Now That Seahawks Are Out, Seattleites Turn Attention to Spring Training



Posted on January 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 21 at 1:00 PM

By Mary Boone

Now that the Seattle Seahawks have been eliminated from Super Bowl contention, many Seattle sports fans are already moving ahead to their next love: the Seattle Mariners.

Will Kendrys Morales be able to boost the Mariners’ struggling offense? Will Danny Hultzen or James Paxton make it into the starting rotation? Will Franklin Gutierrez finally be healthy enough to play an entire season?

Major League Baseball’s Opening Day isn’t until April 1 (March 31, if you count the “Sunday Night Baseball” opener on March 31), but true Mariners fans have long been planning their escapes to the land of warmth and hardball: Peoria, Ariz.

Mariner pitchers and catchers report On Feb. 12 to the Peoria Sports Complex in Phoenix's northwest suburbs where the M's share the spring training facilities with the San Diego Padres. And while baseball may draw Washingtonians to the desert, it’s the area’s sun, rugged landscape and plentiful golf courses that often persuade them to stay beyond the six weeks of spring training.

Think you might enjoy living in warmer climes – at least part of the year? Consider this comparison of the Mariners’ spring training and regular season homes:

Phoenix is the nation’s sixth largest city with a population of 1.5 million people. Seattle is significantly smaller; its population of 620,000 makes it the 23rd most populated U.S. city.

Jackets are the norm in Seattle in March, where the average high temperature is 53 degrees; spring days in Phoenix are considerably warmer, with an average high of 77 degrees. Phoenix also averages 29.19 fewer inches of rain annually than Seattle.

Hungry? Both cities boast culinary delicacies that should whet any appetite. Seattleites are proud of their salmon, Dungeness crab and juicy blackberries and raspberries. Many of Phoenix’s signature dishes take inspiration from Native American or Mexican cuisine.

When it comes to real estate, Seattle’s median home value, reported by Zillow, is $387,600 – up 11 percent from a year ago. The Phoenix median home value is considerably more affordable at $123,900, a year-over-year increase of 30.3 percent.