Rhythm Is Going To Get You (Giants)

Trip Start Mar 07, 2012
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Trip End Mar 20, 2012


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What I did

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The City of Scottsdale is situated in the northeast quadrant of Greater Phoenix. Scottsdale Stadium is located in the heart of the downtown at 7428 E Osborn Road with the Police Station/City Jail to the north and the Scottsdale Healthcare Centre to the west.

Scottsdale Stadium is the Cactus League home of the San Francisco Giants. Over 11,000 fans can comfortably watch a game at this facility when those seated on the spacious lawn beyond the outfield fences are counted. While it is an older facility, Scottsdale Stadium under went major renovations in 2006; the result is quite an updated and modern ball park.

Getting to Scottsdale Stadium is not really a problem. Finding parking can be more of a challenge if you happen to arrive late. If you park in the downtown, you may need to walk a bit but this adventure is quite lovely since this part of Scottsdale offers great downtown storefront and people viewing. Arriving at 11:30 pm for a 1:05 pm game, I was able to park a few blocks north of the stadium on a pleasant side street with no threatening signs. Coming early does have its privileges.

To find the stadium from the south, take Scottsdale Road to Osborn Road, hang a left and the stadium shows up at Drinkwater Boulevard. From the north, take Drinkwater all the way down to 4th Street.

Getting a ticket for a game at Scottsdale Stadium can be a bit of a challenge on a week day and a major hardship on the weekend. These games are ever so popular and booked well in advance. Tickets are listed as costing $12.00 to $48.00. Interestingly enough, for a Wednesday game, I purchased a ticket on-line and paid 11.00. Prior to purchasing this weekday ticket, I had gone onto the Giants website (sfgiants.com) and looked for a Saturday or Sunday game. Nothing was available except at the upper price margin which, when service charges and fees were added, would have made a weekend ticket ridiculously expensive for a spring training tilt. Consequently, the $11.00 ticket was one sweet bargain although the seat was in the bleachers beyond first base and in the sun for the entire game.

Upon entering Scottsdale Stadium, you will notice this is a tightly defined facility. It has a lively and energizing feel to it. There is seating for 11,000 including the bleachers and lawn or berm area beyond the outfield fences. This is a deceptively comfortable place to watch a baseball game. It is easy to understand why Giants fans are such devotees to this place since there was  a definite holiday atmosphere 30 minutes before the first pitch was thrown.

The field faces northeast. Playing dimensions from left to centre to right field are 360', 430' and 360'. The scoreboard is located in centre left field and is a basic, traditional model. The clock on top does give the scoreboard a "throw-back" appeal.

In the main grandstand, there are three levels of seats extending just beyond both the third and first bases. The 100s are close to the field of play while the 300s are choice seats. Open up the wallet for the extra comfort (unless you are addicted to sunshine) and spring for seats in sections 309, 305, 303, 301, 302, 304, 306 or 310. For shade, get the top 6-8 rows.Trust me, it is truly worth the splash of extra cash.

If you wind up with a bargain priced ticket like I did, expect to snuggle up with a whole lot of other folk in bleacher sections A to D halfway between first base and the right field wall or bleacher sections E to H between third base and the left field wall. If it is a hot day and the sun is shining brightly, these bleacher seats are a tad bit challenging.

Alternately, the industrious fan can retreat onto the elevated and sloped lawn seating in the left centre and right centre fields. There are large, well leafed trees all over the lawn areas offering a certain coolness in this portion of the ball park which cannot be found elsewhere. On this 80F plus day, this berm was a welcoming oasis.

On this day, the San Francisco Giants were playing the Cleveland Indians before an announced crowd of 10,584.

Concessions are well placed around the park and included Gordon Biersch, Belgian Blue Moon, Jamba juice, Island Noodles, Camelback B-B-Q, The Lemonade Factory, Giants Griddle, Fruit Kabob, Sports Gallery, Dan & Charlies Smokehouse and Sweet Pickins. Additional beer and food marketers offered local specialities and some of the traditional ball park fare.

The main grandstand concourses tend to get quite crowded as the day progressed. Sensing this fans moved further along the left and right field foul lines. Unlike most parks, there seemed to be little interest on the part of custodial types asking fans to move off the perimeter lines within the park. Apparently standing room tickets are sold for such purpose.

A number of Hall of Fame and other retired Major League players were in attendance signing autographs, balls, bats, photos and other bits of baseball paraphernalia. I noticed Gaylord Perry, John 'Blue Moon' Odom, Bert Campanaris and Jim 'Mudcat' Grant. The autograph hounds swamped the area where these former stars were positioned which created a bit of traffic congestion at times.

The game was called after 10 innings with the Giants and the Indians tied at 2-2. The reason provided for cessation was to allow both teams to 'save' the arms of the pitchers for future games. Given that this was spring training, no reason had to be provided.

Observations:
-A very serviceable facility with a compact feel to it
-The stadium has a great post game location as the downtown core of Scottsdale is rich with restaurants and drinking holes
-Unlike Camelback Ranch in Glendale, this is an easy area to leave, once the game is over
-Concessions offer some of the best selection of food and drink in the Cactus League
-One sore point with fans coming from other parks: the "no bringing food into the ball park" is rather strictly enforced; this did not seem to go over well with a number of folk (on a side note, when I attended a game several days later in Phoenix Municipal Stadium, several fans in that crowd were still rather steamed over the manner in which the Scottsdale Stadium entry security carried out the confiscation searches - I'll leave it to both sides to sort this out)
-Nevertheless, a relaxing and enticing place to watch a game

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