The crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowds, and the sounds of merchants selling their beer; if it has been too long since you last heard the above, you will definitely be relieved to know that Spring Training in Sarasota is upon us! The Grapefruit League consists of 15 Major League Baseball teams all playing their heart out before the official season begins, and Sarasota and Bradenton are amongst the cities with Spring Training stadiums. Plan your Sarasota getaway between now and March 26th and enjoy one of our favorite times of the year, and on the days you can’t get to the fields, watching the games from the comfort of our Spring Training sanctuaries will be almost as good!

The Two Leagues

As every sports fan knows, there are 30 teams in the MLB, but what you may not know that those teams are broken up into two Spring Training leagues, the Cactus League that is held in Arizona and the Grapefruit League that plays right here in our home state. Although Arizona’s stadiums are all within 5 to 30 miles of each other (give or take), the Grapefruit League is divided into three separate sections: the Tampa Bay Area Spring Training (which is where our Sarasota and Bradenton stadiums are located), the Southwest Florida Spring Training (with stadiums in North Port and Port Charlotte, where we also offer properties for vacation rental purposes), and the Southeast Florida Spring Training. (These games are quite a distance from any of our rentals, as they are located on the eastern coastal side of the state.) 

The Stadiums and Who Plays Where

Today, we will concentrate on Sarasota and Bradenton stadiums (so close as to be practically interchangeable), but we are going to list the teams in the Tampa Bay Area and the stadiums in which they play below. 

  • New York Yankees, George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa
  • Philadelphia Phillies, BayCare Ball Park in Clearwater
  • Toronto Blue Jays, TD Ballpark in Dunedin
  • Detroit Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland (they’ve played here since 1966!)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates, LECOM Park in Bradenton*
  • Baltimore Orioles, Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota**

Of course the last two teams are first in our hearts, but we love them all, no matter how far away they are playing. It just makes sense that the state where summer springs eternal is also the state where the boys of summer bring their spring game, don’t you think?

Is There a Noticeable Difference in Spring Training Games?

Even as many of the stadiums are designed to replicate their home stadium (the BayCare Ball Park is a smaller version of their Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia) or even built to the exact size of their home fields (George Steinbrenner INSISTED that the field be the exact dimensions of Yankee Stadium), there are differences between regular season and Spring Training games. Spring Training brings with it a more informal air, creating an almost intimate atmosphere that feels as if fans and players are in it together. Smaller fields (with the exception of the Yankees, of course) brings players closer to where fans are sitting, and is there more of an opportunity for having foul balls signed by players at Spring Training? Absolutely! 

The Love of the Game

The electricity that sparks when your favorite player steps up to plate, the taste of cold beer and hot dogs, the feeling of sunshine warming your skin, these are just some of the ways that Spring Training and regular season are the same, and when you truly experience the love of the game, you won’t want to miss a single inning, if at all possible. As we stated at the beginning of this page, it has been far too long since the last home run, the last strike out, and the last cheers of joy when the Texas Rangers won the 2023 World Series at the end of last summer. Fortunately, the long dry spell is over, and when you choose RentTheKeys, you can spend your days at the park and your evenings at home, reveling in the comforts and luxuries we provide.

All the Comforts of Home

A day at a Spring Training game is just about as perfect a day that you could wish for, and the perfection continues at home with RentTheKeys. Spacious living rooms offer state of the art televisions that will allow fans to continue watching the games they weren’t able to attend in person. Fully equipped kitchens will provide the ideal spot to make your own ballpark franks, and if the day at the park was a hot one, many of our homes will offer private pools, and our condos will feature access to the community pools. Contact us and reserve your favorite Spring Training sanctuary today!