PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The spring training season is underway across the Valley. Major League Baseball teams are getting ready for the first weekend of the 2023 season.
On Friday, the Seattle Mariners beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 at the Peoria Sports Complex in front of a nearly sold-out crowd. It was the first, and only spring training played in Arizona Friday afternoon.
Our crew met fans from all over the West Coast and even Canada. One man said he and his son are here for spring training for the first time. Andy Sebanc called this a makeup trip since it was pushed back two years because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “Super excited to be here, super excited for the season see what the Mariners can do,” Sebanc said. “I would comeback again. Arizona is a great place.”
Fans were excited to be out in the sun on a beautiful day at the ballpark. The Cactus League Executive Director, Bridget Binsbacher, says this is just a taste of what could be coming this spring. After a lockout last year and COVID restrictions the two years before, she is excited about a normal spring training schedule.
“This is our first year in four years that we have a regular season without reduced capacity or protocols and social distancing,” Binsbacher said. “Six out of ten fans that come to these games are from somewhere else in the country or in the world.”
Binsbacher expects to set records for attendance this year. She says spring training in the Valley has become an industry on its own over the years. With more people coming to watch the games, local businesses can get a boost they’ve learned to depend on. “They rely on it year after year, and that influx of tourism is a direct impact on them. “We’ll see records for sure.”
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