Spring training kicked off last weekend, and while many of us around the country shiver in the cold, our favorite teams are playing ball in two warm weather vacation destinations. When you consider the relative affordability of a ticket - $12 for a Yankees vs. Pirates ticket, for example - and combine that with the hotel deals below, it may make for an affordable family, guys or girls getaway this month. But unless you live within driving distance of the stadiums, don't forget to factor in the cost of airfare and a rental car.
Cactus League: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers.
Three Cactus League-area Marriott hotels are participating in the "Major League Savings package, which offers accommodations, complimentary hot breakfast, complimentary parking and a baseball amenity kit including popcorn, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, bottled water, and a travel-sized sunscreen. Be sure the promotional code SPE appears in the appropriate box when making reservations. Rates from $142 - $256 per night, depending on property.
If you're looking for a little luxury once you leave the ball fields, check out the "Home Run" package at the four-and-a-half-star Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain, priced from $429 per night. It includes breakfast each morning (a $30 value) and a ballpark kit including a baseball cap, t-shirt and sunscreen.
The spring training deal at the W Scottsdale includes two cocktails per person, per day; credit for a free game ticket with the purchase of one spring training ticket; a box of Cracker Jacks and peanuts for the game; a W Scottsdale baseball hat; and complimentary transportation to Scottsdale Stadium. Call 877 782 0104 and reference rate plans TOWNPKG1-4.
Grapefruit League: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays; Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals.
The hotel's "Spring Training Package" includes a 20 percent discount off the best available rate for deluxe accommodations. Also included is a Fan Tool Kit that includes baseball for signing, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, popcorn, bubble gum, soda and the lyrics and history of the song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Rates from $135 per night.
The Diamond Spring Training Package, priced at $539 per night, includes accommodations in an ocean view two-bath superior suite; breakfast each morning for up to four people; four field box tickets; welcome gift including baseball, red Sharpie pen and Cracker Jacks; a personal curbside Roger Dean Stadium escort who will greet you and your party when you arrive at the stadium; a behind the scenes escorted tour of the clubhouse and the 110 acre sports complex; the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field; join the players back out on the field for pre-game festivities and National Anthem and throw out the first pitch to start the game off. Two kids in your party - must be under 13 - will get to sit pre-game in the dugout for photos and autographs.
The resort also offers a less comprehensive "Play Ball" package which includes breakfast for two each morning; welcome gift including baseball, red Sharpie pen and Cracker Jacks; and a credit of $10.00 for a hotdog and beverage at Roger Dean Stadium when you present your spring training tickets.
With locations in both Arizona and Florida, Red Roof Inn has deals for both sets of fans. Cactus League Red Roofs are 15 percent off for one night and 20 percent off rooms for two consecutive nights or more. Grapefruit League properties' Baseball Spring Training Rates are 15 percent off with the exception of the Red Roof Inn in Fort Myers which is 20 percent off. Click here for reservations and full list of participating properties.