- Meg Minard
Tempe Diablo Stadium – Los Angeles Angels Spring Training
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
Tempe Diablo Stadium 2200 W Alameda Dr Tempe, AZ 85282
Los Angeles Angels Spring Training website
Year Opened: 1968
Angels in the Devil’s Temple
Tempe Diablo Stadium is the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Angels, and a part of the Cactus League. The stadium was built in 1969 as the spring training facility for the Seattle Pilots. It served as the Milwaukee Brewers spring training for a few years and the Seattle Mariners for many years from 1977 – 1993. It is the oldest spring training facility in the Cactus League.
It is built near the mountain base known as the Twin Buttes which makes for an admirable backdrop beyond the left field corner.
Fans these days will enjoy watching the likes of Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Anthony Rendon when attending a game at this attractive facility.
Food & Beverage 4
When walking the exterior of the venue pre game, the aroma of food being grilled is mouth-watering.
Several permanent concession stands line the concourse in addition to a right field patio down the first baseline and a left field concession patio down the third baseline.
The permanent concession stands offer the traditional stadium fare of hot dog, bratwurst, nacho ($6) with snacks such as pretzels, candy, popcorn, jumbo pickle, seeds, and Cracker Jacks ($4 – $5). Coca-Cola soft drinks run $4 – $6 and domestic beers go for $11. The third base/left field concourse has 6+ concession tents (Mexican, wood fired pizza, corn dogs, grab -n-go, chicken tenders, etc.) in addition to a huge Four Peaks Brewery tent and a Saint Archers brew stand. A Firestone Walker Brewery bar is midway down the third baseline. Craft brews at Four Peaks run $12 (in a souvenir cup) – just as expensive as MLB prices. The right field patio offers fresh grilled burgers, chicken, a variety of sausages, hot dogs and brisket; their specialty is a Mac Attack Dog (brisket, mac and cheese, fried onions) for $14.
Our recommendation is to head down the third baseline and stop at the Fresh & Jive Grill tent – they sell fresh cooked, wood fired pizza as well as loaded potato tots, salads and wraps, and loaded mac and cheese. Top that off with a craft brew from Four Peaks and you’ll be set for the day.
Both the left field and right field concourse and patio area have tables and chairs for consuming any purchased food and drink.
Vendors selling snacks like lemonade, popcorn, churros, cotton candy, beer and water roam the seating area and most have carts for their fares along the concourse as well.
Spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium is a pleasant, laid-back few hours of baseball entertainment.
Seating consists of one level of green stadium fold down seats and green bleachers with backs all with minimal legroom. The bleachers start just after the first and third bases (sections 1 – 4 and 18 – 24). All infield seats are chair back. A grassy berm seating area extends beyond the third baseline and into the left outfield.
Fans walk in on to the concourse and go down to their seats. The rows run A – W with W the furthest from the field. No handrails are available for going up and down the steps. Nets go to the end of the dugout so sit in sections 1 – 4 and 18 – 24 to be net free.
One main team store is on site with several ancillary booths and tents throughout the concourse.
The music level and selection are perfect and no music is played while the ½ innings are in progress. YEAH! The only piped in noise is a bell ding when an Angels pitcher gets a strike. The announcer does a fantastic job of calling the starting line ups (not too fast) and announcing the multitude of player changes during a spring training game. Even better, no music is played when the PA announcer is speaking so fans can actually hear what is being said.
Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat. The stadium allows fans to bring one sealed bottle of water and we recommend bringing that bottle as it can get warm. For afternoon games the third base side gets the full sun. The first base side and behind home high rows (R-W) are shaded.
No promotions, except 50/50, are offered at spring training games and that fits well. The hype of spring training is getting close to the up and coming rookies and the veteran players, snagging a ball or autograph, relaxing in the Arizona warmth, and watching the game.
Tempe Diablo Stadium is located between “The Buttes,” an industrial business park, I-10, and practice fields. Except for the restaurant on top of the butte (inside the Marriott), restaurants are not really within walking distance.
For places to stay, the Marriott Phoenix Resort Tempe at The Buttes, is adjacent to the ballpark. Other lodging nearby not quite as costly (though still a tad pricey during spring training) are the H2Suite by Hilton or Fairfield Inn & Suites across highway I-10.
Downtown Tempe is just under 5 miles from the stadium and that downtown offers a plethora of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping, nightlife, hotels, cultural events, the ASU campus and more and is well worth visiting when in town. Boulders On Broadway is about a 3 mile drive from the stadium and may be worth checking out for craft beer and sandwiches or burgers before or after a game.
Other sports in the area during spring training include seeing an Arizona State University (ASU) baseball game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, an ASU basketball game at Desert Financial Arena, an NBA Phoenix Suns game or any of the other spring training facilities in the area with Sloan Park being the closest.
Many Angels fans travel down from California; Long Beach, Bakersfield and the like. They mostly want to see their team play and take a mini vacation. Fans vary from families with children, to retirees, to school groups, to those individuals who think they are invisible and stand up in front of play blocking other fans’ view of the game as they chat with their friends.
Fans Who Think They Are Invisible at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
The fans do a decent job of throwing out their trash and not leaving it in the seating area. As with most spring training venues, fans are at ease striking up conversations with each other and it is a warm, welcoming atmosphere at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Getting to and from Tempe Diablo Stadium isn’t too bad as it is located right off I-10 and is just ten minutes or so from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Valley Metro Transit has two bus – lines 52 and 48 ($2/ride, $4/day pass) – that stop right by the park. Several years ago, fans could pick up a free trolley in downtown Tempe and take it to the stadium but, unfortunately, that service is not offered anymore.
Two parking lots are on either end of the stadium, both costing $5. On well-attended games, traffic leaving the park can be brutal so hold on to your patience.
A grand stairway leads up the main entrance of the park by home plate with two ramps on each side. Security tables and equipment take up a lot of valuable space at this main entryway. A few benches are outside for fans to wait for friends and the steps provide places to sit. Gates open 1 ½ hours prior to first pitch. The clear bag policy is not in affect at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Tempe Diablo Stadium Grand Stairway, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Once inside, the concourse on top of the seating bowl is very narrow and it easily gets congested. Down each end of the concourse, space opens up a bit as there is a right field patio and a large concession area down the third baseline. Fans cannot walk the circumference of the stadium.
The restrooms are kept extremely clean throughout the game.
Return on Investment 3
Spring training ticket prices are rising and it’s not the affordable outing it once was. Ticket prices run $15 (lawn seating) to $63 for an Angels spring training game. Parking is $5 cash and concessions are on the high end (similar to other spring training parks in the Cactus League). However, watching spring ball is a treat after long harsh winters.
Tempe Diablo Stadium has displays portraying how the Cactus League started and particularly how the Angels got involved. The staff and guest relations at the stadium are extremely helpful and friendly. I love that no music is played while the players are on the field, the game is in process, and while the PA announcer is speaking. More stadiums should take heed.
Built in 1968, Tempe Diablo Stadium is the oldest in the Cactus League. It is an intimate, delightful venue in which to watch Los Angeles Angels spring training games. If visiting Arizona in late Feb/early Mar be sure to put this one on the list.