State of the Home Stand Address – April 5 – 11

During the Arizona Diamondbacks 2007 season I began a feature I described as the ”State of the Home Stand” address where I would recap the goings-on at Chase Field during the last home stand.

This would not only recount the on-field highlights of the Diamondbacks during the most recent home stand but would also provide a place where I could talk about the off-field workings at the ballpark. I would describe new features or items at Chase Field and give fans a place to see what they may be missing at the stadium.

The series has been wildly popular with fans and readers. I am constantly getting email or having people stop me at the stadium suggesting items I should include in the next edition of the “State of the Home Stand” address.

I have also heard from the Arizona Diamondbacks, concessionaires, and vendors describing or explaining why things are the way they are. As always I would try to incorporate this feedback either as an add-on to the entry or as a subsequent post with a link back to my original observation. Given the popularity of this feature I will again include it for the upcoming 2010 regular season.

As is the case, I need to preface this post with my standard disclaimer. The thoughts and viewpoints expressed in this article are based on my personal experience and do not reflect the views of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Major League Baseball, or any normal human being alive or dead. Your mileage may vary and things in the mirror may be closer than they appear.

With that out of the way, let’s get started. This address will cover the home stand at Chase Field from April 5 – April 11 and includes the three game series against the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates.

When the final out was recorded mercifully ending Sunday’s game the Arizona Diamondbacks concluded their first home stand of the season. The team will now make their way to the airport to begin the first road trip with stops in Los Angeles where they will help the Dodgers open their stadium for the 2010 season. After three games against the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks will travel south to meet with the San Diego Padres in a rematch from Opening Day.

The 4-2 record over the first six games is a lot more encouraging than the 2-4 record the team had in that same time period last year. Granted the opponents this season (San Diego and Pittsburgh) were weaker than the Rockies and the Dodgers that Arizona met in 2009. Regardless, the results are encouraging and give the fans hope early in the season.

During these first two series the Diamondbacks offense looks to be stronger than they were in years past. The line-up is capable of producing runs from top to bottom including the pitcher’s spot after yesterday’s offensive barrage by Edwin Jackson.

The first home stand of the year is always filled with excitement and the pageantry of Opening Day. I was excited at the news the Diamondbacks had sold out the first game of the season. While the announced attendance was 49,192 I couldn’t help notice the number of seats there were empty around the stadium including five open seats in our row in Section 132. This is due in part to the fact that Major League Baseball counts tickets sold rather than people coming through the turnstiles.

Traditionally teams see a decrease in attendance from Opening Day to the second game. I was not prepared to see such a dramatic decrease. Attendance for Tuesday’s second game of the series was 19,177; a decrease of 61 percent. The final game of the San Diego series saw the lowest total so far this season with just 17,673 tickets sold.

The Diamondbacks did receive a modest increase in attendance for their first weekend series of the season. Crowds averaged 21,603 over the three games which is not bad considering the Pirates rarely draw well on the road.

For the first six games of the season the Diamondbacks have had an average attendance of 25,142. If this average continues the team will draw just over 2 million for the season. The team has hopes of topping 3 million fans which would require 37,037 tickets per game. My feeling is the total will end up being close to 2.4 million.

The stadium looks good and the team clearly worked to upgrade some areas. There are now two large signs above left and right field offering fans the ability to report problems in the stands by texting the issue and your location from your cell phone.

This reporting was available late last season but instructions were not well documented. This year the team is making fan experience an even greater priority and allows fans to begin policing themselves with this texting service.

There are new in-game promotions this season. Gila River Casinos is offering a Kachingko game allowing one lucky fan to win a great prize. This promotion seems to be getting popular and keeping fans attention between innings.

The Circle K Hot Dog races are back with kids dressed as hot dogs running around an animated diamond. This is always popular. It has become a popular pastime for fans to wager on the race. I continue to be frustrated with how poorly Ketchup does in these races but I’ll leave that for another post.

The Chase Field concessions have been updated and include new vendors. As discussed earlier, Macayos has replaced Garcias in the ballpark. Other new vendors include Mrs. Fields/TCBY carts around the stadium serving cookies and frozen yogurt. As the season goes on, I’ll try to review each of these as well as other regular vendors to give you my impressions on the concessions available in the stadium.

Overall the first home stand was a success. Baseball is back and the team is showing promising signs that they may be able to compete in the National League Western Division.

The next home stand begins on April 19th and features a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals followed by a three game series with the defending NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Tickets to these two popular series should go quickly. Hopefully you’ll be in attendance. If you happen to be at Chase Field feel free to stop by Section 132 and say hi.


2 Comments

  1. Love it! Great details and observations, the next best thing to being there.

  2. Jeff, The current organization set several franchise marks during this initial homestand. Lowest Wednesday attendance ever. Lowest Saturday attendance ever. Lowest Sunday attendance ever. As better draws visit Chase, incl the Yankees, day to day gate will perk up, but it appears the season ticket base may be at an all time low.

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