Arizona nonprofits grateful for spring training games as MLB season kicks off

Spring training has been shortened but Phoenix-area nonprofits are hoping for a lot money from it to help them through the year.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 6:46 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Tempe Diablos are pumped baseball is back. The volunteers are directing traffic at Angels’ home spring training games this season. The Diablos are partners with the Angels and the City of Tempe.

There are 40-50 Diablos volunteers at each Angels home game, and they collect payments for parking and direct traffic. That money eventually is given back to the community through scholarships or grants to another Valley nonprofit. Spring training is the biggest fundraiser for them each year. The Major League Baseball lockout cut this spring training season short over the winter, but volunteers are just happy they have a few games.

“We were excited to hear baseball was coming back; this is an important part of our contributions to the community,” volunteer Bill Ottinger said. “Baseball is really at the heart and soul of the Diablos.”

The Diablos raise several hundred thousand dollars each spring training season from the parking lots around the stadium. With fewer games, they will collect less money. They weren’t sure if they would have any games this year, so they felt fortunate to volunteer for the next couple of weeks.

“Everybody was really just excited about the game. It was really good to see everybody back,” volunteer Al Gonzalez said.

If you want to donate to the Tempe Diablos, click here.