Free fanfest Baseball City in Scottsdale March 7-8

The second Baseball City fan festival, an interactive event that serves as a tie-in to Cactus League spring training, has moved to Scottsdale and is free this year.

Baseball Hall of Famers Ferguson Jenkins and Orlando Cepeda, baseball legend Steve Garvey, Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill and pitcher Archie Bradley are expected to appear at the festival, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday on Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall.

The fan fest includes interactive games like speed pitch, professional batting cages, a steal home challenge and a merchandise section with the newest baseball gear and equipment.

The Legacy Agency, which organized the event, has dropped the $15 at-the-door tickets in exchange for small fees for some interactive games. Last year, Baseball City was held at the Phoenix Convention Center. About 5,000 people visited, but The Legacy Agency is hoping to draw twice that number this year during the two-day festival.

The Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, which is next to the San Francisco Giants spring training home at Scottsdale Stadium, should draw more people, said Mike McCarthy, Legacy’s vice president of new business and business development.

“It was challenging to get people to come inside (the Phoenix Convention Center) during the beautiful weather that Arizona is known for,” McCarthy said. “Now we have a consumer friendly, outdoor environment with proximity to baseball.”

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Making the event free was a way to grow the event so that it attracts not only Valley residents but visitors from outside the state. The Legacy Agency committed to spending $150,000 to market to residents of cities such as Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.

The city of Scottsdale contributed $75,000 toward the event.

Mike Phillips, Scottsdale’s public affairs manager, said the six weeks of spring training in Scottsdale are of vital economic importance to the city and are ripe for an event to capitalize on.

“Early in the season there are a lot of empty seats,” Phillips said. “Going back three or four years ago we realized we could develop different partnerships around spring training and that we should develop more interest early in spring training.”

New this year to the fan festival is the “Science of Baseball.” Produced by the Arizona SciTech Festival, the staffs at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona will showcase baseball’s future through interactive experiments.



Phoenix Convention Center morphs into the ultimate interactive baseball experience. The even runs 9am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday.

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