- Meg Minard
Goodyear Ballpark – Cleveland Guardians Spring Training
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Goodyear Ballpark 1933 S Ballpark Way Goodyear, AZ 85338
Cleveland Guardians Spring Training website
Year Opened: 2009
Goodyear, Great Park
Goodyear Ballpark, opened in 2009, is the spring training home for major league baseball’s Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds. It is also home to the Indians’ and Reds’ Arizona Rookie League ball teams.
It is an extremely enjoyable, good-looking ballpark. The main, home plate entrance has plenty of shaded places to sit and wait for gates to open, several sculptures, palm trees and other Arizona landscaping.
The facility also hosts instructional league games in the fall as well as other events like car shows, July 4th celebration, local and national baseball tournaments, graduation ceremonies and more throughout the year.
Note: At the time this review was written, the team was called the Cleveland Indians; they are now known as the Guardians.
Food & Beverage 4
Baseball fans won’t go hungry at Goodyear Ballpark as there’s a wide choice of refreshments, entrees, and drinks for sale. The permanent concession stands are named differently but all seem to carry similar items. Hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs (veggie hot dogs too), chicken tenders, corn dogs, sausages run $6 – $8. Snacks at these stands range from fries, nachos, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts to cracker jack, apple snacks, chips, and candy $2 – $6.
Carts and portable stands line a good portion of the entire concourse offering different choices: Smokies Sausage Shack ($7 – $10.50), BBQ (pulled pork, brisket, chicken sandwiches ($10 includes chips), kettle korn, cotton candy, Steakadelphia (Philly Cheesesteak or Nachos $9.50), Burgertopia (an assortment of burgers and grilled cheese $5 – $10.50). Mister Softee (ice cream treats) is quite popular.
Down the third base concourse is a shaded bar stand and there’s a sit-down bar down beyond the right field wall that offers popular beers on tap and red-cushioned sofas and chairs to relax. Local brewery, Saddle Mountain Brewery, has a cart and not only serves pints but also flights – I haven’t seen that before at a ballpark. Wine in a can (Mancan) is a big sales item here.
Goodyear Ballpark Right Field Bar, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Soft drink and beers prices are about average for spring training stadiums in Arizona. Coca-Cola is the soda provider ($4.50/$6), while a vast variety of beer in cans and on draft ($9 – $11.50) is available for purchase.
Attending an Indians spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark is a delightful afternoon/evening.
Traditional green stadium fold down seats with cup holders circle the infield and extend down the baselines. Plenty of wheelchair seats line the top of concourse. The seating areas get plenty of sun with shade available the top rows on the third base side and behind home. Berm areas stretch behind the outfield walls. The bullpens are adjacent to each other in left field in front of one of the berm areas.
Medium-thick nets extend to the end of dugouts. Gorgeous mountain views can be enjoyed behind the first base side. The scoreboard sits in left field and shows the starting lineup, photo of player at bat, line score, pitch speed, and the current time.
Fans can walk the entire concourse around the diamond. Drink rails hug the upper concourse throughout venue and plenty of tables and chairs are placed on the walkway. Tables and chairs are even underneath the scoreboard in left field.
Gates open 11:30am for a 1pm game. Game activities for kids and adults include corn hole, bounce house, wide-open grass spaces to play catch and a mini-diamond is provided for fans to play some ball.
The music volume is perfect. Fans can actually hear the starting lineups being called; music is barely audible when the PA announcer speaks. And, music is not blasted during the play of the game as is often heard at other ball parks. Music played between innings is not oppressive and fans can chat with each other. Sweet. There is the screeching female emcee running promotions between innings. The amount of promotions presented here exceed those at other spring training venues; it’s almost like visiting a minor league ballgame.
Don’t visit the main merchandise store (just inside the home plate entrance) pregame, as it is mobbed. It’s so crowded there’s barely room to breathe, never mind walk, look, and shop. Wait till the game has started to visit it.
Goodyear Ballpark sits across the street from Phoenix Goodyear Airport, which operates mainly general aviation (non-commercial) operations. The city of Goodyear is about 17 miles west of Phoenix, AZ and like several other suburban areas, is expanding, building and growing.
Besides the ballpark (which is a major attraction in Goodyear), the city is home to Luke Air Force Base, a slew of shopping centers, eight golf courses, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (hiking, trails, picnicking, camping, and fishing).
The usual chain restaurants are also a few miles from the park like Oregano’s, Rubios, P.F. Changs, etc. For some place local try Haymakers (breakfast, burgers, beer, bourbon) or Pho House Restaurant (Vietnamese).
Saddle Mountain Brewing Company, Transplant City Beer Co, and 8-Bit Aleworks provide the local hops in Goodyear. Be sure to check their websites for hours of operation.
Most of the hotels straddle the I-10 interchanges and are three to five miles from the ballpark. The closest is a Comfort Inn. Best Western Phoenix Goodyear Inn and Townplace Suites by Marriott Phoenix Goodyear are other choices not too far from the park.
For other sporting events, visit the same park and watch the Cincinnati Reds play their spring training games. The closest other spring training facility is Camelback Ranch (home of the LA Dodgers and Chicago White Sox). Phoenix Raceway is a little over eight miles from the park. Check their schedule to see if a race or event is being held.
Cleveland Indians fans represent Ohio well during spring training in Arizona. Goodyear Ballpark has drawn a healthy average of 6,200 – 6,500 per Indians game these last few seasons. Omar Vizquel jerseys are seen spread across the fan base. Fans cheer on their players, good plays, and just talk baseball.
Goodyear Ballpark is located 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix and 22 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It is about two miles south off of Interstate 10. If coming from the east (Phoenix area), GPS will recommend taking Bullard Ave off I-10. A bulk of that road is under construction this season (2020) so our recommendation is to go one more exit west to Estrella Pkwy to avoid the road and lane closures.
Public transportation is not an option to get to this ball field.
Parking is $5 on mostly grass lots. As is common at Cactus League spring training facilities, golf cart type shuttles are at hand to bring fans from the parking lot to the home plate entrance, if desired. Though, the lots are not THAT far away and the temperatures are not yet sweltering in Arizona during February and March, so walking is do-able.
The ballpark has four entrances: first base, home plate, third base and center field with the home plate entrance being the busiest and most scenic (it’s next to ticket booth). It can get crowded on the concourse behind home plate. Once inside, except for behind home, the concourse is wide open and easy to traverse.
Return on Investment 4
Ticket prices range from $8 (berm) to $31 (premium field box) with plenty of other choices available. If purchased on game day, tack on another $2 per ticket. Certain sections have half price children’s tickets each game. Another offer is the Senior Saver – top four rows behind home are $27 plus a $5 food coupon is part of the deal. Those seats are in the shade.
The cost of parking is on par with other spring training parks, as are the concessions.
The game day program is $9 which is too much.
A couple of additional things are worthy of mention.
Fans enjoying a baseball game without the bombardment of extraneous noises and blaring music between every pitch and batter is heaven on earth. All spring training games should be like this.
Right in front of the home plate entrance of Goodyear Ballpark stands a fiberglass sculpture called The Ziz. The Ziz stands 60 feet 6 inches, the exact distance between home plate and the pitcher’s mound.
The Ziz, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Having a local brewery that serves flights is something unconventional at a ball game.
Though not baseball related, Goodyear Ballpark holds two unique Guinness World Records achievements. First, 426 people participated in the Largest Soul Train Dance in center field in July 2014. Second, in July 2013, 1,957 people broke the record for Largest Gathering of People Wearing False Moustaches.
Watching the Indians play their spring training games in Goodyear, AZ provides an exemplary afternoon or evening out. Be sure to put it on the list when visiting spring training venues in Arizona.