Bisson: Spring training brings economic wealth to Arizona

Those who know me, know I love watching baseball.

Charlene Bisson

While I root for my home team — go D’backs — I enjoy catching the news about the New York Mets, and following former Diamondbacks players whom no longer make Arizona home.

Spring training brings a wealth of economic value to Arizona. According to statistics from the Arizona Cactus League Association’s website, cactusleague.com, “The 2018 Cactus League season generated an estimated economic impact of $644.2 million, according to a study by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The study, which surveyed only out-of-state visitors, also found that the Cactus League generated $373 million for Arizona’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Bill Pupo, vice president of communications for the Arizona Cactus League Association, said spring training helps elevate several industries, including restaurants, lodging, vacation and car rentals, air and bus transportation.

“People don’t think about it, but it’s a big deal for specific industries,” Mr. Pupo said. “A plane ticket into Phoenix is considerably more expensive during spring training.” Mr. Pupo notes he was checking out tickets from his hometown of Spokane, Washington.

His biggest advice for baseball fans — leave early before the game.

“Traffic this time of year, mixed in with the snow birds, doesn’t move as rapidly and watch for construction on the freeways,” he added.

While spring training schedules are pretty much set, it’s always best practice for patrons to double check the schedule and times each day because they can change.

Mr. Pupo noted that most fans don’t realize how much Major League Baseball organizations give back to the local economy by donating specific game proceeds to charity groups associated with the stadiums. “It’s thanks to their generosity,” he said.

The 2019 Cactus League Hall of Fame class are three former players Ken Griffey Jr., Robin Yount and Fergie Jenkins — all Baseball Hall of Famers. They’re joined by hometown Diamondbacks’ longtime organist Bobby Freeman and former MLB executive Roland Hemond, who spent 16 years with the D’backs during a seven-decade career in baseball.

The event took place Feb. 19 at the annual Cactus League Luncheon at the Grand Canyon University.

I hope you have a chance to steal some time for yourself and enjoy one of your favorite baseball teams this spring training season.

We welcome feedback

Please let me know your thoughts on this month’s Queen Creek Independent, and how we can better serve the needs of your community through our newsroom coverage.

Charlene Bisson
Publisher
Queen Creek Independent

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