Perhaps one of the most unheralded events the Arizona Diamondbacks put on is their annual FanFest at Chase Field. The 2010 FanFest is scheduled for Chase Field on Saturday February 13 from 10 AM – 5 PM, admission is free. Details of the event can be found on the Diamondbacks web site.
The FanFest was originally designed as a few activities that would go on at Chase Field the first day the general public could purchase single game tickets.
The activities were modest, a couple of booths with free samples of ballpark cuisine and a hand-out from a vendor. Since that time FanFest has increased in both scope and excitement.
For last year’s FanFest, the Arizona Diamondbacks moved the festivities from outside on the Chase Field rotunda to the actual playing surface inside the stadium. Fans could enter the main gates at Chase and walk down to the field level.
The team goes all out for this event with dozens of booths scattered around the field allowing fans to become acquainted with the numerous Diamondbacks sponsors.
There are inflatable toys for the kids to burn off some of that extra energy. There are stations run by the Diamondbacks Training Centers to teach kids how to catch fly balls. The team also sets up several whiffleball fields for the kids to enjoy. The wiffleball games usually feature several of the Diamondbacks players pitching or fielding and interacting with the kids.
Tours are conducted allowing the fans to visit the Diamondbacks dugout, the underground batting cages, and the team’s clubhouse. Local radio stations broadcast from FanFest and Diamondbacks players and members of the front office will be available for interview.
At the RideNow Pool area, the team has a stage where various members of the front office, coaches, and players take part in question and answer sessions with the fans.
There are autograph stations in right field where fans may come to have an item autographed by their favorite Diamondbacks players. As should be expected, these autograph lines can be quite long especially for the more popular players.
Last but certainly not least, the Diamondbacks hold a garage sale for team items. These could include left over stadium giveaways all the way to pieces of Chase Field or signage. In 2007 after the team change colors I was able to get a service of 12 Diamondbacks place settings that were used at the Arizona Baseball Club restaurant. There is nothing quite like Thanksgiving dinner on a Diamondbacks plate to make you feel grateful.
The best part is the proceeds from the Diamondbacks garage sale benefit Diamondbacks Charities. Not only do you get great stuff but it goes for a worthy cause. If you happen to go to FanFest, look me up. I’ll be the Diamondbacks fan with the big smile on my face.