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Halos Heaven Spring Training Guide: Tempe Diablo Stadium

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Spring Training offers the ultimate experience for the baseball fan. Many of you have gone to Spring Training, many others have a trip on their bucket list. In this installment we will look at the home of the Angels, Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Angels host their Spring Training in Tempe Diablo Stadium.  Despite a $20 million renovation in 2006, it is now one of the smaller, quainter Spring Training facilities.

Where To Sit:

Overall there isn't a bad seat in the house, but the walkways can be tough to navigate and there is limited lawn seating.  Whereas most ballparks have a grass berm surrounding the outfield, Tempe Diablo only has lawn seating behind left field.

If you are looking for shade, sit in the last 5-10 rows of the Field MVP seats, particularly sections 7-15.  If you want some sun, the lawn seats are the best (and least expensive option).  Autograph seekers will want the first couple of rows down the right field line.  The walkway to the Angels clubhouse is between sections 22 and 23.

The Back Fields:

Walking the back fields is a great experience but the path to them is not clearly marked.  The back fields are west of the main stadium.  There is a small parking lot near the main entrance to the stadium and you can see a field to your left as you walk towards the main entrance.  Walk along the fence to that ball field and a path will open on your left.  Follow that path and enjoy.

Autograph Seekers:

Autographs are a great memento from a Spring Training trip and fairly easy to get.  The back fields offer personal access to minor league players and the occasional big league guy looking to get some work in on his day off.  Now that we have some interesting guys on the back fields, this is a little more enticing.

But what about the big boys?  Well, that's a little more difficult on game day.  You can try your hand down the right field line.  The Angels are great about sending a contingent down the line to sign pre-game autographs.  Trout is always the most in demand and typically finds a group of kids near the dugout.

Those wanting a sure thing can enter the MLB Alumni Association's silent auction on the concourse near first base.  They typically have some cool items and the proceeds to to a good cause.   I've gone this route several times.

Pro Tip:

If you really want access to the big league guys, go to Tempe Diablo a couple of hours prior to a road game.  The big club has batting practice in Tempe Diablo and admission is free.  Due to the scant crowds, you are more likely to actually make some contact with a big league player.

Essential Links:

Cactus League Master Schedule

Cactus League Stadium Map

Tickets

My 2 cents:

Tempe Diablo still has the feel of a small Spring Training ballpark but it can feel cramped and crowded fairly easily.  There's one walkway to take on the way to fairly limited food selections and the rest rooms.  That walkway is in the shade and often crowded.  The sight lines are great but there's limited netting so make sure you pay attention to the game.  There are no restaurants or bars within walking distance, so be prepared to buy everything from the stadium from the time you arrive until the time you leave.

I typically get seats close to the field but spend a decent part of the game on the patio area past third base.  Most of the food vendors are there as is the best merchandise stand and the view of the game is great.  The patio view is the equivalent to Terrace Box at the Big A, but without the overhang blocking your view.  There aren't any signature food items, but this is baseball: a hot dog and a beer on a sunny day is hard to beat.

Your 2 cents:

My goal with this series is to create a reference full of Halos Heaven's best tips and stories.  I want people to look at this when they plan their trip as well as establish a platform for those who have gone to share their experiences.  Let's keep the scope of this discussion to Tempe Diablo we'll have more installments to cover other topics.