Every winter, major league baseball teams throughout the U.S. come down to Florida to escape the cold and train within the Florida Grapefruit League. Of the 15 teams that train in Florida, you’ll find 8 Spring Training baseball teams in the Tampa Bay area. That’s a lot of baseball right here in our own backyard!
No better date than a baseball game, watching the Yankees, Phillies, or Pirates, hot dog in one hand and your lover’s in the other! But first, let’s go over the basics to help you plan your day at the ballgame!
Spring Training in Tampa Bay
When is the Florida Spring Training Season?
The 2023 Florida Grapefruit League Spring Training games will be held Saturday, February 25 through Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Most of the games typically start at around 1:00 pm, but there are some earlier and later games on schedule.
How much are spring training tickets?
Ticket prices vary depending on the game, stadium and where your seat is located. Tampa Bay Rays tickets seem to be the biggest bargain locally, starting at $10 per seat for some games.
We’ve also seen as low as $17 per ticket for berm seating to see the Baltimore Oriels play at BayCare BallPark in Clearwater and $16 for Orange Trail seating at a Toronto Blue Jays game at TD Ballpark in Dunedin.
Parking is an additional charge too, so plan for that as well.
You will want to download the free MLB Ballpark app to access your tickets and parking.
Where to Watch Baseball Spring Training Games in Tampa Bay
There are several stadiums hosting spring training games in Tampa Bay or within a close drive, making it worth the day trip!
Location: Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St Petersburg
This is a new location for the Tampa Bay Rays spring training season due to impacts on the Charlotte Sports Park by Hurricane Ian. The team has pivoted this year while the park in Port Charlotte undergoes repairs and will play at home at Tropicana Field, however they’ll throw their first pitch of spring training season with a game in Orlando at ESPN Worldwide of Sports. You can pick up tickets at the Trop for as low as $10 per game. The added perk is that the game is indoors since it’s at home at the Trop, so it’s a great option for a hot or rainy day.
Location: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa
This stadium off of Dale Mabry Highway, not too far from Raymond James Stadium was first built in 1996 and then renovated in 2016. This year is the 27th spring training season for the Yankees at the stadium in Tampa.
You can pick up a Pinstripe Pass for about $35 each + fees which includes general admission to the outfield standing room only area and a 12 oz. domestic beer for those 21 and older, a Pepsi product or Aquafina water. Tickets range from about $28-$110.
Location: TD Ballpark, 373 Douglas Avenue, Dunedin
The ticket prices vary here depending on whether it’s a Premium or Regular Game. Premium games will be held on March 11, 13, 15, 18, and 24. An example of how this will be priced: a Premium Game Orange Level is $20/Infield Box: $42 versus the Regular game ticket prices of Orange Level: $16/Infield Box: $35.
Location: BayCare Ballpark, 601 N. Old Coachman Road, Clearwater
The Phillies have been training in Clearwater since 1947, the second longest an MLB club has trained in its spring training home. Like most of the other stadiums, you will find ticket prices ranging pretty significantly depending on the game. Tickets range from about $17-$39.
There is new food and Phillies gear you can pick up at the game this year, a definite foodie’s delight! You can see the full list of new food items and gear here.
Location: LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth Street West, Bradenton
There are a few different fun themed days on the schedule including a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 17. There will also be postgame fireworks on Saturday, March 25. We’ve seen that tickets as low as $22 each, but what you’ll pay is largely dependent upon the game and day.
Location: Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota
You’ll find special themed days for spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium this year including 50% off Lower Box and Reserved Grandstand Seating on March 10 or get an Oriels golf visor at the game on March 16 (for the first 4,000 guests). Tickets typically range from $21 to $40, depending on the game.
Sarasota is home to some of our favorite tiki bars and tropical bars.
Location: Publix Field at Joker Merchant Stadium, 2301 Lakeland Hills Drive, Lakeland
The Detroit Tigers have called Sarasota their winter home for 100 years, the longest relationship between an MLB team and its spring training host city! The stadium has undergone some upgrades and is continuing to make improvements.
There are new concession stands and premium seating. Ticket range from $10-$90.
Location: CoolToday Park, 18800 West Villages Parkway, Venice
The CoolToday Park is relatively new, first opening in 2019. There is a Superior Pools Tomahawk Tiki Bar & Grill that is open year-round for lunch and dinner, too! Ticket prices vary here as well with some general admission games range from $15 to $75.
Fun Facts About Spring Training in Florida:
- 35 different sites have hosted spring training
- All but 6 MLB teams have trained in Florida
- St Pete and Tampa rank as the most years of hosting spring training games at 87 years. Bradenton and Clearwater come in 2nd with 76 years under their belts and Lakeland is a close 3rd at 75 years.
- The Chicago Cubs first played in Tampa in 1913 at Plant Field, near what was The Tampa Bay Hotel (now University of Tampa)
Looking for more unique “day date” ideas? Check out Calling All Hippies: St. Pete Indie Market or Five Tampa Hidden Gems to Explore on Your Next Date.