By Mark Carlisle
Fans will have more ways to connect with the game as they watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale this spring.
The stadium, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, has installed free public Wi-Fi, powered by Cox, in the stadium and concourse for the first time for fans to use during games.
The Glendale-owned facility is also rolling out its Glendale Resident Pass for a second year. Glendale residents and city of Glendale employees can buy tickets for $5 for any Sunday through Thursday game that hasn’t sold out. The tickets are for baseline reserved or lawn seats. Glendale Resident Passes can only be bought online, at CamelbackRanchBaseball.com, and the billing address of the credit card used must be in Glendale.
Camelback Ranch is coming off a year of big changes. For its 10th season in 2018, the stadium unveiled a new 30-foot by 50-foot video board, two shade canopies that shade about 1,000 additional seats down the first base line and the White Sox added decorations around the facility, including a larger-than-life bobblehead of Hall of Fame Slugger Frank Thomas.
Parking remains free at the complex, but be sure to arrive early, as lines can back up near game time.
In 2019, as always, fans will be able to find the latest Dodgers and White Sox merchandise in the gift shops, including team gear with the spring training logo.
Camelback Ranch won’t have any special merchandise or logos for its 10th anniversary. The fanfare instead was around the park’s 10th season in 2018.
“You kind of have to pick one or the other. You’re going to do the 10th season or the 10th anniversary,” said Scott Carter, director of marketing and corporate partnerships for Camelback Ranch. He added that the park chose to celebrate the 10th season in part because of the upgrades to the facility.
Mr. Carter said the park will roll out some new food options at the concessions this season. The only one announced so far are pizza tots, which are tater tots injected with cheese and marinara sauce.
The park will also continue to serve its staples. Fans can buy a the same foot-long Farmer John Dodger Dogs found at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and the same Chicago Dogs found at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. Chicago Dogs are grilled Vienna hot dogs served with yellow mustard, neon relish, diced onions, sport peppers, tomato wedges and celery salt in a poppy seed bun. Camelback Ranch will also continue to sell its famous 18-inch pizza slice.
Promotions at the ballpark this spring include Family Sundays, where children 12 and younger get lawn seats for $5 and children can run the bases after the game. Seniors will get their turn on the base paths during “Seniors Stroll the Bases” after every Thursday game.
Sunday through Wednesday, seniors and active and retired military members with valid ID can receive discounted tickets
Discounted tickets are available only at the box office on the day of the game, except for the Glendale Resident Pass, which can only be bought online. All discounts are subject to availability.
Fans looking to use the new Wi-Fi keep track of the action on the field can follow along with the MLB At-Bat app, the official app of Major League Baseball, which provides live scores and statistics. There are a lot of new faces to keep track of during spring training, and the app includes career stats and biographical information for each player.
Lack of shade had been the top fan feedback for the first nine seasons at the ballpark, Mr. Carter said, and fans voiced the appreciation for the extra shade in its first season.
“I don’t think that that can be overstated enough how much we needed that shade and how well received it was,” Mr. Carter said.
Shade canopies were not added to seats along the third-base line because, based on the positioning of the stadium, such canopies would provide shade only during the morning hours when no games are being played.
Next year, it will be easier to get to the ballpark when Ballpark Boulevard, the only road into the facility, is extended to connect with Maryland Avenue. The extension of the road that current deadends at the end of Camelback Ranch, will add another route to the facility and alleviate traffic, which can back up onto Loop 101 a mile and a half away on some game days. Mr. Carter said the extension should be complete by the start of spring training in 2020.