Spring training baseball in Arizona is a tourist attraction in the early spring months. The players and coaching staff have benefited from the beautiful weather to prepare for the long season ahead. However, that is not the only benefit that comes from spring training. The Arizona economy is the ultimate beneficiary of spring training in the desert.
Many tourists visit Arizona in search of 70-degree weather and the possibility of outdoor activity. Some of these tourists are lingering snowbirds bypassing the severe winter weather at home. However, a large number of these visitors come solely to see their beloved teams play in the Cactus League.
According to Peter Corbett, reporter for The Arizona Republic, a study conducted by the Cactus League Baseball Association showed that “67 percent of the visitors said that spring training was a primary reason for their visit to Arizona.” Baseball brought 1.7 million fans to Arizona this past spring.
Spring training visitors are spending large amounts of money on these different industries during their stay in the valley. The continual increase in economic growth is no surprise to some. According to Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, “Spring training in Arizona was created as a business push by local civic leaders.”
These leaders saw baseball as an opportunity to draw business owners and tourists to the desert.
These spring training visitors buy a lot of tickets, memorabilia, food, and parking during these months. In addition, the surrounding restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers generate a lot more revenue than they normally do. Corbett added, “Spring training accounted for $422 million in economic impact in 2012, up 36 percent from the previous study.”