Tag Archives: spring training

Ian Bagg, via comedycentral.mtvnimages.com

House of Comedy pre-show Q-and-A with Ian Bagg

The Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy pre-show Q-and-A series give you 10 questions of insight into your favorite comedians’ minds.

Comedian Ian Bagg claims that he is the only comic not to have become a multi-billionaire after working with Judd Apatow. He may also be the first Canadian to have met three former U.S. presidents. One thing we do know for certain is Bagg moved to the U.S. after making the rounds in the Great White North with credits that include appearances on “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and his show is coming to the House of Comedy this weekend.

Bagg will be performing at House of Comedy, located at 5350 E. High St. Suite 105, in Phoenix on Wednesday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 9. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 5 and 6, shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, shows are scheduled for 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday’s shows are at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 9, has one show at 7 p.m. Ticket prices vary by show and range from $13 to $20.

When was the moment you realized you wanted to be a comedian?
When Shannon Butler laughed at what I said.

What was your best (or most embarrassing) moment on stage?
I was doing a show and one of the girls from the HBO show “Girls of the Bunny Ranch” was in the crowd. She had just received new breast implants and decided I should see them.

What’s one thing you want people to know about doing stand-up that nobody has ever asked you?
That I have a size 10 feet.

Who is your comedic inspiration?
I was influenced by Jonathan Winters, Bill Cosby, Sam Kinison and Eddie Murphy.

What’s one thing you wished someone had told you about stand-up?
That I would mostly taking early morning flights.

What’s one item you never hit the road without?
Shirt and shoes, so I can always get service.

What is your favorite city to perform in?
Any that people show up to see me. Location does not make one crowd better than another. Los Angeles, because I get to sleep in my own bed at night.

Describe yourself in three words:
“Not on time.”

If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
Looking for a cure!

What did you do the last time you were in Phoenix?
Spring training 2014. Sadly, I did not make a team.

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.

Ball in Grass, WEB

5 Things to Do This Weekend

It’s the first weekend of March, meaning that spring is nigh. So get ready to soak up the rays and head on out for a wonderful weekend, even if the weather reports let on about rain. Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying these events with the hashtag #sl5 and follow us @scottsdaleliving on Instagram!

Mardi Parties @ Downtown Phoenix on Saturday
“Rain, rain, go away,” may be what we’re all thinking now that Phoenix’s Mardi Gras parade has been canceled Saturday, but there is still fun to be had. Head downtown and check out one of the many bars and restaurants such as Seamus McCaffrey’s, Tom’s Tavern and Copper Blues as they offer cheap drinks and a good time for the Mardi Gras celebration.

86th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party @ The Turf on Sunday
When you’re looking to gush at celebrities as they take home the coveted golden statue, make sure you do it in public. The Turf is offering penny champagne when they dress the part and walk the red carpet this Sunday. Along with that enter in with a chance to win a gift certificate to Turf all through the night as the awards are being handed out.

Spring Training Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants @ Scottsdale Stadium on Sunday
Enjoy a great game of America’s pastime, and come see a great game played between everyone’s two favorite teams. The Diamondbacks square off against the Giants this Sunday. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. so get ready to see a good old ballgame in Scottsdale.

The Great Arizona Beer Festival @ Tempe Beach Park
This Saturday get your drink on with fine beers, good company and great entertainment at The 26th Annual Great Arizona Beer Festival. Local acts such as Tommy Anderson and The Crown Kings will be playing some good old rock and roll as you sip on the suds, the good stuff. So head down to Tempe Beach Park at 2 p.m. and stick around until last pour at 5:45 p.m.

Fiesta Cluster All Breed Dog Show and Agility Trials @ WestWorld of Scottsdale on Saturday
With any breed allowed to participate, this dog show offers an interesting site for the audience, and it’s free too. There will be plenty of vendors there too, catering to dog’s and dog lovers alike. So swing down and see the prized pooches compete this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

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.

Salt River Fields, Colorado Rockies - Image Provided by Flickr

Salt River Fields Surpasses 1 Million In Attendance

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) announced that Saturday’s sold out crowd of 11,576 pushed the total attendance at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick over the one-million mark since the complex opened in 2011. The shared facility between the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies, constructed in partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, reached the milestone in just 24 months of operation. The total includes all ticketed events at Salt River Fields including concerts, festivals and Spring Training games.

“It is quite an accomplishment to reach this milestone in such a short amount of time and it’s really a testament to the baseball fans throughout Arizona,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “Along with our partners at the Rockies and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, we set out to create the best Spring Training facility in all of baseball and we feel strongly that we were able to do just that.”

In addition to hosting Spring Training games from the two National League West Division teams, Salt River Fields will host four games in March as part of the World Baseball Classic. On Tuesday, March 5, the D-backs will host an exhibition night game against Team Mexico and on Wednesday, March 6, the Rockies will face Team USA in a 7:10 p.m. start. The official World Baseball Classic games will kick off on Thursday, March 6 as Team Italy faces Team Mexico in a 1:00 p.m. game followed by a 12:30 p.m. contest on Friday, March 7 between Team Canada and Team Italy.

In addition to these games, fans are invited to watch Team USA in its first official workout on Monday, March 4 at 1 p.m.

In each of its first two seasons, Salt River Fields has broken the total attendance mark for a two-team complex, as last year’s record total between the D-backs and Rockies was 369,393. The D-backs’ average attendance of 11,677 was the highest in Major League Baseball for the second consecutive season.

Following its first year, Salt River Fields was a finalist for the “Sports Facility of the Year” by Sports Business Journal. The facility has earned LEED Gold Certification by the US Green Building Council and has received numerous awards including “Best Place to See a Spring Training Game” by the Phoenix New Times, “Best Spring Training Facility” by Arizona Foothills magazine and “Ballpark of the Year” by Ballpark Digest, BaseballParks.com and Digitalparks.com.

The largest one-day event on record at Salt River Fields came in January 2012, when more than 20,000 people came to the facility for Street Eats.

Salt River Fields’ 2013 calendar already touts several major events: April 20 is the 4th Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival with 12,000 expected to attend; the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Charity Softball Game April 27, when approximately 5,000 are anticipated; and the Independence Day Music Festival July 3, with more than 14,000 attending last year to see Country Music powerhouses Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards 2nd Annual Spring Palate Training

Wine and baseball, anyone?

The Arizona Stronghold Vineyards team will be heading down to Scottsdale to host its 2nd annual Spring Palate Training on Sunday, March 10 at Salt River Fields.

SpringPalateTraining2013.inddThe award-winning brand will be taking over one of the ballpark’s party decks for an hour-long palate training, beginning at 11 a.m. Ambassador of Wine Education Justin Ove will lead the group through a tasting featuring five of ASV’s wines.

After the tasting, everyone will be treated to lunch and invited to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Colorado Rockies from VIP seating.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.azstronghold.com. Tickets for ASV wine club members are $70 and non-members are $85 (this includes the tasting, lunch and game).

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was formed in 2007 by Eric Glomski and Maynard James Keenan. ASV helped put Arizona on the map for fine wines. The vineyards are located in Cochise County, its winery in Camp Verde and tasting room in Old Town Cottonwood.

Please contact wineclub@azstronghold.com or 928-639-2789 (ext.214) with questions.

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.

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.”

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.

La Casa Vieja

Monti’s La Casa Vieja Reports 10% Increase In Business

More evidence the economy is turning around: Monti’s La Casa Vieja Restaurant is reporting a 10 percent year-to-date increase in business.

Tempe’s oldest restaurant attributes the increase to innovative marketing, increased tourism and a strong Spring Training season, anchored by the Anaheim Angels.

“In the last few months we have just seen a huge influx of people coming into the restaurant,” said Michael Monti, owner of Monti’s La Casa Vieja.  “It’s inspirational to see things coming back and to know that our economy is really recovering.”

Monti says his restaurant, which sits at the corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado is not only seeing an increase in number of customers coming in, but also in what people are spending. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the historic restaurant annually.

“Our customers and families are spending more money,” said Monti.  “We’re also seeing businesses spend more money.  Companies are hosting more dinners and booking more banquets.”

Further excitement is on the horizon as the Hayden Flour Mill, which sits adjacent to Monti’s La Casa Vieja, prepares to open to public this spring for tours.

“For the past few months crews have been working hard renovating the ground floor of the Hayden Flour Mill, and we are so excited that visitors will soon be able to enjoy this historic landmark,” said Monti.

For more information on Monti’s La Casa Vieja, visit Monti’s website at montis.com.

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.

Texas Rangers

Two-Time Defending AL Champs Texas Rangers Ready For Spring Training

If there’s one team that can’t wait for the start of spring training, it’s the Texas Rangers.

The last time the Texas Rangers took the field, it was Game 7 of the 2011 World Series – a series the Texas Rangers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three. In fact, the Rangers also have the dubious honor of having lost the 2010 World Series, four games to one, to the San Francisco Giants.

The two-time defending American League champs return to the Valley Feb. 19 when pitchers and catchers report to the practice field. They train at Surprise Stadium, which opened in 2003 and seats up to 10,500 baseball fans.  The voluntary report date for position players is Feb. 24. The Texas Rangers will host their first game of the Cactus League spring training season March 4 against the Kansas City Royals.

Despite losing the 2011 World Series, the Rangers are optimistic for the 2012 season. Back at shortstop is Elvis Andrus, who signed a deal for $14.4 million to remain with the Rangers for the next three years. Andrus, 23, was a member of the American League All-Star team in 2010.

The Texas Rangers avoided arbitration with outfielder Nelson Cruz who signed a two-year contract worth  $16 million after his battle with an unknown stomach infection.

Additionally, players healing from various surgeries should be back on the field as the start of spring training approaches. Third-year first baseman Mitch Moreland is almost fully recovered from wrist surgery he underwent in November.  Outfielder Josh Hamilton, the AL’s 2010 Most Valuable Player, is also ready to take for what could be his final season with the Rangers. He had hernia surgery during the off-season and is continuing rehab. Hamilton also has the task of deliberating whether to draft another contract and stay with the Rangers or become a free agent after the 2012 season.

Ron Washington returns for his sixth year as the Rangers’ manager. Under his leadership and with their returning All-Stars, the Rangers could once again make a World Series appearance. Hopefully the third time’s a charm for Texas.

ADHD

Podcast: Andres Torres & Playing With ADHD

This summer, the Chusy Haney-Jardine directed documentary “Gigante” will be hitting theaters. “Gigante” is a documentary that follows Torres through his daily routine as a professional athlete and how he handles performing at such a high level while living with ADHD.

Torres spent 10 years in the minor leagues fighting with himself to perform at a high level while trying to maintain focus on the game. And in 2007, he acknowledged the issue; three years later he won a MLB World Series.

Torres, now the center fielder for the New York Mets, is 34 years old and came to the United States from Puerto Rico.

To get a more in-depth look at ADHD and how it affects professional athletes, I spoke with local psychologist Dr. Silverman. He has worked with professional athletes and helping them deal with ADHD through different practices.

Whether it’s neurofeedback practices that measure brain performance and help focus the brain or basic ADHD medication, Dr. Silverman answers some of my questions about the types of symptoms to look for with ADHD and some of the many options to treat it.

For more information on Dr. Silverman’s practices for athletes, head on over to his website at peakperformanceaz.com, and for more of his general work with ADHD head on over to centerforadd-az.com.



luxury movie theater lobby

Luxury At UltraLuxe Scottsdale Theater

Going to the movies will never be the same thanks to the newly remodeled luxury theater UltraLuxe, owned by San Diego-based UltraStar Cinemas. Located on Indian Bend Road and the 101 in Scottsdale, the renovation of the former United Artists theater was completed by DeRito Partners, an Arizona brokerage firm specializing in retail.

The grand opening was Nov. 16 with former Diamondbacks star Luis Gonzales serving as the guest of honor to cut the “film” to open the theater.

The theater, know as UltraLuxe, is located in the Scottsdale Pavilions Shopping Center just behind the new Diamondbacks spring training facility in Scottsdale. It will feature 11 auditoriums showcasing state-of-the-art Pure Digital Cinema, which UltraStar Cinemas describes as the crispest motion picture technology available. Each house will have stadium or luxury VIP seating in high-back reclining chairs.

UltaLuxe also will include special D-BOX enhanced motion chair technology, which moves the seats with the motion of the screen. For example, if there is an explosion in the movie that occurs on the left side of the screen, the seats move to the right to simulate the blast — creating a true movie experience.

There will also be five “Star Class” auditoriums, which will include seating reserved for guests 21 and older, special VIP viewing rooms with extra large leather chairs, menus and a call button for servers. Menu items include flavored popcorns, hummus, pizza and a selection of panini sandwiches. Specialty coffees, Italian sodas, beer and wine, and desserts will also be available in the Café and Star Class auditoriums.

If these delicious incentives and exciting amenities don’t get you into the theater, maybe the affordable prices will further entice you. Ticket prices are $7.50 for an adult matinee; $9.75 for an adult evening ticket; $7 for seniors and ages 12 and under; $8.75 for students and military with I.D.; and $5.50 for “early bird” tickets to the first matinee showing of each movie. 3-D, D-BOX seats or star class auditoriums add $2 to $8 to each ticket price.

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