Results tagged ‘ Ballparks ’
After yesterday’s knock down, drag out summit meeting (more on that later), Prez Derrick Hall was kind enough to personally show us many of Chase Field’s cronyish crannies – like a second floor White House tour with Dubya – only our guide had a higher approval rating. And, unlike 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, no one else here was outside waiting to get in.
1. It’s a big complex under the stands! I had envisioned a clubhouse, some bathrooms, a couple meeting rooms and a cage, but it’s quite the little city down there, with a maze of corridors lined with snack bars, video rooms, lounges – in addition to the massive locker room and weight training facility.
What? No Starbucks!?!?
The kid insists this is Bob Melvin’s office. Then the "C" on the cap must be for Cal – or communicator.
2. Lots of construction. On the Diamond level, they tore out a couple prime suites off home plate in favor of a glass plated common area where, if I understood Derrick correctly, anyone with a Diamond level ticket can eat while watching the game. Not sure how that’ll work exactly, but if it’s truly free access, it should be very popular.
Locker room’s attractive, in a circular, commercial kind of way. Almost expected a US Airways Vegas rep to announce that my return flight to Phoenix had been delayed.
Not much activity in the locker room. We saw these folks hanging around Chris Young’s locker for some reason. Relatives, perhaps.
Who knew that a) coaches have a separate locker room, and b) Bryan Price was such a clothes horse?
This pic doesnt show the row of whirlpools beyond this therapy pool, but the Sea World scale decking should convey how large an area it is. It’s rumored the hook and life preserver were added in 2005, shortly after the Russ Ortiz acquisition.
Not much taste in drapes, but this is a back office.
"Randy’s tire" according to Hall, located in the hallway leading from the home dugout. Intended to supplant water cooler as primary object of players’ "affection".
Finally, here’s a couple of about a dozen plaques acknowledging franchise history. Derrick said he’d like to eventually relocate these to his proposed centerfield museum, where all the fans can take a moment and reminisce. Splendid idea.
Many dont know it, but the cherubic Hall actually has four babies – two boys, a girl…and this colossal scoreboard of his. It’s not quite as huge as I had imagined (feared). Still plenty big, but there’s a green "frame" around the visual screen. It seemed more ominous looking up from the dugout than it did from the Diamond level. Like most boys, we agreed that while size matters, the value of a scoreboard, like any tool, is more in how you use it. Hall sounded excited about it’s multiple functionality and assured me "its not gonna be advertisements". The board displayed the world’s largest test pattern while we were there, so at this point, I’m neither fer nor agin it. I like the new sign arcing over the scoreboard though:
Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Yes, it’s corporate, yes it’s the "wrong" colors from where I sit, but it’s big ‘n proud and gives one a clearer sense of place than the old AZ Republic piecemeal signage.
A big thanks to Derrick Hall. There’s 30 club presidents in the majors, and I daresay there arent three or four who’d take his initiative (he – not his assistant -emailed me twice, after I lost his initial invitation in my spam box) to reconnect with a disgruntled fan; then set aside more time to personally walk us around. Was there a business agenda here? Sure. Am I more a potential nuisance than the average fan? Yeah. Do we still disagree on a number of things. Affirmative. But baseball executives perform their duties, address their agendas in myriad ways, and it’s not every day a club president escorts you and your kid around a major league ballpark. All that was his idea, not mine. Like I say, there may not be three or four others in major league baseball.
There may not be any.
Bob Feller threw a strike to some kid in Goodyear the other day to help break ground at the Cleveland Indians new spring training facility. He’s 88, and has been making appearances of one kind or another for more than seventy years.
When he was seventeen, he signed some papers to leave high school early, and struck out 15 batters in his first major league start setting an American League record. At 18, he led the league in strikeouts and went 17-9. By the time he was 20, he was winning twenty four games a year like clockwork. Not twenty games per year. Twenty four games.
As a 22 year old, he opened the season with a no hitter and was the AL’s top MVP vote getter – among pitchers – for the third consecutive year. They didnt have a Cy Young Award then – he would’ve won a handful if they had. Instead he’d finish behind Jo Dimaggio or Foxx or Greenberg. In 1941, he finished third, behind Dimaggio (56g streak) and Ted Williams (.406). Despite his youth, there was no question Bob Feller was already the major league’s best pitcher – and the sky, of course, was the limit.
That winter, Feller was driving from his Iowa farm to Chicago to sign an extension with the Indians. The money would come in handy as his father was dying of cancer. As he crossed the Mississippi river near Davenport, IA, he learned over the car radio that the territory of Oahu had been attacked by Japan. The next day, President Roosevelt delivered his ‘infamy’ speech, and the following morning at 8AM, baseball’s greatest pitcher walked into the Chicago Naval recruiting station, all in.
He says he would’ve enlisted sooner, but had to wait for his friend and former heavyweight boxing champ, Gene Tunney, to fly into Chicago and sign him up. Tunney ran the Navy’s physical fitness program, and that’s where Feller eased into his military service. Before long, he said to he11 with it and trained to be a combat gunner. He fought in the Atlantic and Pacific for nearly four years on the USS Alabama and won eight battle stars.
The war must’ve rejuvenated the Iowa farmboy, because in his first full season (1946) back with Cleveland, Rapid Robert won 26 games , pitching more innings (371) and striking out more hitters (348) than any pitcher in half a century. He pitched 3 innings in the All Star Game that year – at Fenway Park. My father, fourteen, was there and said Feller’s fastballs looked like an aspirin tablets.
Feller finished with 266 victories and a fine .621 winning %. It’s not at all outlandish to assume he could’ve won an additional 80 to 100 games had he not joined the Navy in the prime of his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in August of 1962, the same month Roger Clemens was born.
Feller always had kind of a big mouth. After dominating Jackie Robinson in some exhibition games, he intimated that were Robinson white, he’d not be up for major league consideration. An inaccurate and dumb thing to say, but not all that unusual for it’s time. It would be a far more suspect comment, for example, had he made it today. He’s forcefully spoken out against Pete Rose and recently claimed that Caribbean players "dont understand the rules" of baseball, prompting a radio host to brand Feller a "racist", after which Bob angrily ended the interview.
He’s certainly opinionated and may be guilty of making some sloppy generalizations about people, but I dont feel quite comfortable calling him a racist. He barnstormed with so called Negro Leaguers in the off seasons, indeed helped organize several of the tours, and there’s no evidence that he actively denounced or impeded integration. Besides, as a general rule, I have little stomach for calling out 88 year olds as racists – except for those in official capacities, like elected officials.
Feller played his entire career in Cleveland, in the middle of the diamond. Today, he stands on the outskirts of Jacobs Field, beyond the right field fence, in the form of a larger than life statue. For seventy years, Bob Feller has been in the middle of things, in godforsaken places like Goodyear, Arizona and Tarawa, where the allies lost a thousand men. Jim Palmer once joked that Feller will probably never die.
"He wouldnt allow it."
Playing. Fighting. Politicking. Living every day. In the middle of things.
(photo courtesy of Rob Schumacher/ The Arizona Republic)
Went to Sunday’s game to witness a series win over the Cardinals, something Colangelo’s 2001 team did when it really counted. Neither did my dry, lukewarm veggie burrito measure up to the delicious Garcia’s wraps offered throughout that earlier, halcyon era. Colangelo’s carrots were invariably tender, cooked all the way through, his rice and beans moist and piping hot. In a word, savory.
Like bygone days, we actually had a good time though. Very fun, back and forth ballgame. Thirty five thousand fans, including a nearly full middle deck, thanks in part to the D*Votion packages’ $20 club seats. It’s why I was there, anyway, and not watching on TV – and why I’ll be there at least twice more in September, win or lose. The young lady at Will Call was particularly helpful, motioning me over to her vacant window, thoroughly reviewing my ten ticket order, stub by stub, and clearly instructing us how to pick up our free red t-shirts, in the event we ever considered such foolishness. Later, a Club Level ticket taker playfully grabbed at our tray of food. Why, in the 8th inning, in the thinned out picnic seats beyond the left field bleachers, no usher tried to kick us out or ask to see our tickets while we nursed our ice creams? Huh? Am I at Chase Field? Is winning baseball responsible for this 180′ attitude adjustment? Or, after three years, has someone on Kendrick’s Dream Team finally started to train these people, a la Colangelo?
Like many teams, the Diamondbacks run a Sunday promo where a little kid takes over the PA for an inning and announces the home team’s hitters. Sunday’s "kid" looked about fourteen and his style and name evoked thoughts and parallels with the team. He started off so shyly one could barely hear the name of the first batter, wife beating suspect, Alberto Callaspo. He gained strength, slightly elongating the surname of Eric Byyyyrnes and topped that with a crisp, confident "To-Nee Clark"! The Dbacks started the season rather like a shy youngster, not truly bad but not real comfortable being good either. With the help of veterans like Byrnes and Hudson and Webb and Davis, they’ve elongated their window of relevance – and down the homestretch, they are playing crisply with confidence.
The kid’s name btw, was Alfonso Ferrari, which evoked no parallel with the team whatever. They remind me more of my first car – a 1973 AMC Ambassador. Off brand. Inexpensive. Friends didnt give it much thought, unless they needed a ride somewhere. Nothing fancy on the outside, but it started up every day and had surprising power with the V-8.
Sat five passengers comfortably, provided three of them were girls. (That has nothing whatever to do with the Diamondbacks either, but I just thought I’d mention it.) The point is, the name on the hood ornament doesnt matter as much as what the car actually does, what it accomplishes – especially when there arent many other quality cars on the road. This Diamondbacks vehicle, the lowly BoMelmobile, is well on its way from point A to point B and only an act of God or an improbable acceleration by two lesser wildcard hot rods can stop it from reaching its destination.
The sweep against the Cards was impressive because, despite all their injuries and losses, the Cardinals are a veteran team fighting for the wildcard themselves, not some late season pushover. Those were the type of close games that veteran teams find a way to win in September more often than not – and Tony LaRussa couldnt get one. Not with his new ace, or with anybody else. The games were close, the last agonizingly so, but still not as close as assumed. The home Diamondbacks didnt require their ninth inning "ups" the entire series.
While Justin Upton got most of the pub for his game tying two run smack after God Bless America, the game saver might’ve been Chris Young’s fine 2nd inning grab of Russell Branyan’s scorcher in deep straightaway center, easily doubling up veteran So Taguchi from first. It’s easy to call it a baserunning blunder, but from our vantage point in the second deck beyond third base, we had a superb view of the ball’s trajectory and Young’s route back to it, and can appreciate Taguchi’s confusion. Young’s range back is outstanding (he could play a little shallower) and the fact he was waiting for that missile on the track is kinda ridiculous to us. Oh yeah, he also hit a two run homer to open up the day’s scoring, his twenty ninth of the year.
Reynolds let a ball skip under his mitt, but he’s still impressive in person – light year’s ahead of Chad Tracy. Comes in on balls very well, gets the ball out of his mitt quickly, nice footwork. Makes it look easy. Salazar and Upton are contributing, Jackson’s hitting better. With a five game winning streak in September, you just get a feeling these kids are gonna do it.
Nobody remarked about my retro Dbacks purple hat but I definitely got a few stares. The park was obviously quite red, between the Cardinals and Sedona Astro threads, but I was pleased to see plenty of purple too – first, two little old ladies walking to the park along Jefferson. Then all sorts of people within the stadium, more than you see on TV. Two moms in bright purple parked themselves on our direct right with their small children. Most heartening, really, was the sight of two guys decked out in retro purples on the kisscam with their respective girlfriends/wives. It seems the powers that be arent quite so edgy about manipulating perception as before. Maybe they feel they’ve won that battle – or that they’ve won the battle but may be losing a greater war with the overbearing manipulation. Hard to tell, but we welcome this apparent sliver of glasnost from The Red Party.
Downtown San Diego isn’t a particularly easy city to get around, less so if one follows the unhelpful "Petco Park" streetsigns which expel drivers well north of the stadium into a morass of overpriced, mostly unmanned parking lots. Once, we took the trolley to a game, but were provided incorrect information by transit personnel. The trolley’s OK, but seems to create more people moving problems than it solves, effectively dividing the area into a stadium zone (Gaslamp) and a Harbor Drive/Convention Ctr zone of auto and pedestrian traffic, greatly challenged to get to Petco on the "other side of the tracks".
Once parked, or let off the trolley, we’ve had all sorts of problems gaining admittance to the ballpark. A couple years ago, we arrived at the CF gate from the north, hoping to wend our way to our lower level, third base seats by way of the Park in the Park – however we were denied admittance. Wrong gate apparently. A different visit, we tried to hop the escalator within the adjacent Omni Hotel to the park walkway. Big mistake. Wrong tickets. A third time, we tried to buy pregame tickets at the window, assuming it would be somewhat like BOB, with at least a dozen sales windows open. Um…no. Two stinking windows for a 42K seat stadium, and a ridiculous line snaking down K Street for an unspectacular(ie non sellout) game. It’s just not a very welcoming place.
Once inside, it’s difficult and confusing to try and mosey from one area – or level – to another. Not impossible, but difficult, due to Rube Goldberg-like escalators and walkways and no centerfield concourse to complete a fan friendly 360′ loop. If this was an 80 year old venue, I could understand it – maybe even call it charm. But why is a newly designed park so hostile to the notion of strolling around? Maybe they were trying to create intimacy by breaking things up on the concourse, but Petco is a surprisingly vast place for a 42K seat venue. Big field, big foul territory pushing the seating back, skyscraper high bleachers with an even higher scoreboard. Very little intimacy here.
The stadium structure also has a feel to it that it’s supporters might call "airy" and I would call "cheap". I guess there were money issues during construction and it looks like they cut corners; not structurally necessarily, but in terms of eye catching embellishments that give a venue a unique sense of place. The Western Metal Supply warehouse incorporated into the design is certainly eye catching, but not in a good way, looking more like an over the top designer’s contrivance to placate some local historical society than a genuine fixture the park has organically grown around. Bank One Ballpark’s swimming pool, for all its intrinsic goofiness, fits into its aesthetic surroundings better than the San Diego warehouse.
The biggest disappointment about Petco, perhaps, is it’s orientation, due north from home plate, overlooking a mostly non-descript rise noteworthy for a few hi rise condos under perpetual construction. I understand about sun fields, but when one considers the park is rubbing shoulders with the vibrant Gaslamp district, couldnt a creative soul have afforded future millions a magnificent view of the "real" downtown or the Coronado Bridge spanning the bay ? It just seems like Petco wasted several opportunities to be a modern jewel – a place to make people ooh and ahhh. Like San Francisco with the bay, Colorado with the mountains, or several other venues overlooking downtowns. Add to that the spectacular weather and a pleasantly upbeat fan base, every corner of Petco Park reeks of "missed opportunity". And there are, literally, hundreds of corners.
Did I mention I like the fish tacos?
(photo courtesy of hotelchatter.com)
First of a two part series on last week’s trip to Dodger Stadium:
The first half of our motor trip from San Diego to LA last Sunday featured several coastal attractions. Del Mar racetrack, the vast Camp Pendleton spread and nearby nuclear reactors just off the beach at San Onofre. But nothing took our breath away quite like the shimmering white LDS Temple looming over the freeway near La Jolla. To a whizzing motorist, the soaring edifice faced in marble flecked plaster might be a bleached sand castle from some seaside fairytale, were it not for the salamander worship and general devilry practiced within its turrets.
The second hour of our jaunt north along I-5 had less to offer the eye, as the sky turned silver over smoky Long Beach and Norwalk. The asphalt is bumpier entering Los Angeles County, where accident free traffic slows to a crawl regardless, at every interchange. After too long a spell on this dehumanizing band we finally spied tall bank towers locals call "downtown", and shortly afterwards, just north of the City of Angels (of Los Angeles), a massive bluff topped by a most welcome discovery; stadium light towers barely peeking over the top of the bushy escarpment signaling Chavez Ravine.
For all the talk about that other comforting moment, upon entering a ballfield wide eyed at the overwhelming green, spotting banks of halogen lights in what is essentially a foreign city, at eighty miles per hour, ranks a close second. At least until you pass them and they disappear completely from sight, and the next approaching freeway sign indicates:
Yikes! I had always thought Los Angeles was bigger than that. Even at 80 MPH, it seemed like ages before we reached the next bend and a small exit sign for "Stadium Way" which might as well have funneled this squinting, coughing, worried driver to heaven. The off ramp spun our party of four through a grimy, warehouse district frontage road, then looped under the freeway to the other side of the world. A wide, clean, tree lined boulevard rose to greet us, and at each light, a phalanx of traffic personnel beckoned us forward, farther up the impressive grade. Not stereotypically sneering LAPD or lethargic, donut laden east coast coppers, but energetic, co-ed, asian and hispanic authorities, in white shirts and dark pants – dozens of them, waving and pointing as if directing Godzilla to the Angelino’s mountain God.
Up, up you go, through the winding flora of Elysian Park, past the palms and picnic tables, planted flowers and California chaparral. Is there another ballpark entry this pastoral and sublime, so eagerly foretelling a game on the green?
(photos courtesy of mrm.org & mlb.com)
Coming soon: Inside Dodger Stadium
According to Shaun Rachau, the D-Backs’ vice president of communications:
The fan experience was a big focus for us this year. It wasn’t just about new colors. We want fans to be more involved, and so each visit to the ballpark will be different from the last."
The Republic’s Scott Craven:
What’s more difficult than hitting a Brandon Webb sinker? Figuring out the best way to get to the game, thanks to the curve thrown by light-rail construction. Rule No. 1: Avoid Washington and Jefferson streets at all costs.
Not "involved" enough for you?
Visitors also can explore Baxter’s place in the family photo album. In the fourth and fifth innings, the mascot will pose for photos with youngsters. Each shot costs $5.
Wow. A $50 ticket doesnt quite buy what is used to at the ole ballpark . Still looking for more involvement?
The D-Backs no longer are making players available for autographs, as in past seasons. Instead, team members are urged to saunter over to fans when players have a spare 10 or 15 minutes.
See, Chase Field positively oozes "involvement".
How about watching batting practice from the dugout, handing in the lineup card at home plate or announcing players coming to bat for an inning? Such one-of-a-kind experiences can be had starting at $500.
Note these start at $500 a pop. It’s terrific to see kids from Paradise Valley get these one of a kind experiences, or eight of a kind, if their dad has four thousand dollars handy.
For $100, your name will appear for a few seconds on the scoreboard.
I believe this was $50 a couple years ago. The relative good news is that this increase is actually laggging the hike on single game ticket prices
In other news, today’s ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by survivors of a deceased ironworker who helped build Bank One Ballpark. Nice touch. On a day the Dbacks are symbollically trashing their origins - chucking purple, turqoise and copper in the proverbial dumpster – this is a marvelous piece of damage control from the public relations dream team. This reverential reference to the stadium’s construction will surely resonate with fans, many confused and conflicted about the current organization’s direction.
When the honored guests bolt out to the mound, see if they’re donning the new corporate colors. I’d be surprised if that’s not a quid pro quo here. And if it is, ask yourself if the Diamondbacks are honoring a man’s contributuon to this franchise, or if they’re using his memory to further their own marketing agenda.
Or perhaps both.
Let’s hope the F-16′s get out of the gate OK this year. Wouldn’t be opening day without ‘em. Excuse me, opening night. Must fill the stadium, dontcha know .
One thing’s for sure – a team in red will be a winner tonight.
This critically overdue $5M stadium makeover is another example of the financial shackles placed on new owners by the dastardly, free spending Jerry Colangelo. If only Jerry’s dream team had picked the "right" colors to begin with, the new owners could forego this expensive, inherited burden and invest profits instead, into fielding somewhat competitive teams.
The tsarist legacy of Jerry Colangelo, is like a boot on the neck of this poor, poor franchise. So be sure to give the huddled masses currently populating the front office plenty of time to reconstruct a winner from Colangelo’s superlative stable of prized prospects. We Diamondback fans owe the new owners an awful lot, especially we few who still purchase single game tickets, but what we owe them most is our gratitude, respect and obedience to their upright, responsible vision.
When Jerry Colangelo hoisted the World Series trophy over his head in November of 2001, he advised Arizonans: This is for you!
And it was. I have a picture of me and my family posed next to that trophy, a perk of supporting the team in it’s early days.
When you’re at the ballpark next week, soak in the new atmosphere. The new signage. The new sponsors. The new music. The new bars. The new decals. The new kiosks. The new merchandise. The new vibe. The new tradition.
This is for you.
The most illusory, and ultimately counterproductive, aspect of stadium naming rights is its imposition of an increasingly transient corporate stamp upon baseball, our most traditional and longstanding pastime. Sprouting dot coms and feverishly merging banks tout showy naming contracts only to abandon them – and by extension – the stadium, team and fans, soon thereafter.
Smoothing one’s decals on a park somebody else built, and pretending it’s yours, is a particularly modern illusion; hinting of something new that is not new, of something better that is not better. The deception of ownership or auspices over that which you clearly do not own.
Taxpayers financed the Phoenix hangar on Jefferson and Seventh, and we can call it anything we like, regardless of which executive vice president of blah,blah, blah sheepishly snips his ceremonial ribbon to a cascade of boos this year or next. On the heels of the Chase/JP Morgan merger, for example, one pundit, apparently familiar with Bob Melvin’s teams, deliciously came up with "The Morg" – and we mocked up our own tongue in cheek naming ceremony a while back – but it’s time more serious thought was applied to this matter.
Despite my idealistic preference for an eternal, stand alone name like Fenway, Yankee or Dodger Stadium, market realism dictates a compromise of nomenclature: a hybrid moniker of an inevitably revolving, corporate "first" name, followed by an immutable stadium ‘surname’.
What venue titles might distinguish our place from the rest, while evoking baseball’s timeless qualities? Incorporating "Diamond" into the field name is unique – no other MLB team currently does – and it ties into the franchise name rather obviously.
"Diamondbacks Diamond" doesnt exactly roll off the tongue. What about "Copper Diamond" or "The Diamond at Copper Square"? Or "Downtown Diamond", " Desert Diamond" or "Diamond in the Desert" ? The corporate appendage elongates it to "Chase Downtown Diamond", which could segue into "Nextel Downtown Diamond" or, horror of horrors, "Blue Diamond Almonds Desert Diamond". Whatever the core stadium name though, stays.
The advantage is that, in an era of accelerating change, fans more readily associate permanence and continuity with their hometown franchise, which engenders a stronger, more lasting affection. Players move in and out, Diamondbacks is truncated to Dbacks and colors are thrown to the curb – but at least you can still take your kid to "The Diamond", just like your parents took you a generation earlier.
It’s been said that "…a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet" and perhaps fretting about a ballpark’s name is superficial. Maybe that continuity thing, about grandparents and progeny escorting one another to the very diamond of their respective youths, has been reduced to an illusion nowadays.
At the ballyard, however, ordinary people are entitled to our illusions. We paid for them – at least as much as the big banks.
I bought a dollar ticket yesterday and for the first time since the 2001 World Series, got my money’s worth at Chase Field. I highly recommend it to fans on a budget who are willing to arrive by about 5PM for a 6:40 start to ensure ticket availability. The $1 window is located on the opposite side of the stadium from the main box office, adjacent to the right-center entrance off Jefferson and 7th Street.
The often broiled, snaky queue actually forms in the shade this time of year(for evening games), and because everyone’s buying a fixed price ticket without fussing about location, the lengthy line shrinks rather quickly. Of course, after you’ve snatched your stub and any promotional giveaway, for goodness sakes dont proceed to your assigned seat. The park is near empty at this hour and most ushers are disinterested in checking tickets until 45 minutes or so prior to first pitch, so camp out wherever you want on the lower level. Even if the ticketholder commandeers "your" seat, there’s usually plenty of empties nearby from which to choose.
"Dude, it was only a dollar".
Which MLB ballpark is the best value and where does Chase Field rank?
Sports Illustrated collected detailed fan fedback on ballpark satisfaction and applied that subjective data against objective standards, like ticket prices and team W/L, to arrive at their list*
Again, it’s not a list of the best ballpark "stadiums" or "experiences", but an attempt to weigh those experiences against cost to arrive at a measure of value – hence exorbitant little jewels like Fenway and Wrigley rate quite poorly.
Chase ranks in the middle of the pack, with average ticket pricing (per MLB), slightly above average access/amenities (per fans) and a below average team (per any six year old).
( Think geography. Hint: Wrigley and Anaheim are anomalies, bucking the overerwhelming trend. )
Answer: All the worst value venues(except Wrigley) are in coastal states, and all the best values (except Anaheim) are in interior states.
There could be several reasons for this. Per capita income, cost of living and subjective expectations about pricing and team performance vary regionally. Perhaps a flaw in SI’s methodology resulted in a Midwestern bias ? Or maybe red state parks really are better values? In any case, this puts Chase Field’s ranking in a different light.
Among "interior state" venues, Chase ranks 12th of 15th**, ahead of only Wrigley, Minute Maid and Toronto. Obviously Wrigley, and we would assert, Toronto, are special destinations that fans expect to pay a premium for. Old Skydome is smack dab in what is arguably North America’s most appealing major downtown. Houston provides a better comparison to Phoenix. Their ridiculous ticket prices($26 ave) are tempered somewhat by the Astros 2005 accomplishments. None of the other eleven "interior state" stadiums, however, rate a worse value than Chase.
Diamondhacks suggests Coors Field is the most apt comparison with our hangar. Mountain state per capita income, modern venue, lousy team. (Heck, both teams even wear purple!). The Rockies get a couple extra points for the view and having a hipper bar scene than Copper Square, but everything else scores very similarly.
Except ticket prices. Coors seats are, on average, $5 cheaper than Chase. Every seat, out of 40-50,000 is, on average, priced five dollars higher in our toasty tin. That’s mostly why the Rockies rank 2nd here and the Dbacks bring up the rear.
Diamondhacks recognizes that franchises employ different strategies within their markets to maximize profit. The clear message, however, that Coors Field provides Phoenicians is :
The Diamondbacks are not trying very hard to maximize fans.
* hat tip on the SI Story: AZ Snakepit
** we treated the Phils and Nats as "coastal state" teams because of their East coast attributes, although a geographer could quibble with that assumption. If both were considered interior state teams, the Dbacks would have ranked 13th of 17.