Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Baseball Spring Training is BACK in Tampa Bay
Florida’s 2023 Spring Training Baseball season is back after taking its first pitch in February!
Did you know the Florida Grapefruit League has called our beautiful Sunshine State home for 130+ years? In fact, the Washington Nationals were the first to practice in Jacksonville, Florida as far back as 1888! Major League Baseball would eventually return 15 years later to begin a tradition generations of families have experienced in the Sunshine State.
Spring Training Baseball is Back in Action
This is the first season since 2020 that all of the Florida Grapefruit League teams will play a regular spring training season, which is great news as the world returns to a sense of normal after the COVID pandemic.
About Spring Training Baseball in Florida and Tampa Bay
Each year, throughout the months of February and March, 15 Major League Baseball teams take to the field across our state as they warm up for the new season and entertain local crowds.
Several teams call Tampa Bay home during the season, including a hometown favorite…the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.
And unique to this year, our hometown team, the Tampa Bay Rays, will be playing at home due to their normal spring training field undergoing repairs after Hurricane Ian.
This is a great way to introduce your child to a favorite team or spend the afternoon together as a family.
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. 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 extra, so be sure to plan for that as well. In many cases, you’ll be able to pre-purchase parking.
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!
Tampa: New York Yankees
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 an 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 $28-$110.
St Petersburg: Tampa Bay Rays
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 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.
Dunedin: Toronto Blue Jays
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. Tickets range from $16-$51.
Clearwater: Philadelphia Phillies
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 $17-$39.
There is new food and Phillies gear you can pick up at the game this year, a definitely foodie’s delight! You can see the full list of new food items and gear here.
Bradenton: Pittsburg Pirates
Location: LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth Street West, Bradenton
There are a few different fun themed days on the schedule. Kids can run the bases on the Saturday games at March 11, 12 and 18. There will be postgame fireworks on Saturday, March 25.
Sarasota: Baltimore Orioles
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 Kids Run the Bases on March 12, 19 and 26. Tickets typically range from $21 to $40, depending on the game.
Lakeland: Detroit Tigers
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 stadium has undergone some upgrades and is continuing to make improvements. Some cool new features are the Kids Playground adjacent to the Berm where there is also a 27-foot inflatable Tiger bounce house and whiffle ball field.
Tickets range from $10-$90.
NorthPort/Venice: Atlanta Braves
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)
More FUN stories we think you’ll LOVE:
- The BEST Things to Do this Spring Break with the Kids in Tampa Bay
- Our Favorite Things to Do in Tampa Bay with the Kids All Year Long