Last weekend I toured Chase Field. I had never toured a Major League Baseball stadium before, but was interested for a behind the scenes look at my new favorite stadium. Wrigley Field will forever by my favorite stadium… even though I have never been to a game there. The tour was only $7, so I figured it would be worth the gamble.
Before the tour started, I grabbed a drink at the T.G.I. Friday’s. While sitting there I talked to the bartender about the stadium, the tour, and what to expect. Based on what he had to say, I was excited for the tour to begin. After I finished my beer, we headed down to the main entrance to wait for our tour guide. A few minutes later, the tour guide introduced himself and were off.
During the tour I tried to stay close to the guide. I was asking him questions the entire time and it made it easy to ask as we walked from one point to another. He is a season ticket holder and has been doing these tour for several years now. His knowledge of both the stadium and the team impressed me, and he never once seemed bored. The tour started near the administrative offices.
World Series Champs
The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series back in 2001. When you walk in the stadium, there is a large display on the right hand side that pays tribute to this win. Here you can see a replica of the ring all of the players received, the World Series trophy, a jersey that was worn in the game, and more. It was neat to start off with not only learning more about the World Series team, but also why the team changed their colors.
When the Diamondbacks won the World Series, they were purple and white. Now, if you haven’t noticed, they are red and black. Due to some conflicts with other MLB teams, they were forced to change their colors. According to our tour guide, it was not a cheap process costing the team several million dollars. They won’t be changing their colors again anytime soon!
Around The Horn
We didn’t get to run the bases, but we did walk all the way around the stadium on our tour. Along the way our guide pointed out murals on the wall and discussed the food and beverage options at Chase Field. He also mentioned ticket prices. The Arizona Diamondbacks offer some of the most affordable ticket prices in all of Major League Baseball. They even have discounted food and beverage prices offering a happy hour on Friday and value items on the menu.
During our walk around the stadium, we saw the pool in right field, viewed a suite, and learned more about the stadium and the massive scoreboard in center field. Oh, and the roof. That is one of the most important aspects of this stadium. The roof at Chase Field is retractable. Our tour guide explained the technology behind it and said it takes less than 5 minutes to open and close the roof. Depending on the time of year, and the current temperature outside, will determine if the roof is open. He said that fan satisfaction is what determines if the roof is open. If it’s too hot, the roof will be close. They do have an impressive AC at Chase Field, but this is Arizona after all!
Underground at Chase Field
From there we headed underground. We got to see the tunnel, the locker room, and the batting cages where players can hit before, after, or during the game. The lock rooms didn’t really impress me, but the players do have access to some pretty nice amenities. From leather couches to catered food, live on the road wouldn’t be too bad. We didn’t get to see inside the Diamondback’s locker room, but did watch a video that explained what they have access to.
After we saw the lock rooms, we headed to the dugout. Just outside the dugout the tour guide showed us several things that make their dugout unique. First was a tire hanging on the wall. The tire is there for players to take out frustration after a bad hit or a missed opportunity. There was also a large animal bone just sitting there. Apparently guys will rub bats on the bone before a hit to tighten the fibers within the bat. Does it work? I have no idea. It was still fun to look at.
Above us was a pole that former legend Randy Johnson would use to stretch. Randy is pretty tall, and while pitching for the Seattle Mariners earned the name the Big Unit. There is even a hot dog at nearby Alice Cooperstown called the Big Unit. If you want to really experience the hot dog, order it Based Loaded. They will toss on cheese, relish, jalapeño peppers, onions, and chili. Good luck trying to finish that on your own!
The tour lasted about two hours, and we got to see parts of the stadium that only players and press get to see. I am glad we did it, and I wouldn’t think twice about taking the tour again. I would want a different tour guide… but I am sure they all say pretty much the same things. It was a lot of fun. Now… let’s PLAY BALL!!!
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