The A’s released their 2013 Cactus League schedule today. As mentioned earlier in the week, the World Baseball Classic adds a wrinkle or two to the schedule. The first game is on Saturday, February 23 against the Brewers. Two split squad days (March 5 & 16) are scheduled, the former day including an exhibition against an unnamed WBC team. Judging from the WBC schedule, the opponent will be Team USA, Mexico, Italy, or a qualifier.
Right off that bat I can recommend a week to attend: February 27 to March 5. That starts off with a home game vs. the Mariners, followed by road game vs. the Cubs at the A’s possible future home, HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa. After that are home tilts against the Giants and Padres. March 3 is an away game vs. the Rockies at Salt River Fields, then a home game against the Angels, and finally the split squad affair including the WBC exhibition. Not all Cactus League teams have posted their schedules yet, but you can assume that there will be a good number of night games on the slate if you’re interested. If you’re interested in syncing your trip with WBC games, aim for the following week, March 7-12.
On a tangential note, a deal for the Arizona State University baseball team to play at the Cubs’ new spring training facility has fallen through. The break came as a result of a disagreement over concessions revenue and facility access for the school’s baseball program. The Cubs were offering to let ASU play at the rent-free. The deal is not expected to have any effect on the A’s move to HoHoKam/Fitch Park once the Cubs move away. ASU is expected to turn its attention to the A’s current Cactus League home, Phoenix Municipal Stadium, once the A’s vacate. A formal announcement about the A’s move to Mesa could come as spring training starts.