Chicago Cubs: A Cubs fan takes a tour of the Cactus League

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Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Surprise Stadium

Yes, there is a Surprise, Arizona! The founder of the town named it Surprise because she once commented that “she would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.” It appears that she was wrong, as the city has become a big success.

One of its biggest draws is that it is home to Surprise Stadium, which hosts the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals every spring training. On February 27, I was in attendance as the Cubs traveled to take on the Rangers.

The city is located in the northwest part of the Phoenix area. From Sloan Park, it can take about an hour to get there, possibly less depending on the traffic; for us in Scottsdale, it took about 40 minutes. It seemed like slow going because we were going through a lot of city traffic, with lots of stopping and starting.

USA Today named Surprise Stadium as the best spring training facility in the Cactus League back in 2018. One big reason to like the stadium is that they offer free parking. There’s also plenty more to love, including a great selection of food, comfortable seating, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Even though the Rangers were playing that day and the Royals weren’t, the third base side of the field still was decked in Royals decor.

This stadium does not have all the frills of more modern stadiums. It’s an intimate ballpark that has a classic feel to it. I sat along the third baseline, close to the left-field foul pole, and thought I had a great view. I came very close to getting a foul ball at one point as well. Though it’s a bit difficult to get to, I would recommend visiting Surprise if you’re going on a spring training trip.