Diamondbacks Negotiating to Start 2011 Season in Taiwan

Prior to today’s game against the Washington Nationals, the Arizona Diamondbacks players met with representatives of the Major League Players Association. The subject was Opening Day 2011.

With six weeks still remaining in the 2010 season it may seem odd to already be looking forward to next year but with the Diamondbacks 23 games out of first place you could argue they have been looking forward to next year for quite some time.

The discussions surrounded the proposal by Major League Baseball for the Diamondbacks to open the season with two exhibition games and two “home” games against the San Francisco Giants. I say “home” because these games would be played in Taiwan as part of Major League Baseball’s foray into international markets.

If this plan comes to fruition the Diamondbacks would have their home opener away from Chase Field for the first time in franchise history. I completely understand the reasoning for the series. This would give the Diamondbacks an opportunity to make headlines in a foreign market and enhance their presence in the Pacific Rim.

From a Season Ticket Holder’s perspective I have to admit I am less than thrilled with the proposal. The Diamondbacks would forego the two exhibition games played at Chase Field at the end of Spring Training. They would also lose two regular season games.

So instead of 83 games on the agenda at Chase Field in 2011 they would have 79 home games. I’m already frustrated that we only get 83 so cutting that total down by four is definitely not a good idea in my mind.

With Season Ticket renewal now underway, it also brings into question how the Diamondbacks would compensate their Season Ticket Holders. Obviously the total price of season tickets would be reduced by four games but will that be enough to satisfy the fans?

Every year we look forward to the pageantry of Opening Day. Now, the loyal fans of the Diamondbacks will be asked to accept the fact that for the first time in the history of the franchise we will not be able to attend the home opener for the team.

Over the past few years the Diamondbacks have seen a reduction in their Season Ticket Holder totals, add to that the fact that the team just announced a ticket price increase after two horrendous seasons and now potentially no home Opening Day and the Diamondbacks are likely to face a backlash from their fans.

Hopefully the team is taking this into consideration and will provide Season Ticket Holders with an incentive to renew for a smaller number of tickets and the loss of Opening Day. I can appreciate this is a tremendous opportunity and honor for the team but from my perspective we are losing four games from our overall baseball experience.

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