2019 MLB Spring Training Set to Boost East Valley Economy, Again

We’ve been poised for this for a couple of years now. We began to upgrade current spring training ball parks and fields to create a better experience for the professional ball players that call Mesa, Glendale, Tempe and Peoria their training camp home. The benefit to their fans? Game time from February to March is that much sweeter. And for those who own property in the area, 2019 MLB spring training will be a repeat of last year to the local economy, and then some.

Baseball Fans Come in Droves and Spend

According to Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, spring training events in 2018 collectively brought in $373 million for the state’s GDP. Moreover, the final number on the economic activity from spring training in 2018 was $644.2 million. That’s a nice chunk of change.

As baseball fans continue to drain money like water, we don’t mind drowning in the overflow. And it’s continuous, year-to-year, said Anthony Evans of ASU Carey, author of the study that examined the economic impact of spring training to Arizona. In addition to retail, hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment hubs getting a piece of that pie, real estate investors also reap the rewards.

At First Glance Is All It Takes

Known as the “Cactus League”, baseball enthusiasts come from all over the U.S. to enjoy their favorite team within a vacation backdrop that only the desert Southwest in Arizona can provide, somewhat in perpetuity. Here’s how.

Between our international visitors and domestic snowbirds, the average stay in the Valley during a spring training visit is 4 to 5 days. For anyone coming from home that is overwrought with subfreezing temperatures, or skyrocketing real estate pricing and lackluster quality of life, spring training provides them an opportunity to look at Phoenix and surrounding cities with a fresh set of eyes.

As the cost to attend a spring training game etches upward and local resorts and ancillary businesses attract a more upscale audience, business owners and investors from outside Arizona will take notice of what our real estate has to offer.

Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa have the lion’s share of attention during the “preseason” due to the Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, and San Francisco Giants but Milwaukee fans are chomping at the bit for the $75 million renovation of their facility in Maryvale, owned by the City of Phoenix. The project includes a provision that the Brewers use this as their spring training facility through the year 2042, if not longer.

2019 Spring Training in Phoenix Carries Educational Benefits

Like other sports venues in the Phoenix metro area, local residents can benefit from their use beyond the original intent surrounding sports. For the newly renovated Brewer Park in Maryvale, nearby Grand Canyon University (GCU) plays a hand in an adjunct usage. The outdoor attraction will also house a learning hub for local students, making free tutoring available to students who might otherwise not have access to such community services. This program was made possible by GCU in partnership with the Brewers.

Rethink Real Estate Investment Holdings

Arizona is categorically known for its real estate cycles. True, some may refer to them as hills and valleys or sweeps. We all know much has to do with timing, strength of economy (both local, national and global) and what tangible assets are available that support traffic to the area.

Phoenix Is Not That Small Town Anymore

Until a resident of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Seattle, Portland, Miami, Boston, New York or any other big city in the United States comes to visit Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert or other Arizona cities, they often have a misperception about our state. It’s uncanny to think that anyone believes we are still small town, considering that Phoenix is America’s 5th largest city. Moreover, we consistently hold top positions regarding growth and best places to live, while real estate price points and property taxes are relatively low compared to many other big cities.

From this perspective, Arizona is one of real estate’s positive surprises.

Phoenix Area to be a Sports Tourism Stronghold within Next Five Years

While no one can predict wins and losses for any of the Arizona professional sports organizations (though sportscasters and fans might bet their lottery tickets on their opinions), two financial windfalls will set foot in the Valley in 2023 and 2024.

In addition to MLB Spring Training and the PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open, Phoenix will host the Super Bowl in 2023 and the Final Four in 2024. With this in mind, real estate investors and would-be property owners should start spinning their mind wheels. Consider where and how best to take advantage of the upcoming financial prospects that will surely come with the territory.

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