Yankees’ Spring Training
From the Tampa airport, follow signs to Legends (soon to be Steinbrenner) Field. The 11,076-seat ballpark has the same outfield dimensions as Yankee Stadium. American, Delta, and JetBlue fly direct ($200 round-trip).
GETTING GAME TIX
Spring training has been big business for the Yankees for years, and most games are sold out; what tickets are available are at Yankees.com ($17 to $30). If you get shut out, prepare to pay as much as $75 for a scalped ticket (and a lot more if it’s the March 17 game against Boston).
WHERE TO STAY
There are hundreds of hotels in Tampa in all price ranges, but Clearwater or St. Petersburg, both 30 minutes away, have better beaches. Try the Sea Captain Resort on the Bay (727-446-7550), near Clearwater Beach. Another similarity to New York: Expect traffic to and from games.
AT THE FIELD
Gates open two hours before game time, so show up early and get close to the dugouts if you want autographs. Kyle Farnsworth, Jason Giambi, and Johnny Damon probably sign the most of any Yankee; A-Rod is hit-or-miss. The team built a new deck area beyond the right-field fence this year that should be a mellow spot to watch games.
WHERE TO EAT
Brian Cashman likes to mull over trades at the Capital Grille (813-830-9433). Other Yankees bigwigs prefer the Palm (813-849-7256). A-Rod has been spotted at Roy’s (813-873-7697), which bills itself as a Hawaiian fusion restaurant (hey, you’re not here for the food). Bennigan’s (813-872-7566), near Legends, fills up with fans looking for late snacks.
AFTER THE GAME
What do Tampa teens and Yankees players have in common? They both spend too much time at the International Plaza mall (813-342-3790). If your kids are sick of baseball, check out the white-tiger cubs at Lowry Park Zoo (813-935-8552).