2014 marks the last year that the Oakland Athletics will be traveling to the outskirts of Tempe and Phoenix. Serving as their home for spring training for the last 32 years, the Phoenix Municipal Stadium will hold its last spring training game for the A’s before they move to Mesa, Ariz. to play in the newly renovated Hohokam Stadium.
Known simply as the Phoenix Muni, the stadium was built in 1964, which is the oldest stadium in the Phoenix valley area. The Muni was constructed the same year the historic Polo Grounds, the home of the then New York Baseball Giants, was destroyed. To commemorate the ballpark, the Phoenix Muni incorporated the light posts from the Polo Grounds into its architecture. The stadium itself is in poor condition, as it is the oldest spring training facility in the Cactus League. Since it is the swan song season for the Phoenix Municipal Stadium, upgrades to the facilities have not been made in the last 10-plus years.
The stadium is across the street from Papago Park, a 1,200 acre park known for its geological formations. The park also houses the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Gardens, Municipal Golf Course, hiking and biking trails, and Hunt’s Tomb, the burial place of Arizona’s first governor. The Phoenix Muni is also very close to Arizona State University’s campus.
The players spend most of their time in the Phoenix area at bars and enjoying the Arizona weather. Additionally, players enjoy going across the street to Papago Park and enjoying the tourist attractions there.