Fan Guide: Texas Rangers

Spring Training Fan Guide: Rangers

The goal for the Rangers is a World Series championship in October, but it all starts in February in Surprise, Ariz., in a facility where the Rangers have trained since 2002.

New players like Ian Kinsler, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla and Adam Eaton should give the fans plenty to be excited about -- even in March. Familiar faces like Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock and Michael Young have also proven to be fan favorites, and that trend doesn't look like it will end anytime soon.

Rangers manager Buck Showalter enters his fourth season, and many believe this could be the year the club makes serious progress. After a promising 2004, the Rangers had disappointing season in 2005, but the club has the pitching prowess and the offensive power to shoot up the standings in the American League West.

As Rangers fans prepare to journey to Spring Training, here's some information that should help.

When do the Rangers arrive at camp?
Rangers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 15, with the position players following on Feb. 20. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 21.

When do games start?
The Rangers' first game of Spring Training is scheduled for March 2 against the Royals at Surprise Stadium. The Rangers will have 14 games in Surprise and 28 overall before the start of the season. The opponents for the home games are the Rockies, Athletics, Giants, Diamondbacks, Angels, White Sox, Cubs, Mariners and Padres.

On March 31, the Rangers will square off against the Florida Marlins at the DP7UP Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. On April 1, the Rangers will take on the Florida Marlins at Ameriquest Field in Arlington.

How do I get tickets?
Tickets for all Rangers Spring Training games at Surprise Stadium are on sale now and can be purchased online at the Rangers' Spring Training Tickets page, the Surprise Stadium box office or by calling 800-326-4000. Surprise Stadium seats 10,500 fans and is located on a 124-acre site that includes six full practice fields and a half field, as well as separate clubhouse and office facilities for the Rangers and Royals.

Where is Surprise, and how do I get there?
There are non-stop flights to Phoenix from Dallas through several airlines.

Located approximately 25 miles northwest of Phoenix in Maricopa County, getting to the Surprise Recreation Campus is an easy trip. From Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport, go west on I-10 to Route 101 North and then take the Bell Road exit. Go left on Bell Road for about six miles, and the Surprise Recreation Campus will be on the left.

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To reach Surprise Stadium on game days, make a left on Bullard Avenue and park in one of the lots outside of the center-field entrance.

How can I watch the team work out?
There is no charge to see the Rangers work out on their fields at the Surprise Recreation Campus, but be sure to get there early.

Before the start of the Cactus League schedule, the Major League team hits the field around 9 a.m. local time for stretching exercises before spreading out among the fields. Once the games begin, there's only a morning session prior to the game. Occasionally, there are "B" games or scrimmages on the back fields while the "A" club is playing on the main field at the Surprise Complex. The bleachers are close to the field and perfect for baseball watching.

Where can I get autographs?
A good time to get autographs is early in the morning as players are on their way to stretch or after the workout as they head into the clubhouse. Occasionally, players will sign as they move from station to station, but most jog and don't always stop to sign. A good spot to wait is in front of the main parking lot but within the designated area. All players take a similar path to the clubhouse. Helpful security guards can also provide tips.

What else is there to do in Surprise?
The city of Surprise is a growing community. In addition to numerous chain restaurants, there are also local favorites with a "hometown" feel. The weather is perfect for a stroll in the park, and the nightlife provides options for adults. The White Tank Regional Park on the city's western edge is a beautiful destination.

For more information on Surprise, visit the city's Web site at

When do the Rangers open the regular season?
On April 3, the Rangers will host Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. CT at Ameriquest Field in Arlington.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.