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Monday, January 28, 2002 - 12:00 a.m. Pacific
Meet the Mariners
The best places to get autographs from players at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Fan access Red indicates areas open to the public during spring training.
There's more to Phoenix in the spring than baseball. After you pick up your sunscreen, try any of these for fun:
1. Visit a museum. There are many to choose from, but here are three to get you started: The Heard Museum is the country's best for Native American art and culture. The Phoenix Art Museum is the largest visual arts museum between Los Angeles and Denver (edging the Blanding, Utah Art Museum, apparently). And for pop-culture weirdos, the Breck Girl Hall of Fame has pictures of Brooke Shields, Kim Basinger and other former "Breck Girls."
2. Sample the Mexican food. It's good. Anyone in your group who suggests going to Taco Bell should be put on the first bus back home.
3. See the animals at the Phoenix Zoo. The 125-acre zoo has warthogs, endangered Arabian oryx, meerkats and lots of other animals you haven't even heard of.
4. Take in a different sporting event. The NBA's Phoenix Suns and NHL's Phoenix Coyotes offer big-league action at America West Arena, and there's horse racing at Turf Paradise (dark on Wednesdays and Thursdays), college basketball at Arizona State, and the Copper World Indy 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway March 15-17.
5. Go jump in a lake. Saguaro, Canyon and Roosevelt lakes are each just a short drive away, offering boating, fishing, water skiing, picnic areas and camping.
6. Check out Heritage Square. This downtown area is the only remaining group of residential structures from the original townsite of Phoenix. The jewel is the Rosson House, built in 1895, a spectacularly restored Victorian home.
7. Play golf. We don't have room to provide a list of the courses, but don't worry, you can't fall out of a cactus without hitting one in Phoenix. They range in price from expensive to, well, not quite so expensive.
8. Go hot air ballooning. It's a tranquil, beautiful, spectacular way to see Phoenix. As long as you stay in the balloon.
9. Take the kids to Rawhide Wild West Town in Scottsdale. Gun fights, bull riding, stagecoach rides and all types of 1880s fun. Not to mention some good grub at the Steakhouse.
10. Climb a mountain. Phoenix offers great hiking, with spectacular views. Try Camelback Mountain, which also features rock climbing opportunities for real daredevils.
Old Tucson Studios. A Western theme park and film studio.
International Wildlife Museum. More than 400 mammals, birds, insects and prehistoric animals, displayed in their natural habitats.
Reid Park Zoo. More than 500 exotic animals, many endangered and threatened species.
Tucson Museum of Art. A local gallery.
Tucson Botanical Gardens. Everything you ever wanted to know about growing flowers in the desert.
The Saguaro National Monument: A beautiful drive or hike through the sentry cactus.
Jan. 26: Mariners' single-game regular-season tickets go on sale at 10 a.m.
Jan. 26-Jan. 27: Mariners' FanFest, at Safeco Field, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Feb. 14: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
Feb. 19: Full squad reports.
Feb. 28: Charity game, vs. San Diego Padres.
March 1: First spring-training game, vs. Anaheim Angels.
April 1: Season opener, vs. Chicago White Sox, at Safeco Field.
Tickets for Mariners spring-training games can be ordered through Ticketmaster, on the Mariners' Web site or in person at the Peoria Sports Complex box office.
Prices: Club seats $21, infield box $16, outfield box $13, upper box $13, bleachers $9, berm (outfield lawn) $4.
Ticketmaster: Phone 480-784-4444, 206-628-0888. Available from Ticketmaster online through www.seattlemariners.com.
Peoria Sports Complex: Box-office number is 623-878-4337 or 800-409-1511, but tickets must be purchased at the box office, not over the phone. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Group sales: Available for most games with $1 off for groups of 20 or more and $2 off for groups of 250 or more. Call the stadium box office for ordering information. Some games are subject to blackout of group discounts.
By air: Alaska Airlines, America West and Southwest offer direct flights to Phoenix. Alaska: www.alaskaairlines.com, 800-252-7522. America West: www.americawest.com, 800-235-9292. Southwest Airlines: www.southwestairlines.com, 800-435-9792.
By rail: Amtrak has departures daily from King Street Station, but there are a few problems with this plan. First, the trip goes through Los Angeles, then to Maricopa, which is 30 miles south of Phoenix. That's as close as you can get. And the train from Los Angeles to Maricopa runs on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. The trip would take about 48 hours. Round-trip fares range from $279 to $568. Phone: 800-872-7245. Web site: www.amtrak.com.
By bus: There are daily departures on Greyhound. The trip will take approximately 40 hours. Monday through Thursday, the regular round-trip fare is $155. Friday through Sunday, regular round-trip fare is $165. With seven-day advance purchase, the fare is $89. With three-day advance purchase, the first person pays full fare, the second is free. Phone: 800-231-2222. Web site: www.greyhound.com.
Peoria Chamber of Commerce: 623-979-3601.
Peoria Sports Complex box office: 800-409-1511, 623-878-4337 (tickets cannot be purchased via phone from the box office. Tickets are available by phone through Ticketmaster, 206-628-0888, 480-784-4444).
Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau: 520-624-1817.
www.peoriaarizona.com. Useful sit with information about hotels, restaurants and entertainment in Peoria.
www.phoenix.linksee.com. Where to find it in Phoenix: Attractions, entertainment, shopping malls, information about local government it's all here.
www.allaboutphoenix.com. Everything you need to know about the Phoenix area.
www.arizonaguide.com. Good spot for expanding your search to include other cities and areas in Arizona.
www.baseballarizona.com. Has information on all 10 Cactus League teams, with schedules and stadium details, player photos.
www.seattlemariners.com. The official Mariners Web site.
www.springtrainingmagazine.com. News about all the teams in Arizona and Florida.
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