The raindrops of the Pacific Northwest will soon give way to the Arizona sun, as the Mariners depart for yet another Spring Training season filled with hope and optimism.
Here's a quick-hit guide to Spring Training, with answers to frequently asked questions about the Peoria Sports Complex, the spring schedule and what the Mariners will be doing on a daily basis in the desert.
When do the Mariners arrive at camp?
The Mariners' pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training on Feb. 14, with the position players following on Feb. 19. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 20.
When do games start?
The Mariners' 2007 Spring Training campaign begins with the annual charity game against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, March 1, and the Mariners will play 16 home games, including split-squad matchups, at the Peoria Sports Complex and one game against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, March 31, at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Nev., home of the Pacific Coast League Las Vegas 51s.
How do I get tickets?
Individual-game tickets to 2007 Mariners Spring Training are available online at www.seattlemariners.com, in person at the Peoria Sports Complex Box Office or any Arizona Ticketmaster Ticket Outlet, by phone at Ticketmaster AZ (480-784-4444) or Ticketmaster NW (206-622-HITS) and by mail from the Peoria Diamond Club, 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85382.
Peoria Stadium holds 10,123 fans, including about 3,000 on the berm beyond the outfield fence -- always a popular spot for families. The stadium also has some seating in the shade, as well as a fully stocked concession stands on the outer concourse.
Where is Peoria, and how do I get there?
Several airlines offer non-stop flights of about three hours' duration from Seattle to Phoenix, so that's the preferred method for most.
Located about 25 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix and about a 45-minute drive from the airport, the Peoria Sports Complex is shared by the Mariners and Padres.
To get to the Mariners' half of the Peoria Sports Complex, exit Loop 101 at Bell Rd. and head east to 83rd Ave., the next intersection, and take a right. You'll see the complex about a half-mile up on your left. The Mariners' complex is west of the stadium, marked by a team logo on the building. Parking is available there in the lot behind the stadium's home plate entrance.
How can I watch the team work out?
There is no admission to see the Mariners work out on their fields at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Before the start of the Cactus League schedule, the Major League team hits the field around 9:30 a.m., and some hitters stay out there well into the afternoon. Once the games begin, there's only a morning session prior to the game.
Where can I get some autographs?
If they're finished with their work for the day, you might catch players heading back to the clubhouse. You can also catch players as they enter and exit the parking lot. Once games start, the seats down the right-field line and the fenced area located along the road between the stadium and the clubhouse are prime autograph spots.
What else is there to do in Peoria?
There are plenty of restaurants, shops and hotels right around the corner from the complex, most along Bell Road. Believe it or not, there's also an ice rink nearby, plus movie theaters and plenty of shopping.
For more information on Peoria, visit the city's Web site: www.peoriaaz.com.
When do the Mariners open the regular season?
The regular season begins Monday, April 2, at Safeco Field at 3:35 p.m. PT against the division-rival A's. Single-game tickets for the regular season go on sale March 3.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.