Sports in the Phoenix Area
It’s that time of year again. The crisp air becomes a bit warmer, and the breeze doesn’t pick up quite the same way. The frozen ground begins to thaw and the first signs of spring show themselves tentatively. And for the sports fans, the slow warming of the northern hemisphere comes either with the promise of a new beginning, a strong push to the playoffs, or the realization of the long months ahead.
For baseball, specifically, it means spring training and an exciting season on the horizon. It’s the time when athletes stretch out their hibernated limbs and get back into the ball game. Whichever major sport you prefer, it is certainly difficult not to be excited when one season ends and the next begins.
If you live in Phoenix, one of only ten cities to house at least one of each major sport, every season brings new excitement and an array of opportunities to represent your local team. It is a luxury that only a minority of sports fans get to enjoy, and though it may seem odd that a desert city would be a high market for each of the four major leagues, even hockey, the Phoenix fan-base has proven itself worthy of their possession. People load up the car to Phoenix from all across the country for this exciting time of year.
The teams have become storied franchises in their own rights. Here’s a quick glance at all the major sports teams Phoenix residents get to enjoy!
It’s hard not to enjoy hearing Charles Barkley, perhaps the biggest star to play for the team, say “The Phoenix Suns”. The man’s voice is simply entertaining on its own. For many, Charles Barkley is the reason they became a Phoenix Suns fan. But the organization actually dates back further than you might have imagined.
Created as an expansion team in 1968, the Suns have now established the fourth best all-time winning percentage, at 55-percent. They were also the first professional sports team in the city, their name being chosen by a vote through the Arizona Republic, making a true team of the people.
Pay a visit to Talking Stick Resort Arena to catch Phoenix’s oldest major league club in action! One thing to note though, traffic headed downtown for a game can be a bit tricky at times, especially during rush hour, so give yourself ample time for the commute.
While the Suns may be the oldest professional team in Phoenix, the Arizona Cardinals are the longest continuously run football franchise in the nation. The Cardinals began as the Morgan Athletic Club, in Chicago, all the way back in 1898. Their red colors earned them the nickname “Cardinals” and since then, they have moved to St. Louis and eventually to Phoenix.
There is definitely another level of electricity when going to see a team whose history spans over a century. Though they haven’t won a super bowl as of yet, they have had some pretty close finishes and seasons to remember for years. As a possible consolation, their home turf, the University of Phoenix Stadium, has played host to the big dance twice and multiple college championships and bowl games. So, no matter what, if you pay a visit to this beautiful stadium, you’re sure to see some exciting football!
The Coyote is just a very unique choice of animal, and their jerseys in the ‘90’s were simply epic. Since then, however, the team has certainly seen some hard times. After declaring bankruptcy in 2009, the franchise was turned over to the league. Fans were certainly worried the team would move to a different city, but luckily, a deal was made in 2013 to keep the team around for the near future. This hope was further solidified when plans were announced that in 2019 the team would be moving to a state-of-the-art facility built in Tempe. The fans can rest easy with that fact, and look forward to enjoying a new entertainment venue!
Before we get to the team, it is important to acknowledge the long history and rich tradition Phoenix has with Baseball. Before the team was formed, the warm and dry springs made a perfect environment for spring training leagues to operate there. In fact, spring training season is one of the many reasons to purchase property in Phoenix. Professional teams had been using the area for just that purpose since 1929 when the Detroit Tigers first decided to spend their March in the desert.
The Diamondbacks were formed in 1998, and completed the city’s bid to become the tenth team to host all four major sports. Though the name was changed from Bank One Ballpark, the Diamondbacks have played at Chase field for every season since they began. Although they may have arrived late to the party in Phoenix, in 2001 they won the World Series, becoming the first franchise to win a major national championship in the city.
Spring is a time of awakening, and the world of sports is no different. March specifically begins to buzz with the college basketball tournament, spring training, and playoff pushes for hockey and the NBA. So, whether you’re in Phoenix to hike, bike, or relax, sports are always a great activity to close out a day, or start the afternoon off right. There’s no doubt you’ll find many activities to enjoy in Phoenix!