- About Surprise
Welcome To Surprise, Arizona
What’s it like to live-and-play in a city named Surprise? Well, pardon the cliché but it’s full of surprises!
Our sprawling suburban city is located in the northwest Phoenix Metropolitan area, just 45 minutes from Downtown Phoenix and the Sky Harbor International Airport.
Residents and visitors enjoy the small-town feel with big-city amenities that only Surprise can offer. From community celebrations, art galleries and cultural experiences, to regional festivals, our multigenerational city has something for everyone.
Surprise is home to the southwest’s largest tennis and racquet complex, professionally designed golf courses, an urban fishing lake and aquatic centers.
Each spring, our population explodes when we welcome the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers during the Cactus League Spring Training! Voted 2018’s Number 1 Spring Training Stadium in Arizona by USA Today*, Surprise Stadium offers the ultimate baseball fan experience complete with up-close and personal interactions with your favorite major leaguers!
The stadium hosts minor league teams, national high school and college baseball tournaments, USA Professional Baseball teams, events and more during the Major League Baseball regular season.
Surprise is bounded by the expansive White Tank Mountain range to the west and the beautiful Sonoran Desert and Lake Pleasant Regional Park to the north. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy that hiking, fishing and camping are within a 20-minute drive when living-in or visiting Surprise.
Our contiguity to the Phoenix Metropolitan area provides residents and visitors opportunities to experience all that a bustling metropolis has to offer including world-renowned shopping and dining, concert and sports venues, theatres, adventure excursions and more!
Plus, Surprise’s proximity to scenic cities like Sedona, Prescott and Flagstaff, the always-open city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the beaches and mega-metropolises in California mean that day-trips and weekend getaways are a road trip reality!
Ready to visit Surprise? Plan your trip and Find Your Surprise on our one-stop-shop-and-play visitor website exploresurprise.com!
* (Feb. 22, 2018) USA Today: Ranking Arizona spring training parks: Surprise at the top https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2018/02/22/ranking-arizona-spring-training-parks/364244002/
Our city was just one square mile of farmland back in 1938 when Flora Mae Statler founded it. So why did she call us Surprise? According to Statler’s daughter Elizabeth Wusich Stoft, her mother once commented "she would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much."
We are confident that Flora Mae would indeed be surprised of how this once small town has developed and grown into the Surprise of today.
The original one square mile of farmlands still exists and is aptly called “The Original Townsite”.
Learn more about how this once small farming community transformed into Arizona’s 10th largest-city in “The City of Surprise: A History in Progress,” a 104-page book full of photos and anecdotes, plus an accompanying DVD documentary set. The book is available for purchase at the Surprise History Project, or you can watch the video at https://surprisetv.surpriseaz.gov.
- Population: 149,710 (MAG July 1, 2021 Estimate)
- Incorporated: 1960
- Size: Approx. 110 incorporated square miles; approx. 302 square miles of planning area - Current City Limits Map
- Government: Surprise is governed on the local level by a mayor and a six-member city council. The mayor is elected at large, while the council members are elected from the six districts which they represent. All representatives serve four-year terms.
Awards & Recognitions
2021 - The City of Surprise Economic Development Department is recognized with three Excellence in Economic Development Silver Awards by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
2018 – AZ TechCelerator’s Global Concierge program wins Westmarc’s Best of the West
2018 – AZ TechCelerator accepted into the Global Soft Landings Network under the International Business Innovation Association (inBIA).
2018 - Surprise awarded International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for the annual Surprise Retail Survey. “Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award” in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More.
Human Service & Community Vitality
2018 – Phoenix Business Journal recognizes Surprise Resource Center partner as Health Care Heroes award finalist
2017 – City of Surprise selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards
2021 - Surprise named 6th safest city in Arizona by Safewise.com
2021, 2019, 2017 - Surprise Fire-Medical Department awarded American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award
Recreation & Tourism
2021 - Surprise Parks & Recreation wins the Outstanding Program - Adaptive Program Award through the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association for their Virtual Bingo program
2019 – City wins Outstanding Marketing Campaign – Rural for its Find Your Surprise marketing campaign, including the website ExploreSurprise.com at the Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism
2018 - Surprise Stadium, spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City royals, ranked the No. 1 Spring Training stadium in Arizona USA TODAY
2018 – Surprise’s Adaptive Spring Sports Training Clinic wins the “Outstanding Program – Adaptive Program Award” for populations over 100,000 at the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association Awards
2017 - Community and Recreation Services awarded gold and silver in multiple categories on at the 23rd Annual APS Arizona Talent in Event Concepts Awards