If you’re as unrealistic (or optimistic) as I am, you’re always looking to get the most out of each minute you spend out of town. There are two times of the year that really hit the mark for sporting fanatics. March and October. Allow me to draw out one of the best sporting weekends there has been in quite some time that can easily be replicated.

Phoenix in March can’t be beat. Think about it, the home to NBA, NHL, NFL, PGA TOUR, and probably a soccer team, but who knows. Not to mention possibly the Mecca of Universities for a young twenty something male at ASU.

One Spirit airline ticket and $189 later (after taking $36 of fees away), we were off to Phoenix to take part in as many sporting events in a single weekend as possible. Why waste time? A Thursday evening arrival meant a low key night at a university bar people watching and taking in the scenery.

To give you an idea of what we had available to us; see below–

FULL SLATE

Date Event Time Location
Fri Afternoon – Padres /Angels 1:00PM Tempe Diablo
Fri Afternoon – Royals/A’s 3:00pm Surprise Stadium
Fri Evening – OSU v ASU Baseball 6:30pm Phx Muni
Fri Evening – Hawks / Suns – 7:00PM Phx Us Air —
Sat Afternoon – Angels/Royals 3:00pm Surprise Stadium —
Sat Afternoon – Rangers/Padres 1:00PM Peoria Complex —
Sat Afternoon – Sox/Angels 1:00pm Tempe Diablo
Sat Evening – Devils/Coyotes 6:00PM Glendale Arena —
Sat Evening – OSU v ASU Baseball 6:30pm Phx Muni
Sun Afternoon – NASCAR Race 12:30 PM Avondale —
Sun Afternoon – OSU/ASU Baseball 12:30PM Phx Muni
Sun Evening – Knicks/Suns 6:00PM Phx US Air —
Sun Evening – Airport 11:50 PHX

 

Spring training baseball, NHL, NBA, college baseball and even a NASCAR race. We couldn’t possibly squeeze all these in to one weekend so we picked our sweet spots and what we thought was most cost effective. Almost all the venues are within a 20 mile radius and nothing is off limits.

You can replicate this weekend in March or even February if you aren’t huge on baseball. The Coyotes and Suns are a great time. The Cardinals might still be in the playoffs. If you’re a fan of golf, the WM Phoenix Open is a spectacle that can’t be missed! Pick a seat on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale and enjoy.

padsSpring Training

A friend on the trip was high school buddies with the San Diego Padres’ newly acquired outfielder, Wil Myers. Free tickets were a no brainer. Friday and Saturday afternoons would be MLB games at two different stadiums.  The Padres played the Angels Friday (who have Pujols, Hamilton, & Trout) and the Rangers Saturday (Prince Fielder). Spring training games are amazing. The atmosphere is laid back, the stadiums have great seats all around and the players are extremely relaxed. If you’re looking for autographs this is your spot.

Beer just tastes better at a baseball game especially when it’s 80 degrees in March in Arizona.

HOCKEY

To cool us down we settled on catching a game on ice at a Phoenix Coyotes game Saturday evening. We had no tickets and scalping was in order. We had good expectations for tickets but were disappointed to have spent $60 for an upper level even though we just walked down to the lower bowl.

NASCAR

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Race Day in Arizona. A thirty minute drive through the desert awaited a race track and a plethora of cold beers. I have no idea what the race was called to this day but it was a damn good time. At NASCAR races everyone is friendly, ridiculously dressed and overly enthusiastic for a guy who’s talents include not usingpeoria field the restroom for four hours. After parking our car and most everyone was already inside with the exception of a few rowdy tailgaters too drunk to walk inside. We befriend them and they pass around a bottle of Jameson that is luke warm. I almost vomit. But the show must go on.

The type of people you meet at NASCAR are exactly what you’d expect. There for a good time and genuinely enjoy seeing a car go in a circle 400 times. I don’t get it. Scratch that, I didn’t get it.

With no tickets again we were willing and ready to scalp. With half the race gone by we expected tickets to be very cheap if we could find them. Almost nobody was around the entrance to scalp. We wandered around for a bit with our beers until we decided to find a ticket counter. As we pass through a woman who claimed she was security (with our beers in tow) says enjoy yourself. I didn’t even realize we just walked in the track and she never asked for a ticket. Lucky us? Who knows. We find an open seat and then realize what all the fuss is about. The cars go FAST. You really need those ear plugs. Don’t bother trying to make sense of it.

An awesome weekend capped off by a sport never seen by my own two eyes in person.  Oh, and a red eye on Spirit air, but who wants to talk about the least exciting portion of the trip?

phoenix international raceway       Gila River Areana - Coytes
 

To recap: 3 nights, 2 spring training games, 1 NHL game, 1 NASCAR race for a total of $249.

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