March is the month to head to Florida, or clear the calendar if you live there, for Major League’s spring baseball training season. Professional baseball teams practice in either Arizona or Florida and you can see great quality ballgames at pristine ballparks for a low price. In the state of Florida (the Grapefruit League), we get about half the teams practicing on the east coast and half on the gulf coast side.
My first game of the season was in Viera, minutes from Melbourne, at the Space Coast Stadium to see the Washington Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves. Let me advise you that you must have cash in order to park your vehicle, $9, but there are several ATM’s at the shopping complex past the park should you need one. Yes, that is spoken from the voice of been there, done that, had to take the u-turn of shame out of the parking loop.
We purchased our tickets online before leaving home which saves the headache of standing in line on game day; plus bleacher seats are only $12. Seemed such a bargain until we ordered lunch. Two hotdogs and two drinks set me back $29. Were they delicious? Absolutely. The good news is that for $1 more than a typical soda, you get a cool souvenir cup to take home with you.
Fans were thrilled to see their favorite players and most were sporting t-shirts and jerseys naming players Strasburg, the National’s pitcher, and Zimmerman (the Nationals have two with this last name). Braves fans were doing their traditional supportive cheers and “the chop”.
Our seats were fine and the sun was beaming. The stands were filled with cheering crowds enjoying a good dose of springtime and cold beer. Spring training makes for a great day of cheap entertainment. I love that the parks are all so nicely manicured and in perfect shape. I also love that the game is solely baseball, announcing, with a touch of the occasional music here and there; no silly side games and contests like in the real games. America loves baseball.
Click here for a list of current games and locations. Space Coast Stadium holds 8,100 fans.