Forget the fact that I saw part of a Dbacks loss to the San Diego Padres (I only lasted 3 innings with my three year old son). The results aren't the reason you go to a Cactus League game anyway. You go for all the other things - the atmosphere, the food, and the sun.
We sat on the lawn out in left field. Lots of room to sit, especially if you get there an hour and 45 min early like we did. You have your choice of where to sit for the most part. With the gates open early, we weren't even close to being the first ones there though. Other than the room, it gives a great view of the field. A couple of cons though include no concessions out there, just a team shop. Most concessions are on the main concourse, although it isn't a long walk. They also have one stick tree, supposedly to signify "Talking Stick" right in the middle of the lawn seats. I'm all for decoration, but that was a little ridiculous.
Speaking of a long walk, how about that walk from the parking lot to the gates? Whew. It certainly presents challenges to those less fit. It's a very long walk from the grass field lot to the bottom of the walkway. Once at the bottom of the walkway, it's all uphill from there. I thought going to a Spring Training game was supposed to be relaxing? HA!
If you like Chase Field for its food options for kids, you won't like Salt River Fields. No value hot dogs or drinks here. My problem isn't paying for a Dbacks dog. My problem is giving it to my son to eat. That thing is twice the size of his mouth. No utensils to help you cut the dogs either. Oh, as for the drinks, best option is a regular soda, if they have lids. We ordered a drink for my son Brady at 11:45am and they were OUT of lids. They only had lids for the large sodas. C'mon people!
Now, if you like variety though, Salt River Fields is great. Salty Senorita and Native New Yorker are a couple of choices for you. Heck, Native even gives you a free basket of wings if you catch a foul ball. Not a bad deal, right?
Not such a great deal are the prices in the Team Shop. Much like Chase Field, the prices are a bit excessive, especially for a spring game, but you have to expect that. A Diamondbacks monkey is $29. Dbacks beach towels are $29, pillows $35. I got Brady a baseball for $11, still a bit excessive.
Oh and note to vendors, you can bring soda around to sell. Beer is great, but not at $7 a bottle (no $4 draft specials here). Water is the best for you and you carry that too, but the $4 Aquafina I have to buy from you because your water bottle rules are tighter than Chase is a joke. Again, the price isn't much different from Chase, but Aquafina tastes like crap. I realize it's a Pepsi contract, but I can still complain right?
Alas, I should finish with something positive because everyone is going to get a different experience out of it. Mine is probably skewed because I was toting a three year old with me, however I do love the up close and personal feel of the practice fields. That is pretty cool.
I will try Salt River Fields on for size again sometime. Probably not this spring only because of other commitments, but soon, like next season. First, I need to go to the bank and get a loan. Oh, and I should probably get into better shape too.