Spring Training Fan Guide: Giants

Spring Training Fan Guide: Giants

The new-look Giants, which feature Barry Zito at the top of the rotation, Dave Roberts at the top of the lineup and Bruce Bochy leading the squad in his first year as skipper, will be returning to a familar site: Scottsdale, their Spring Training home since 1981.

As Giants fans prepare for their journey to the desert, here are some questions and answers that should help make it an enjoyable trip for fans:

When do the Giants arrive in camp?
San Francisco pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 14 and work out the following day. Position players are due Feb. 20, and the first full workout will be that that same day.

When do games start?
Cactus League competition on the Giants' 30-game slate begins March 1 against the Cubs in Mesa, while the home opener at Scottsdale Stadium is the next day vs. the Brewers.

The Arizona portion of Spring Training concludes with a March 28 game against the Brewers at home.

The Giants also have four games in the Bay Area: March 30 vs. the Mariners (at AT&T Park), March 31 and April 1 against the A's (at AT&T Park) and April 2 against the A's (at McAfee Coliseum).

How do I get tickets?
They are available at tickets.com outlets, at Giants Dugout Stores and the Giants box office at AT&T Park. In the Phoenix area, tickets can be purchased at the Scottsdale Stadium box office. Fans can also get tickets online at www.sfgiants.com or by phone at 877-4SFGTIX.

Where is Scottsdale, and how do I get there?
Once called "The West's Most Western Town," this fast-growing city is a wonderful tourist spot about 15 minutes away (8.5 miles) from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Flight time from the San Francisco area is approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Scottsdale Stadium, at 7408 E. Osborn Road, has been the Giants' training home since 1992 and has hosted San Francisco for the past 25 years. Last spring, the club and the City of Scottsdale announced the Giants will continue training there through 2025.

Fans can reach the ballpark by taking N. Scottsdale Road to E. Drinkwater, then turning right on Osborn. You can also head north on Hayden Road and turn left on Osborn, or traveling on main thoroughfare E. Thomas Road, turn north on N. Miller Road to Osborn.

Visitors will be pleased by the renovation of the facility, which includes new practice fields east of the stadium, where the grass parking lot used to be. This necessitated the closing of 75th Street, which ran from Osborn along the east side of the ballpark.

There's a new main entrance on the north at the end of 75th Street coming south, which can be accessed from E. Second Street.

Included in the revamping of the ballpark are expanded, tiered berms for fans beyond the outfield fences, a 2,000-square-foot team store, four concession stands, four novelty stands and more ticket booths.

For Giants personnel, there are expanded home and visiting clubhouses to accommodate Minor Leaguers and non-roster players, new managers offices, larger dugouts, new training and treatment rooms, plus improved laundry and kitchen facilities.

Scottsdale Stadium boasts 10,500 seating capacity, including 8,500 stadium seats and 2,000 lawn seats.

Workouts will also be at the Minor League facility at Indian School Park, 4289 Hayden Road at Camelback Road, about five minutes from the stadium.

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How can I watch the team work out?
With the new full field and half field just east of the stadium, there may be less action at Indian School Park this spring prior to games than in previous seasons.

At Scottsdale Stadium, gates open at 11 a.m. local time on game days. Giants' batting practice, however, runs from 10-11 a.m., with infield practice from noon to 12:15 p.m. Visitors' BP is from 12:15 to 12:30.

Where can I get some autographs?
The best bet before games is near the players' parking lot, which is south of the stadium off Osborn. Athletes may arrive as early as 7 or 7:30 a.m., but most get there around 8 a.m. They must be in uniform ready to practice by 9 a.m. Be considerate and polite when asking for autographs -- don't be pushy. Saying "please" and "thank you" is appreciated.

Even with road games, the players are required to report to Scottsdale Stadium initially before busing to other venues, so they'll still be available early. On game days, fans should stand behind or on either side of the dugouts, although anywhere close to the field is OK.

What else is there to do in Scottsdale?
Plenty. The stadium is in historic Old Town Scottsdale, surrounded by a variety of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries within walking distance. Don and Charlie's is a favorite eatery for sports fans and athletes, but there are myriad Mexican and American food restaurants nearby.

For the more adventurous, there are a multitude of golf courses, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West home, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Rawhide 1880s Western Town and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hotels and motels abound, but it's best to reserve accommodations early, as this is winter visitor time.

When do the Giants open the regular season?
The Giants start the 2007 campaign at AT&T Park, where they host the National League West champion Padres on April 3 at 1:05 p.m. PT.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.