|TEMPE DIABLO STADIUM
If You Go ...
Tempe is a college town, and as you might expect from a school with a party atmosphere, there are a fair number of establishments in the downtown area for those who imbibe, most centered around Mill Avenue. (The university is located northeast of the training complex; to get there, head east on Broadway Road and then north on Mill Avenue.)
Beer fans will want to check out Four Peaks Brewing Co., a brewpub and restaurant known for its patio and fresh beer. Also known for beer: the Gordon Biersch Brewery, where the garlic fries are to die for. In fact, a combination of a seasonal beer and the garlic fries is really all you need at dinnertime, especially if your spouse isn’t along on the trip. Meanwhile, the kids will enjoy a visit to Fiddlesticks, a 20-acres amusement park that includes go-karts, batting cages, miniature golf, bumper boats, and a video arcade.
There are some outstanding restaurants fairly close to the ballpark. Aunt Chilada's is known for its Mexican menu, including authentic fajitas, tamales, and salsa. Go for a seat on the deck. Built in the old Tempe Railroad Depot, Macayo’s Depot Cantina is the Tempe outpost of a popular locally owned chain. The specialty of the house: margaritas, freshly made tortillas, tacos, enchiladas.
Where to Stay: The Buttes (Marriott, 2000 W. Westcourt Way, Tempe; 602/225-9000) is the closest hotel to Tempe Diablo Stadium, within easy walking distance of the complex. It’s also one of the more scenic hotels in the Valley of the Sun: from the freeway it looks like some sort of futuristic neo-Wrightian extension of the butte. That’s the Top of the Rock restaurant, and it offers some great views of the area at sunset.
Also within walking distance is the Hampton Inn (4234 S. 48th St., Tempe; 602/438-8688).
Since Tempe Diablo Stadium is so close to the airport, there are a host of hotels between the two that are reasonable close to the stadium. Mainstay Suites, Comfort Suites, and Sheraton Phoenix Airport are all within a mile of the stadium. In addition, these hotels are close to Phoenix Municipal Stadium, spring-training home of the Oakland Athletics.
Flying In: The closest airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It's served by all the major airlines, including United, America West, Delta, Northwest, Air Canada, American, Continental, US Airways, and Southwest. It's a pleasant enough airport.
You may also want to consider flying into Tucson and then driving to Phoenix if the fare to Tucson is significantly cheaper. The drive is 117 miles and takes a couple of hours on I-10, but it's a pretty drive if you like desert scenery.