The burger is made with a blend of short rib, sirloin, chuck and brisket, and served with your choice of side for only $14. This is only one of Kelly’s signature items that you can enjoy before or after a game.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants' Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

Saguaro pool

Saguaro Scottsdale Is Giants’ Official Hotel

Less than a half mile, depending on the route.  That’s the distance from Scottsdale Stadium to The Saguaro Scottsdale, the official spring training hotel of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, a chic hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, will be pouring bubbly for the legions of Bay Area fans who travel to get the season’s first look at the reigning World Champs.  Of course, The Saguaro also welcomes the oodles of San Francisco transplants who now call Arizona home.

“There’s always a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding spring training, and The Saguaro Scottsdale is thrilled to be an official partner with the San Francisco Giants,” Alan Klein, Saguaro’s general manager, said. “The Saguaro is a natural hub for Giants fans.  We welcome the sea of orange and black that traditionally marks the arrival of March at our hotel.”

Splashed with vibrant colors and cushioned by an active arts district, the Saguaro Scottsdale offers a quiet yet connected retreat for baseball fans and anyone else looking to slip away from the daily grind.  The Saguaro Scottsdale is home to Distrito, a restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist.  Distrito was among the region’s best new destinations as ranked by the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Magazine, and was named as the “Best Place To Take A Foodie” by the Phoenix New Times.

The hotel is also home to the Saguaro Spa, a sanctuary offering replenishing treatments from wraps to massages to facials.  For information regarding reservations at The Saguaro, call 877-808-2440 or visit http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/arizona/saguaro.

DenverLightRail1

Scottsdale CVB Wraps Spring Training promotion

In an effort to bolster leisure traffic to Scottsdale this spring training season,  the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a variety of targeted ad campaigns in its top feeder markets including Denver and San Francisco.
Following the launch of the warm-weather campaign, which featured wrapping three New York subways, the bureau has unveiled exterior and interior ad placements on the Denver Light Rail to promote Scottsdale’s spring training season. An estimated 53 million riders will see the baseball-focused advertisements while commuting in Denver through March 28.

To further enhance the campaign, the bureau has also launched “30 Days of Giveaways,” a contest that allows visitors to enter once a day for a chance to win a variety of Scottsdale prizes, including restaurant gift certificates, a hot-air balloon ride for two, hotel stays for two, and an airplane ride over the city. In 2012, this contest received 1,460 entries, a number which is expected to increase this spring training season with the light rail wrap initiative and additional advertisements.

The bureau will also promote 2012 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants’ spring training season in the San Francisco market via Weather.com. Users who access Weather.com from a desktop or mobile app will see a banner ad, which will direct viewers to PlayBallinScottsdale.com. Spring training ads will also be featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the second largest newspaper in the western United States.

New pages on the bureau’s site will help spring training fans plan their trip with information on nearby resorts and hotels, parking details and maps, dining options, plus information on Cactus League’s Legacy Trail and the bureau’s concierge service. With help from the bureau’s members, special spring training packages and coupons are also available to visitors.

Cactus League plays host to 15 teams in nine cities and 10 stadiums throughout Arizona. In 2012, the three teams that played in the Scottsdale area, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants, placed first, second and third for league attendance. More than 186,828 fans attended the Diamondbacks’ games at Salt River Fields, followed by 182,565 attendees at the Rockies’ games and 168,320 attendees at the Giants’ games. In all, Cactus League events had an economic impact of about $422 million statewide and $364 million for Maricopa County.

For information on Colorado Rockies’ spring training, visit SpringTraininginScottsdale.com. For information on San Francisco Giants’ spring training, visit PlayBallinScottsdale.com.

DenverLightRail1

Scottsdale CVB Wraps Spring Training promotion

In an effort to bolster leisure traffic to Scottsdale this spring training season,  the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a variety of targeted ad campaigns in its top feeder markets including Denver and San Francisco.
Following the launch of the warm-weather campaign, which featured wrapping three New York subways, the bureau has unveiled exterior and interior ad placements on the Denver Light Rail to promote Scottsdale’s spring training season. An estimated 53 million riders will see the baseball-focused advertisements while commuting in Denver through March 28.

To further enhance the campaign, the bureau has also launched “30 Days of Giveaways,” a contest that allows visitors to enter once a day for a chance to win a variety of Scottsdale prizes, including restaurant gift certificates, a hot-air balloon ride for two, hotel stays for two, and an airplane ride over the city. In 2012, this contest received 1,460 entries, a number which is expected to increase this spring training season with the light rail wrap initiative and additional advertisements.

The bureau will also promote 2012 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants’ spring training season in the San Francisco market via Weather.com. Users who access Weather.com from a desktop or mobile app will see a banner ad, which will direct viewers to PlayBallinScottsdale.com. Spring training ads will also be featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the second largest newspaper in the western United States.

New pages on the bureau’s site will help spring training fans plan their trip with information on nearby resorts and hotels, parking details and maps, dining options, plus information on Cactus League’s Legacy Trail and the bureau’s concierge service. With help from the bureau’s members, special spring training packages and coupons are also available to visitors.

Cactus League plays host to 15 teams in nine cities and 10 stadiums throughout Arizona. In 2012, the three teams that played in the Scottsdale area, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants, placed first, second and third for league attendance. More than 186,828 fans attended the Diamondbacks’ games at Salt River Fields, followed by 182,565 attendees at the Rockies’ games and 168,320 attendees at the Giants’ games. In all, Cactus League events had an economic impact of about $422 million statewide and $364 million for Maricopa County.

For information on Colorado Rockies’ spring training, visit SpringTraininginScottsdale.com. For information on San Francisco Giants’ spring training, visit PlayBallinScottsdale.com.

triathlon store

Sporting events pump billions into Arizona economy

If you build it, they will come.

We did. And they have.

Over the last decade, the Valley has added Jobing.com Arena, University of Phoenix Stadium, built new spring training facilities, upgraded old ones and visiting sports fans have responded by pumping billions of dollars annually into the economy. And when the Super Bowl returns to Arizona in 2015, the big winner will be the Valley, which will score an economic impact $600 million.

“If you take a look at the economic-impact studies that have been done for events such as spring training and the Fiesta Bowl and the Phoenix Open, the numbers are impressive,” says Steve Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau. “For example, the last time the Super Bowl was here, in 2008, if you added its economic impact to that of annual events like Cactus League, the Phoenix Open, the Fiesta Bowl, and the NASCAR events at PIR, you’re looking at a number approaching $2 billion.”

But economic-impact studies alone don’t tell the whole story, Moore says.

“The enormous media value of hosting Super Bowls, college bowl games, NASCAR events, and NBA and (Majore League Baseball) all-star games simply cannot be purchased,” Moore says. “These big-time events also bring in corporate executives who use the games to entertain clients, and those executives and clients often return to town with their own corporate meetings.”

Arizona tourism leaders have utilized and marketed some its the state’s best features — sunny weather that guarantees no delays, desert scenery, excellent facilities and hotels — to become a major player in the world of sports. And the impact on the industry is staggering.

“Huge and immeasurable,” says Jesse Thompson, director of sales and marketing for Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. “Every traveling team spends a night in town. Every team has loyal followers who travel to see their teams. And more than just the team travel, you have sportscasters, television crews, medical teams, referees, and not to mention the hundreds of employees at these venues that service everything from security to bathroom cleaning. Also, all the ancillary travel revenues from cabs and taxis, airlines and airports, food and beverage, entertainment, and retail are huge considerations.”

Consider this:

> Cactus League baseball will have an economic impact in excess of $350 million this year; the average stay for fans will be four days; and most will spend $350 a day while they are here. “Spring training typically offers the biggest sporting-related economic boost we see every year,” says Ron Simon, general manager of Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.
> The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open pumped $222 million into Arizona’s economy — with direct sales tax revenue estimated to be $8.2 million — and non-local attendees spent an average of $300 per day.
> When the Super Bowl rolls back into town, 85 percent of the 73,000 fans at the game will be from out of state; 65 percent of them will be key company decision-makers; another 50,000 fans will visit without tickets; and the average Super Bowl visitor will spend $2,000 while they are here.
> Glendale alone draws between 4 million and 5 million people annually to sporting events that take place in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District, which contribute to the city’s increased hotel occupancy and sales tax collection throughout the year.

“The Fiesta Bowl and spring training are tremendous economic engines for Glendale and the West Valley,” says Lorraine Pino, manager of the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Both of these events bring hundreds of thousands of fans to the region. The hotel occupancy rate also reaches near capacity during spring training.”

But it’s not just high-profile athletes that drive sports tourism in Arizona. Beyond being known as a mecca for golfers, the Valley hosts high-profile events for amateur athletes that translate to big bucks for the tourism industry.

Events like Ironman Arizona and the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon are huge economic drivers because they bring not only the athletes, but their families and friends out for support which drives room nights and retail dollars for the entire community,” says Tori McLaughlin, regional director of sales and marketing, West Coast for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which includes both Hotel Palomar and FireSky Resort & Spa.

But beyond the beautiful golf courses, hiking trails and weather, Arizona has built its sports tourism empire by creating its own “Field of Dreams” story and epitomizing the “If you build it, they will come” strategy.

“There has been a major investment in the construction of spring training stadiums, including the development of new stadiums and enhancements to existing ones,” Simon says. “We’ve also seen great development and growth of the entertainment and shopping areas surrounding Chase Field in downtown Phoenix and Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.”

With improving infrastructure and venues, Phoenix is extremely well positioned to successfully bid for even more mega sporting events in the future, experts predict.

“Arizona’s success has created destination envy, particularly in Texas, which actually enjoys an advantage over us because they have legislation in place that allows them to provide hosting-obligation funds based on incremental visitor spending at these events,” Moore says. “In fact, both Houston and Dallas were chosen over the Valley during the last bids for the NCAA Final Four. But we’ve become a better competitor due to the metamorphosis of downtown Phoenix. We stressed this in our most recent Super Bowl bid. The fully expanded convention center, the 1,000-room Sheraton, light rail, CityScape, the new Westin and Hotel Palomar — none of these things were around in ’08, when the Super Bowl was last in Arizona. The NBA and MLB got a taste of the new downtown when they held their All-Star festivities here, and the NFL will get an even bigger taste in 2015.”

AB-DigitalIssueFeatured

AZ Business Magazine January/February 2013

AZ Business Magazine January/February 2013

Tourism hits a home run

Michael GossieOne of the greatest holiday gifts I will ever get my parents were tickets to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State. My parents are tough to buy for, they don’t need anything, but they love sports. So even though they aren’t fans of either team, they love live sports.

What they got from that gift was the experience of seeing one of the greatest games in college football history — the teams scored 22 points in the final 1:26 of regulation and 15 points in overtime, culminating with Boise State completing three do-or-die trick plays to win the game in an upset.

What’s great for the tourism industry in Arizona is that we can give those memories to visitors on a regular basis. Between Cactus League baseball, college football bowl games, the Waste Management Open, NASCAR events at PIR and the Super Bowl coming again in 2015, the Valley is a sports memory-making machine. Sports also have an economic impact on Arizona that adds up to billions of dollars annually.

In this issue of Az Business magazine, we talk about the merger of the Arizona Tourism Alliance and the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association to form the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA), the political and economic power the new group will have, and how they will continue to utilize sporting events as a catalyst to attract more tourism dollars to the state.

Their initiatives are working. My father has already told me he’s coming in from New York this month to play some golf and check out the Waste Management Open.

Michael Gossie Signature

Michael Gossie, Managing Editor

Read more articles from this issue.

Take it with you! On your mobile, go to m.issuu.com to get started.

KOOZA Photos 2007 004

Glendale CVB Rising in the West

Game on!

Cities like Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Surprise, and the other 14 cities that make up the West Valley are capitalizing on the rapid expansion of tourism and hospitality amenities — particularly spring training baseball facilities and other sports-related events — to grab a bigger share of the $18 billion that Arizona’s 37 million annual visitors spend.

As tourism in the West Valley continues to grow, the Glendale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) is playing a bigger and more vital role to help drive visitors to West Valley hospitality businesses.

“The region provides the local and out-of-state traveler with an experience like no other,” says Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “We are home to nine Cactus League spring training teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix International Raceway, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, great outdoor festivals, historic districts in each of our cities, performing arts centers and unique shopping venues. And, of course, you can be an astronaut for the day at our Challenger Space Center.”

Despite this diverse range of attractions, tourism is a relatively new industry in the West Valley. As a result, not every community in the area is equipped to implement independent marketing and promotion initiatives. Glendale CVB organizes and facilitates these initiatives, partnering with more than 100 restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, resorts and hotels, and service organizations.

“We work closely with our hotels — such as the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa, Wigwam Resort, Hilton Garden Inn Avondale and many more — to provide lead generation and conference assistance,” Pino says.

Glendale CVB also serves as a liaison to large-scale entertainment such as Cirque du Soleil, which was held at University of Phoenix Stadium this summer, and mammoth events such as the Super Bowl, which will return to Glendale in 2015.

“When the Super Bowl was last held in Glendale in 2008, the Glendale CVB was not yet in existence,” Pino says. “But now that our bureau is in place for the 2015 game, the region will be in a better position to capture a greater share of visitor spending.”

Economists estimate that hosting a Super Bowl has an economic impact of $300 million-$500 million on the region.

“In addition, realizing that this mega event impacts the entire metro area and several destinations statewide, the Glendale CVB will be working with other tourism and hospitality organizations throughout the Valley to ensure that we provide the greatest fan experience possible, and to host the best Super Bowl possible,” Pino says.

By the end of 2012, Glendale will welcome yet another visitor destination when the Tanger Outlets Westgate is completed. The 328,000-square-foot retail development will feature 85 brand-name outlet stores and is expected to bring an additional 5 million-6 million annual visitors to the area.

With economic growth in the West Valley expected to continue its upward trend for years to come, Pino insists that communities must work together to realize the greatest benefit from an increasing number of visitors.

“It’s important that we all work together and pool our resources to achieve economies of scale,” Pino says. “This is the very reason the Glendale CVB came into existence: to serve as a regional organization to promote and showcase the 14 West Valley cities and to bring tourism business to the area. This regional approach is what will be needed for our hospitality businesses to continue to grow.”

Chicago Cubs - Riverview Park - City of Mesa

Chicago Cubs, City Of Mesa Break Ground On Team's $99M Baseball Facility

The 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played Tuesday night in Kansas City, but there were plenty of heavy hitters present Wednesday morning as the Chicago Cubs and the City of Mesa broke ground on a new, $99M year-round facility — Riverview Park.

Chicago Cubs - Ground BreakingThe project, at the SEC of the intersection of the Loop 101 and 202 freeways, was approved by Mesa voters in 2010. The park will feature a 15,000-fan main stadium with a video board, shaded seats and luxury suites as well as improved concessions and restrooms. Construction is scheduled to be completed before the 2014 spring training season.

“A stadium is a stadium; the beauty is the game,” said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. “This has been a community effort. It’s all about the Cactus League and what it means to the Valley and Arizona.”

Added Chicago Cubs Executive Vice President Mike Lufrano: “This facility will provide the best fan experience in spring training and offer world class training and development facilities for our players year round. We look forward to bringing this new ballpark to Mesa and continuing our commitment to work together on a stadium which will make the community proud.”

Dignitaries who addressed the crowd of about 200 people included Jody Davis, a former Cubs catcher; Tom Ricketts, team chairman; David Bower, principal of architectural firm Populous; Robert G. Hunt, president and CEO of general contractor Hunt Construction; and several Mesa city officials. A tribute was given to Robert Brinton, a longtime advocate of the Cactus League who passed away last October at age 60.

When completed, Riverview Park will feature four MLB fields, which the Chicago Cubs will use during spring training; team training facilities, which will provide the team year-round player development; and the 15,000-seat main stadium.

Other amenities will include multiple entrances to the park, heavily landscaped grounds, a large, open concourse, a seating bowl with 70% of the seats in the shade, and features that will capture the intimacy of Wrigley Field in Chicago.

“Congratulations to Mesa, this will be a knock-dead facility,” said Bower, who added that the Phoenix office of DWL Architects-Planners will also be a part of the design team. “It will be second to none in the Cactus League.”

The Arizona State University baseball team is scheduled to play its games at Riverview Park once it is completed, but negotiations are still on-going.

For more information on Riverview Park, visit the City of Mesa’s website at www.mesaaz.gov.

The Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium - Play Ball

The Chicago Cubs' Hope Continues

The Chicago Cubs aren’t called “The Lovable Losers” for nothing.

However, when it comes to spring training, they’re one of the biggest draws in the Cactus League. Even with their 103-year World Series drought, they continually sell out their games and have set attendance records at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa for years.

With a new vice president of baseball operations (Theo Epstein) and new manager (Dale Sveum), the Cubs are optimistic about the 2012 season. Fans in the Windy City are hoping that the dynamic duo of Epstein and Sveum can help snap the Cubs’ unlucky losing streak once and for all.

Some notable players in Cubs’ lineup at Hohokam this spring inlcude Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, Carlos Pena and Marion Byrd. Additions include pitchers Travis Wood and Chris Volstad, third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielder Dave Sappelt.

The Chicago Cubs are scheduled to play 16 home games at Hohokam, 17 road games in Arizona and two games against Texas in Las Vegas. The Cubs wrap up spring training on  April 3 at Hohokam  against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs were once known as the Chicago White Stockings, then became members of the National League in 1876. This makes them one of the oldest active major sports teams among those in North America. The first game they played was April 25 of that same year.

In 1907, the Cubs won their first World Series against the Detroit Tigers. They won their second and last World Series in 1908 in a rematch against Detroit.

The Cubs have trained in Mesa since 1952. Back then Hohokam Park was called Rendezvous Park, which was less than ideal in accommodating the players. However, the new state-of-the-art Hohokam Stadium took its place. Since then the Cubs have played their games at Hohokam as a member of the Cactus League.

Hohokam was built in 1997 and seats 13,074 fans. An interesting fact about this 48-acre stadium is that its scoreboard is the largest in the Cactus League, measuring a whopping 12 by 16 feet. The stadium features one practice field and one practice infield, with additional training facilities at Fitch Park that include four practice fields, one practice infield and a 25,000 square-foot clubhouse.

So grab your Cracker Jacks and baseball mitts, practice your rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and get ready for an exciting spring training. Who knows, maybe if we keep cheering. our “Lovable Losers” on they might just get a name change.

Albert Pujols Adds Extra Excitement To Tempe Spring Training

Albert Pujols Batting

SD Dirk, Flickr

Beautiful weather, sunny skies, hotdogs, beer, and now, Albert Pujols, one of the most prolific players in the MLB over the last decade will be apart of Arizona’s Spring Training season.

Three-time MVP, and reigning World Series champion as part of the St. Louis Cardinals last season, Pujols signed a new contract with the Anaheim Angels who spend their Spring Training season at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

While the Arizona Cactus League brings in fans from all over to watch their favorite teams prepare for the upcoming season, the addition of Pujols adds even a bigger attraction for Angels and baseball fans alike.

And Pujols has told Enrique Rojas (ESPNdeportes.com) that he plans on arriving in Tempe a week earlier than position players are schedule to, which would be around February 19.

At 32-years-old, the first basemen signed a 10-year $240 million deal with the Angels after winning the world-series with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 season.

On top of the $240 million, if Pujols reaches 3,000 hits, he will receive a $3 million bonus. And if he breaks Barry Bond’s home run record of 762, he will receive a $7 million bonus.

While many questioned the Angels for giving Pujols such a long contract, that will conclude when he is 42-years-old, but Angels fans are more than excited about the new acquisition.

Since being drafted in 1999, Pujols was named the Rookie of the Year in 2001, MVP in 2005, 2008, and 2009, and won Golden Glove awards in 2006 and 2010.


The Angels will open up their Spring Training season at Tempe Diablo Stadium facing the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, March 6. Tickets are on sale now for through the Tempe Diablo Stadium box offices and range from $10-$40.

Tempe Diablo Stadium is located at 2200 West Alameda Drive Tempe, AZ 85282.

2012 Spring Training Schedule

Cactus League 2012 Spring Training Schedule

The tentative Cactus League 2012 Spring Training schedule for March is out!

Play Ball Spring Training Schedule Download

Download a printer friendly version here.


Cactus League 2012 Spring Training Schedule

 

Key:

AZ – Arizona Diamondbacks CWS – Chicago Red Sox OAK – Oakland A’s
CHI – Chicago Cubs KC – Kansas City Royals SD – San Diego Padres
CIN – Cincinnati Reds LAA – Angels Baseball SEA – Seattle Mariners
CLE – Cleveland Indians LAD – Los Angeles Dodgers SF – San Francisco Giants
COL – Colorado Rockies MIL – Milwaukee Brewers TEX – Texas Rangers

MARCH

MARCH 2-11

MARCH 12-20

MARCH 21-31

Friday, March 2

SEA @ OAK – PHOENIX

Saturday, March 3

CLE @ CIN – GOODYEAR
OAK @ SEA – PEORIA
AZ* @ COL – SALT RIVER
AZ* @ SF – SCOTTSDALE

Sunday, March 4

KC @ TEX – SURPRISE, NOON
CIN @ CLE – GOODYEAR
SF* @ MIL – MARYVALE
OAK @ CHI – MESA
SD @ SEA – PEORIA
SF* @ AZ – SALT RIVER

Monday, March 5

LAD @ CWS – GLENDALE
CLE @ CIN – GOODYEAR
OAK* @ CHI – MESA
SEA @ SD – PEORIA
LAA @ OAK* – PHOENIX
AZ @ COL – SALT RIVER
MIL @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
TEX @ KC – SURPRISE

Tuesday, March 6

SF @ LAD – GLENDALE
KC* @ CLE – GOODYEAR
OAK @ MIL – MARYVALE
COL @ CHI – MESA
CIN @ SEA – PEORIA
TEX @ AZ – SALT RIVER
SD @ KC* – SURPRISE
CWS @ LAA – TEMPE

Friday, March 16

TEX @ LAD – GLENDALE
SF @ CHI – MESA
LAA* @ SD – PEORIA
CWS @ AZ – SALT RIVER
MIL @ KC – SURPRISE
CLE @ LAA* – TEMPE
COL @ CIN – GOODYEAR •
SEA @ OAK – PHOENIX •

Wednesday, March 7

MIL @ CWS – GLENDALE
SD* @ CIN – GOODYEAR
TEX @ SD* – PEORIA
LAD @ OAK – PHOENIX
CLE @ AZ – SALT RIVER
COL @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
CHI @ KC – SURPRISE
SEA @ LAA – TEMPE

Thursday, March 8

OAK @ LAD – GLENDALE
LAA @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CIN @ MIL – MARYVALE
SEA @ CHI – MESA
SF @ SD – PEORIA
KC @ COL – SALT RIVER
CWS @ TEX – SURPRISE

Friday, March 9

CHI @ CWS – GLENDALE
KC @ CIN* – GOODYEAR
CLE @ MIL – MARYVALE
AZ @ SEA – PEORIA
OAK @ COL – SALT RIVER
CIN* @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
LAD @ TEX – SURPRISE
SD @ LAA – TEMPE

Saturday, March 10

TEX @ CWS* – GLENDALE
CHI @ MIL* – MARYVALE
LAD* @ SEA* – PEORIA
CIN @ OAK – PHOENIX
MIL* @ SF* – SCOTTSDALE
COL @ KC – SURPRISE
SF* @ LAA – TEMPE
SD @ CLE – GOODYEAR, 2 PM
LAD* @ CWS – GLENDALE •
SEA* @ AZ – SALT RIVER •

Sunday, March 11

CHI @ LAD – GLENDALE
LAA* @ CIN – GOODYEAR
COL* @ MIL – MARYVALE
AZ @ SD – PEORIA
KC @ OAK – PHOENIX
CWS @ COL* – SALT RIVER
SEA @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
CLE* @ TEX – SURPRISE
CLE* @ LAA – TEMPE

Monday, March 12

OAK @ CWS – GLENDALE
AZ @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CIN @ CHI – MESA
TEX @ SEA – PEORIA
SD @ COL – SALT RIVER
SF @ KC – SURPRISE
LAD @ LAA – TEMPE

Tuesday, March 13

COL @ LAD – GLENDALE
TEX @ CLE – GOODYEAR
SEA @ MIL* – MARYVALE
CWS @ SD – PEORIA
MIL* @ OAK – PHOENIX
LAA @ AZ – SALT RIVER
CIN @ KC – SURPRISE
CHI @ SF – SCOTTSDALE •

Wednesday, March 14

LAA @ CWS – GLENDALE
SD* @ CIN* – GOODYEAR
MIL @ CHI – MESA
SD* @ AZ* – SALT RIVER
CLE @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
COL* @ TEX – SURPRISE
LAD @ CIN* – GOODYEAR •
KC @ SEA – PEORIA •
AZ* @ COL* – SALT RIVER •

Thursday, March 15

KC @ LAD – GLENDALE
CWS @ CLE – GOODYEAR
SD @ MIL – MARYVALE
AZ @ CHI* – MESA
CHI* @ COL – SALT RIVER
OAK @ TEX – SURPRISE
CIN @ LAA – TEMPE
SF @ SEA – PEORIA •

Friday, March 16

TEX @ LAD – GLENDALE
SF @ CHI – MESA
LAA* @ SD – PEORIA
CWS @ AZ – SALT RIVER
MIL @ KC – SURPRISE
CLE @ LAA* – TEMPE
COL @ CIN – GOODYEAR •
SEA @ OAK – PHOENIX •

Saturday, March 17

SEA @ CWS – GLENDALE
CIN @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CHI @ OAK* – PHOENIX
LAD* @ COL – SALT RIVER
OAK* @ SF* – SCOTTSDALE
AZ @ TEX – SURPRISE
MIL @ LAA – TEMPE
SF* @ LAD* – GLENDALE •
KC @ SD – PEORIA •

Sunday, March 18

LAA @ LAD – GLENDALE
AZ* @ CIN – GOODYEAR
TEX @ MIL – MARYVALE
CWS @ CHI – MESA
COL @ SEA – PEORIA
OAK @ AZ* – SALT RIVER
SD @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
CLE @ KC – SURPRISE

Monday, March 19

CIN @ CWS – GLENDALE
LAD @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CHI @ SEA – PEORIA
AZ @ OAK – PHOENIX
LAA @ COL – SALT RIVER
MIL @ TEX – SURPRISE

Monday, March 19

CIN @ CWS – GLENDALE
LAD @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CHI @ SEA – PEORIA
AZ @ OAK – PHOENIX
LAA @ COL – SALT RIVER
MIL @ TEX – SURPRISE

Tuesday, March 20

MIL @ LAD – GLENDALE
SEA @ CIN – GOODYEAR
TEX @ CHI* – MESA
CHI* @ OAK – PHOENIX
SF @ AZ – SALT RIVER
LAA @ KC – SURPRISE
COL @ SD – PEORIA •

Wednesday, March 21

SD @ LAD – GLENDALE
SF @ CLE – GOODYEAR
CWS @ SEA – PEORIA
MIL @ AZ – SALT RIVER
OAK @ KC – SURPRISE

Thursday, March 22

KC @ CWS – GLENDALE
CLE @ SD – PEORIA
CHI @ TEX* – SURPRISE
TEX* @ CIN – GOODYEAR •
SF @ COL – SALT RIVER •

Friday, March 23

LAA* @ MIL – MARYVALE
CHI @ COL – SALT RIVER
LAD @ KC – SURPRISE
AZ @ CWS – GLENDALE •
LAA* @ CLE – GOODYEAR •
CIN @ SD – PEORIA •
TEX @ SF – SCOTTSDALE •

Saturday, March 24

CLE @ LAD – GLENDALE
SF* @ CIN* – GOODYEAR
CWS @ MIL – MARYVALE
SD* @ CHI – MESA
CIN* @ SD* – PEORIA
COL @ SF* – SCOTTSDALE
LAA @ TEX – SURPRISE
KC @ AZ – SALT RIVER •

Sunday, March 25

SF @ CWS – GLENDALE
CHI @ CLE – GOODYEAR
LAD @ MIL* – MARYVALE
AZ @ SD – PEORIA
CIN @ COL – SALT RIVER
MIL* @ KC – SURPRISE
TEX @ LAA – TEMPE

Monday, March 26

CWS @ LAD – GLENDALE
MIL @ CLE – GOODYEAR
SD @ CHI* – MESA
CHI* @ AZ – SALT RIVER
KC @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
COL @ LAA – TEMPE
CIN @ TEX – SURPRISE •

Tuesday, March 27

CLE @ CWS – GLENDALE
CHI @ CIN – GOODYEAR
KC @ MIL – MARYVALE
LAD @ SD* – PEORIA
COL @ AZ – SALT RIVER
LAA @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
SD* @ TEX – SURPRISE

Wednesday, March 28

SD @ CWS* – GLENDALE
LAA @ CIN – GOODYEAR
AZ @ MIL – MARYVALE
CLE @ CHI – MESA
CWS* @ COL – SALT RIVER
LAD @ SF – SCOTTSDALE
TEX @ KC – SURPRISE •

Thursday, March 29

CWS @ LAD – GLENDALE
COL @ CLE* – GOODYEAR
CIN @ MIL – MARYVALE
CHI @ SD – PEORIA
CLE* @ AZ – SALT RIVER
KC @ LAA – TEMPE
SF @ TEX – SURPRISE •

Friday, March 30

MIL @ LAD* – GLENDALE
CLE @ CIN – GOODYEAR
LAD* @ CHI – MESA
AZ @ LAA – TEMPE
SF @ SD – PEORIA •
TEX @ COL – SALT RIVER •
CWS @ KC – SURPRISE •

Saturday, March 31

MIL @ SD – PEORIA, NOON
COL @ CWS – GLENDALE
LAA @ CHI – MESA
LAD @ AZ* – SALT RIVER
AZ* @ KC – SURPRISE
CIN @ SF – SCOTTSDALE, 3 PM
SD @ SEA – PEORIA, 6 PM
TEX @ CLE – GOODYEAR •

APRIL

Sunday, April 1

AZ @ LAD – GLENDALE
CWS @ CIN – GOODYEAR
SF @ MIL – MARYVALE
KC @ SEA – PEORIA
CLE @ COL – SALT RIVER
SD @ TEX – SURPRISE
CHI @ LAA – TEMPE

Monday, April 2

MIL @ CWS – GLENDALE, NOON
CIN @ CLE – GOODYEAR, NOON
COL @ SEA – PEORIA
CHI @ AZ – SALT RIVER

Tuesday, April 3

MIL* @ CHI – MESA, NOON
SEA @ COL – SALT RIVER
MIL* @ AZ – CHASE FIELD •

 

 

Wednesday, April 4

MIL @ AZ – CHASE FIELD
12:40 PM
SEA @ COL – SALT RIVER


Tickets are available through these ticket agencies:

Games start at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time, unless otherwise indicated.

Dates, times and teams are subject to change.
* = Split Squad
• = Night Game (7:05 p.m.)

Download a printer friendly version here.

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Glendale CVB - AZ Business Magazine July/August 2011

Glendale CVB Expands Its Mission, Scope By Serving Entire West Valley

Glendale CVB – Whether travelers are visiting for leisure or business, Glendale has blossomed from being considered a one-day destination to a highly sought-after travel experience both nationally and internationally in a single decade. And to successfully market Glendale’s increasing expansion as the host city of sporting and mega-events — as well as the entire West Valley — the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was formed in July 2010.

The first incarnation of the CVB was formed in 2007, with partners comprised of representatives from Glendale, Westgate City Center, University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com Arena. This group was called the West Valley Events Coalition and eventually grew to 300 members. Its growth led to the creation of the CVB within three years.

“As a brand new CVB, one of our primary focuses is to increase awareness and exposure of our region through various activities that showcase the West Valley,” says Lorraine Pino, manager of the CVB.

The Glendale CVB promotes Glendale are through a regional visitors guide and sponsoring events to media buyers in national and international markets.

With venues such as the Phoenix International Raceway in Peoria, Jobing.com Arena in Glendale and spring training sites across the region, the Glendale CVB has successfully collaborated with businesses and West Valley cities to make these events possible and boost tourism.

According to Pino, the spring training facilities generate $328 million annually, and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale generates $200 million per year. In addition, there is revenue from concerts, Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes games and NASCAR events. As a result, hotel room count in Glendale alone has more than tripled from 400 rooms in 2007 to nearly 1,500.

“The West Valley is the real hub of spring training in Arizona, showcasing nine of 15 teams in the Cactus League,” says Frank Ashmore, director of sales and marketing for The Wigwam in Litchfield Park.

Because the CVB has been able to bring sporting events to the area, in turn attracting visitors, businesses in the region are benefiting.

The events have made a huge impact on all neighboringbars and restaurants, says Michelle Sniegowski, sales and marketing manager for The Shout! House in Glendale.

“The events bring in thousands of people; they fill our venue and in turn boost our economy,” she says.

One attraction vitally important to the Glendale area, according to Pino, is Westgate City Center. It generates tax revenue by drawing visitors from around the world.

Paul Corliss, director of communications for the Phoenix International Raceway, says “the West Valley certainly deserves attention.”

“It’s the quality of dining, shopping, hotel rooms, spas, convention space and more that keep (tourists) coming back,” says Nicole Traynor, director of public relations for Westgate City Center.

As West Valley tourism increases, The Wigwam is receiving a facelift from its new owner, the development company JDM Partners. Headed by former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo and his partners Mel Shultz and David Eaton, JDM Partners is investing in the multimillion-dollar restoration, with Phase I recently completed.

It seems to be making a difference. “Group markets are up nearly 50 percent over the last year,” Ashmore says.

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2011

Cactus League - Spring Training is Back

Cactus League Baseball Is Back In Arizona

February in Arizona means two things – gorgeous weather and spring training baseball.

What initially began as minor league exhibition game in the early 1900’s has evolved into Major League Baseball’s conglomerate of Spring Training stadiums within the Phoenix area.  A long-­standing tradition for the Grand Canyon State, MLB’s Spring Training begins again later this month as the Cactus League kicks off its 65th season in Arizona.

Salt River Fields, Colorado Rockies - Image Provided by Flickr

As spring reveals itself, so do players from a four‐month baseball hiatus. More than 15 teams will compete within the coming months in 10 local fields — drawing over 1.5 million spectators, according to a 2009 study of the games.

2011 has the same expectation of past years and brings out potential  collegiate and minor league players the opportunity to showcase their skills, in hopes of generating talk around Major League management for upward promotion to the “big leagues.”

RBI’s, home runs, batting average, chin music and injury reports reenter the vocabulary of sports talk radio hosts and give vitality back to baseball geeks nation.

With several stadium locations throughout the Phoenix area, it’s easy to catch at least one of these 15 teams at a fraction of regular season ticket prices. With lawn seating available from $5, it’s a perfect excuse to call in sick from work and plan a family picnic in Arizona’s weather.

Diamondback News

Coming off a dismal 65 – 97 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks enter 2011 with hopes to compete with NL West rivals, 2010 World Champions San Francisco Giants.

Recent management addition and legendary Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson has full control of the team this year and brings a sense of urgency to the Diamondbacks office.

Reds Pitcher Aroldis Chapman - Image Provided by Flickr

Flashback to 1988; the Dodgers won their fifth title in the City of Angels and have yet to repeat since as the Dodgers later went on to defeat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 in the series. Gibson and the 1988 Dodger team were underdogs to say the least, disproving the expectation of failure.

Professional sports, now more than ever, demands pure physicality in a 162 game season.

Since the D-Backs World Series run in 2001, D-Back fans have been subjected to playing and management decisions far below par. It takes as much a mental toll as a physical one — and Gibson encapsulates experience in both. Gibson’s presence in Diamondback management will hopefully spark the same inspiration as it did in 1988.

Everyone begins the season undefeated and has the ability to prove sports analysts and naysayers wrong. Near rock bottom at all-statistical production, the D‐Backs need inspiration and who better to give it to them than manager Kirk  “Gibby” Gibson. Let’s hope Gibson can effectively command his troops  — or at least clean off the shame of 2010.

For more tickets and schedule information on Spring Training in the Valley, visit cactusleague.com

It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

A Threat By The Cubs To Leave Arizona Has Cactus League Sites Scrambling

Update:
It appears the Chicago Cubs’ spring training facility will remain in Mesa. Team officials recently notified a group from Naples, Fla., attempting to lure the Cubs to the Grapefruit League that they plan to continue to negotiate exclusively with the city of Mesa. Mesa, meanwhile, reportedly is looking at four sites for the new facility: Recker Road and the Loop 202; the Riverview area; a downtown site; and near the Gaylord resort, planned for the GM Proving Grounds site. According to published reports, the Riverview area appears to be the leading contender for the facility.Spring training baseball in Arizona, a cash cow for Valley communities, is in need of another source of revenue to build new stadiums and refurbish existing facilities. The estimated 1.47 million fans who attended games played by the 15 teams that trained in Arizona this year contributed more than $300 million to the state’s economy, according to Cactus League Association estimates.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that owners of the Chicago Cubs, the biggest draw in the Cactus League, have threatened to move their spring home from Mesa to Naples, Fla., if they don’t get a new stadium and training facility.

Adding to the financial dilemma is that funding from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, which among other things supports spring training baseball, has virtually dried up, due in some measure to the economic downturn. The agency receives most of its money from tourism-related taxes on hotels and car rentals.

A legislative proposal to add a surcharge to all Cactus League tickets to help pay for a new Cubs stadium was as welcome as a blazing fastball from Randy Johnson in his prime. Efforts to push House Bill 2736, sponsored by House Majority Leader John McComish, basically struck out.

“We need to find ways to not only keep the Cubs in Maricopa County, but use those creative funding mechanisms to preserve and expand other spring training facilities in the entire West Valley,” says Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Keeping the Cubs is important, as well as making sure a funding mechanism for the Cubs can be applied, as necessary, in the West Valley.”

Stepping to the plate, Peoria officials proposed a possible solution — the creation of special bonding districts. John Schell, intergovernmental affairs director for Peoria, explains his city’s interest.

“Without much discussion with the other teams or other affected entities, they (key legislators) added a surcharge to tickets and rental cars,” he says. “The ticket surcharge got us more involved because of the adverse impact it would have to our revenue-sharing agreement with the two teams that train in Peoria, the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. It was not feasible for us.”

The Peoria agreement, not unlike those of other Valley cities that host spring training teams, including Goodyear and Surprise, provides that if the state or some other entity puts a surcharge on tickets, Peoria would have to make up the difference.

“That would have cost us close to $300,000 a year to build a stadium in Mesa — with no ownership,” Schell says. “Imagine how the taxpayers in Peoria would have felt about that. So we were drawn into the discussion to try to identify some sort of funding solution.”

Schell notes correctly that the Arizona Legislature doesn’t have much of an appetite for new taxation, especially in the current economy. He and Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp met with other host cities throughout the Valley and representatives of Major League Baseball to discuss options.

“It’s not a complete solution and it doesn’t involve any public funds,” Schell says. “We worked closely with the bond counsel for Major League Baseball and came up with a concept we called the revenue allocation authority.”

It was too late to be introduced at the Legislature this year, but Schell says there likely will be discussions on the topic even before lawmakers reconvene next January. It calls for the establishment of a district to issue bonds to pay for improvements or new construction of spring training facilities. Each district would have to be approved by voters living in the district and would not have taxing authority, Schell says.

“It’s a very strong tool,” Schell says. “It would use increment financing. It would capture the growth in the district. It would not become a general obligation of the city, and it won’t affect property taxes. People won’t feel the impact. It’s a unique way of financing.”

Schell says Major League Baseball, which helped prepare the proposal, is supportive.

Baseball insiders say they don’t think the Cubs will follow through with their threat and move to Florida. Although relocating to an Indian reservation, which is what the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies will do next spring, is an option, the Cubs have not expressed an outward interest in going that route. Others say if a deal with Mesa falls through, other Valley cities will make their pitch for the popular Chicago team.

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett bluntly says the ticket surcharge proposal was a disaster and that he is adamantly opposed to such a scheme. On the possibility of the Cubs leaving Arizona, Barrett says he hopes they remain.

“They ought to talk to the tribes,” he says. “But, if they do leave, the world will continue to turn and the Cactus League will not disappear. The 14 other teams will survive.”

www.cactusleague.com | www.peoriaaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Two new spring training stadiums

Two New Spring Training Stadiums Set To Debut In The West Valley

With football, hockey, baseball and possibly USA Basketball joining the mix, the West Valley is becoming an active sports mecca for the rest of the Valley. Recent additions to this bustling hub of game activity are new Cactus League training facilities in Glendale and Goodyear that will come online for the 2009 spring training season.

This year, the Cactus League set a record when 1.3 million fans (60 percent from out of state) attended spring training games. The Cactus League’s contribution to the state’s economy is more than $200 million a year.
“Spring training is a big draw and a great experience,” says J.P. de la Montaigne, Cactus League president. “We call it our Super Bowl every year.”

Glendale’s new facility will be the spring training complex for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The state-of-the-art baseball stadium will have seating for 13,000, four major league practice fields, eight minor league practice fields, two practice infields and 118,000 square feet of major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams. Down the road, the 151-acre site will also have residential, restaurant and retail development, a four-star hotel and an 18-hole golf course developed by Rightpath Limited Development Group.

The Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority is funding two-thirds of the complex, and the city of Glendale is contributing one-third of the $90 million project, which is under construction on 111th Avenue west of the Loop 101 between Camelback Road and Glendale Avenue. Stadium construction started in November 2007 and will be finished in time for the 2009 spring training season.

Tom Harrison, construction executive for Mortenson Sports, a division of Mortenson Construction which is building the complex, says planning the facility took longer than anticipated, so they added a night shift in August to keep construction on schedule.

“This is an exciting project and we have the right team to get it accomplished on time,” Harrison says. “I’ve been involved in five other spring training facilities in the Valley, but this is truly the most unique. The Glendale facility will be more than just a place to watch the game.”

Harrison says the Glendale stadium will have a 1,400-foot-long lake as part of the facility. The lake will have an aesthetic function as well as serve as the irrigation source for the lush landscaping that will create a park-like setting at the stadium.

“This is not going to be a standard practice area,” Harrison says. “It’s going to be an aesthetically pleasing setting with benches so fans can enjoy their surroundings.”

Based on a 2006 economic impact study conducted by Economic Research Associates for the city of Glendale, the economic impact of moving the Dodgers and White Sox to Glendale could be as much as $19 million per year for the region.

“The new spring training facility fits well in our sports and entertainment district,” says Jennifer Liewer, senior marketing and communications manager for the city of Glendale. “The Dodgers and White Sox want to make this something that will last and be part of the community, so we know that when they get to Glendale it will become their home as well.”

The Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds will play at the Goodyear Ballpark, which will be located on a 3-acre parcel south of Yuma Road and east of Estrella Parkway. The ballpark will open in March 2009 for spring training for the Indians. The Cincinnati Reds will move their spring training operations to Arizona in 2010.

HOK Sport of Kansas City designed the baseball complex, which will have 8,000 lower-bowl fixed seats, 500 premium seats, 1,400 berm seats, six luxury suites, 3,000 parking spaces, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard and public address system. It will also have two group event areas: an outfield pavilion and bar with berm seating for 400 and a third-floor party deck behind home plate that will hold 150 people. Barton Marlow, a national construction services company out of Michigan, is building the ballpark complex.

The Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex, which will house the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse/player development facility and two practice fields, is under construction on a 52-acre site east of Estrella Parkway about a half-mile south of the Goodyear Ballpark. It will be completed this month, at which time the Indians will begin using it. The Indians will use the clubhouse and two practice fields year-round. Besides the clubhouse, the Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex has six full-baseball practice fields, two half-baseball practice fields, a 36,000 square foot agility field, six covered practice batting cages and tunnels, three open practice minor league batting tunnels, six pitching mounds for the major league and six for minor league, an observation tower for the major league fields and a scoreboard.

Goodyear citizens approved a bond election in 2004 for $10 million to help build the recreational sports fields, so the city will be able to use the four minor league fields 10 months of the year. Regis Reed, Goodyear’s senior project manager, says the city plans to use the fields for city events, youth programsand high school tournaments since the fields are lighted to high school standards.

Ticket prices at the Goodyear Ballpark will be comparable to other Cactus League facilities, which are $8 for a lawn seat and up to $27 for a club or premium seat.

Nathan Torres, stadium manager for the Goodyear Recreational Sports Complex, says that based on a 2007 Cactus League survey, the economic impact of the Cleveland Indians moving to Arizona in 2009 will be more than $23 million. That number will grow to more than $47 million when the Cincinnati Reds are introduced in 2010.