The Arizona Diamondbacks have set off on a very important six-game road trip through the National League West where they will face the two teams closest to them in the standings. After a day off today they begin a three game series against the San Diego Padres followed by a three game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before we get wrapped up in the hoop-la of this road trip, let’s look back on this past home stand as I provide you with my feedback in my regular State of the Home Stand Address.
The series began with the Diamondbacks returning from Chicago riding a two game winning streak against the Cubs. The Florida Marlins came to town for a four game series. I am sure the front office was a little less than thrilled to find that they would be hosting the fish for four instead of the Braves for four. The Marlins are not a normally big draw at the box office and that seemed to be the case here. For the four game series attendance averaged just over 19,000 fans. Considering the Arizona Diamondbacks were red hot and battling for first place in the National League West those are pretty pathetic numbers. For the three game set at Wrigley Field just prior to the home stand; the Cubs and Diamondbacks averaged over 41,000 fans per game. So the Diamondbacks are getting roughly half the attendance at home that they are on the road. Granted it is the Cubs who normally draw well but that difference is still substantial.
The Atlanta Braves followed the Marlins into town for a three game weekend series. The Braves are normally a better draw at the box office and that was the case here. The average attendance for these three games was just over 30,000 per game. That is still 11,000 per game less than the Cubs series at Wrigley. It is clear that the front office still has a lot of work to do to bring fans to Chase Field.
Friday night’s game saw the Eric Byrnes look-alike contest which was quite popular with the fans. In my excitement to get down to the ballpark I left my tickets sitting at home. I fully anticipated that I would be buying upper deck tickets to get into the gates. I went to the ticket window and asked for the cheapest seats he had since I wouldn’t be using them anyway, I just needed to get into the stadium because I had forgotten mine. The ticket salesman was very helpful and stated that I could have my tickets reprinted for a nominal fee ($2 per ticket) and I would not have to buy other seats. I had never used this service before so that is good information to have. I am not sure whether others are aware of this so I thought I would pass that along.
For Saturday’s game I attempted to redeem a voucher I had for two free bleacher seats. The voucher was the result of buying 6 game tickets online through diamondbacks.com and being assessed some sort of fee. The team apologized and offered two free tickets to the bleachers. I had held onto this all year and when company from out of town arrived I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Redeeming this voucher was more difficult than I anticipated. Trina tried calling the number in the letter and was told to take the letter to the box office at the stadium. I took the letter to the box office and was told to call the number on the letter as the box office could not help me. I then called the number in the letter and was told to call back the next day. I finally did get through and I was told that the tickets would be available at will-call to be picked up on Saturday. I went to the will-call window only to find that the tickets were not there. It took three people and a manager to finally get to the bottom of things. I don’t think they ever did find my tickets but they did give me two seats in right field so it all ended ok.
We had out of town guests at the ballpark and they were interested in what to eat at the ballpark. I of course recommended Hungry Hill since everyone I suggest that too ends up liking it. One person had the Polish Sausage and really liked it. Our other guest wanted something different. My daughter suggested Ribbies barbeque chicken sandwich and cole slaw as that is her favorite. We got a couple of orders of that and it seems as though the recipe for cole slaw has changed. No one in our party could eat it. I am not sure whether this was an anomaly or if it has changed. Since Ribbies got rid of the beef brisket sandwich I don’t eat there very often. I’ll try it next home stand and see if it is any better.
Overall the home stand was a great success. It would have been nice to see more fans in the stands but those that were in attendance were very vocal and supportive of the team.