A Guide to Grapefruit League Baseball in Florida

Fun’s on deck when it’s time to play ball in Florida! Here’s our playbook for navigating the spring games.

Catch a spring training game in St. Petersburg, FL


As the mild winters give way to warm and sunny temps, Grapefruit League players and fans head south for spring training. With 12 teams playing in Florida’s coastal cities and 3 in the center, a spring training vacation in the Sunshine State has plenty of games to keep you busy. Here’s a quick look at the Florida baseball stadiums and the teams who play there:

  • The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is the new home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. They moved to this West Palm Beach stadium in 2017. The stadium lot is your only parking option because there’s nothing else nearby, so arrive early to ensure a good spot. The cost: $10 per vehicle.
  • Located in Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Champion Stadium has been the springtime home of the Atlanta Braves since 1998. There’s two lots to choose from, and parking is free. Since the stadium is inside the Disney World theme park, it’s a very high traffic area—so arrive early on game day.
  • First Data Field, located on Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast in Port St. Lucie, is where the New York Mets play their spring training games. Parking can be found on the grass field behind the stadium for $10.
  • The massive George Steinbrenner Field, home of the New York Yankees, is located in Tampa. You’ll find some of the best amenities and the some of the most expensive ticket prices here. Parking is $10 per vehicle in the grass lots at Raymond James Stadium, located across the street.
  • Charlotte Sports Park, where the Tampa Bay Rays play in the spring, is located in Port Charlotte. There’s a playground for the kids—and a tiki bar for adults. Parking in the two available lots is $10 per vehicle.
  • Ed Smith Stadium, also called “Birdland South,” is home to the Baltimore Orioles. Located in sunny Sarasota, there’s onsite parking for $10—or you can save a few bucks and park in any of the “unofficial” lots nearby.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies call Spectrum Field in Clearwater their home for spring training. Built in 2002, it’s one of the newest spring training stadiums. Parking is $10 per vehicle and very limited—but most fans find parking shaded by trees for only $5 at NE Coachman Park just a short walk away.
  • Built in 1930 and brimming with history, Dunedin Stadium is the only spring training location the Toronto Blue Jays have ever called home. Located in a more residential area of Dunedin, neighborhood parking lots range from $5-$10, with limited stadium parking running $15 per vehicle.
  • Hammond Stadium in Fort Meyers, inspired by Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby), is where the Minnesota Twins play. There’s plenty of parking at the stadium for $10; but game traffic can be heavy. So to save time, it’s recommended you exit at the back gate.
  • Joker Marchant Stadium, where the Detroit Tigers play, is located in Lakeland and underwent a 37-million upgrade in 2016. Parking is $10 at the stadium, or $5 at the Christ Lutheran Church across the street.
  • Roger Dean Stadium, host of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, is located in Jupiter. You’ll find several lots that offer $10 parking ($25 for RVs)—or, if you buy season passes, garage parking is free!
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates head to the oldest spring training park still in use: LECOM Park. Over 90 years old, this Bradenton centerpiece recently went under major renovations. Parking is limited, and the price varies; but season ticket holders get a $2 discount.
  • Jet Blue Park in Fort Meyers, complete with its own “Green Monster” in left field, is a replica of Fenway Park—the home stadium of the Boston Red Sox. There’s plenty of parking on onsite for $10 per vehicle; or you can park in an alternate lot (which is easier to get in and out of) about a quarter-mile away for just $5.

Planning Your Trip

Swing by Tampa on your Florida spring training trip!

Unlike the Cactus League, where every stadium can be found in the Phoenix metro area, Grapefruit League stadiums are all spread across the state of Florida. If you’re not short on time, you can make the epic round trip by car—catching a game a day in all 12 cities in one big 500-plus mile road trip. If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, you can visit more than half of the stadiums in Florida by sticking to the Gulf Coast. Fly into St. Petersburg, catch games in Clearwater and Tampa, then head south toward Sarasota. If your favorite team plays on the east side of the state, start up in Kissimmee, then head south toward West Palm Beach. Or, if you’re heading to the Sunshine State to just see your favorite team play, every stadium is conveniently located within about an hour’s drive from a major airport.

What You Can & Can’t Bring

Every stadium has their own policy as to what you can and can’t bring. Generally, things like umbrellas, coolers, and lawn chairs are prohibited. Strollers are allowed for children. You can bring backpacks, purses and baby bags into the park as long as they measure 16 x 6 x 8 inches, or less. And you’ll have to leave your furry friend at home, as pets are not allowed in any of the stadiums, with the exception of service animals. And while not quite as hot as Arizona, sunscreen in Florida is still absolutely essential. Many of the stadiums offer seats in the shade, but they’re still limited overall—so expect to spend a lot of time in the sun. Staying hydrated is essential as well. Most stadiums allow at least one factory sealed water bottle, or one empty, reusable bottle per person.

Ready to swing into Grapefruit League baseball? Find hotels in Bradenton, Clearwater, Dunedin, Fort Meyers, Jupiter, Lake Buena Vista, Lakeland, Port Charlotte, Port St. Lucie, Sarasota, Tampa, West Palm Beach.




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