The Scottsdale Charros have been hosting spring training since 1961. Fitting within their initial stated purpose of being Scottsdale’s Goodwill Ambassadors, the Charros knew that spring training baseball would continue to be a significant boost to Scottsdale tourism by bringing in visitors to the games and put Scottsdale on the map as a destination through game broadcastings.
Through grassroots support, the Charros enlisted the residents, voters, and sports fans of greater Scottsdale to help ensure the best stadium, training facilities, and loyalty for the team in residence. They served as proactive negotiators, getting the best deal for Scottsdale in the contracts with each team that has called Scottsdale its spring training home.
“In those early years, we didn’t really look at baseball as a way to make a lot of money, but as a community service because it helped the hospitality industry,” Jim Bruner explained. “Surveys showed that 60 to 70 percent of people in [Scottsdale] Stadium were from outside Maricopa County and outside of Arizona.”
Many credit Scottsdale and the Charros for saving the Cactus League in 1967 (by attracting the Cubs back to Arizona) and in the late 1980s (by bonding for a new stadium and keeping the Giants in Arizona). Thanks to their creativity, and their respect for the fans who support spring training, the Charros have ensured a great stadium experience for all who attend a game. Fans love the romance and intimacy of Scottsdale Stadium, and its hometown, friendly ambiance.
Spring training baseball has an annual economic impact of $800M for the State of Arizona and is the premier annual fundraising event for the Charros. Over the last five decades, the Scottsdale Charros and The Charro Foundation have donated millions of dollars back to the community through grants and donations to local charities and schools, students and teachers in the Scottsdale Unified School District. In 2015 the Scottsdale Charros awarded more than $500,000 to local charities, schools and in college scholarships and fellowships. The Charros could not continue their legacy of charitable giving and community involvement without the generous support of our partners, sponsors and advertisers.
So, how can you get involved and be part of the excitement? We cannot do our important work without the support of friends like you. Your support of the Charros during spring training by purchasing Charro Lodge passes, an ad in the Giants’ spring training program, or concourse/outfield banners help the Charros fund scholarships, master’s in education fellowships and grants and donations to local nonprofits.
Impact on Youth
Many of the Scottsdale Charros are fathers, and some of their early experiences in volunteerism came from getting involved in the schools, sports or after-school activities of their own children. Many Charros have also been members of the Scottsdale Jaycees, Scottsdale Boys & Girls Clubs, Scottsdale 20/30 Club, Scottsdale/Paradise Valley YMCA, Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library, Scottsdale Leadership and other groups that focus attention on serving youth or making Scottsdale a better place to live, work and play.