The Promotional Schedule is Here!

After a long, dark off-season one of the things my family most looks forward to is the announcement of the Arizona Diamondbacks promotional schedule. While most diehard fans have very little interest in stadium giveaways, for casual fans and for kids the promotional calendar will dictate which games they actually attend.

Around our house the promotional schedule acts as a form of bribery. When you go to 83 games per season, it’s sometimes becomes hard finding one of the kids who will willingly go to yet another game. I know, I have a hard time believing that too if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Major League ZombiesThere is no arguing, a good stadium giveaway will bring in a crowd. The Diamondbacks always publicly announce their promotional calendar during FanFest. In the days leading up to that the team will release teasers of a few of the dates. For those junior Scooby-Doo mystery investigators you can normally find the promotions schedule hidden somewhere on the Diamondbacks web site a week prior to FanFest.

The stadium giveaways run the gambit from themed nights where fans are encouraged to dress up to the old reliable schedule magnets or T-shirts. Looking over the list there is always one or two dates that you circle as unique “can’t miss” games.

In 1998 the Diamondbacks held two Beanie Baby days. This was at the zenith of the stuffed animal craze. People lined up outside of then Bank One Ballpark starting at 6 AM for a 7:10 PM game time in temperatures well over 100 degrees. There were only 5,000 of the little animals and the giveaway was supposed to be for children 12 and under but Beanie Baby collectors were renting children to get their hands on these elusive editions. Those two games were the most frightening games I’ve ever attended.

Beanie Babies gave way to bobbleheads, which became the hot giveaway. These bobbing head figurines are still extremely popular and almost guarantee the stadium will be filled regardless of the opponent.

While Beanie Babies and bobbleheads are popular in their day it is the strange and unusual that tends to intrigue me. In the last couple of years the Diamondbacks offered Luchador masks and capes. Those were extremely popular and gave a unique look in the stadium as thousands of cheering fans in wrestling masks stared down the Diamondbacks opponents.

This year looking over the promotional schedule two dates jumped out at me. The first is April 25th against the Philadelphia Phillies. There is no giveaway but rather a themed night at the ballpark. It will be the first of what may become an annual event – Zombie Night.

Yeah, you read that right. Chase Field is going to be taken over by an army of the undead. Some will admit that during the last two seasons there have been times when the players performed like Zombies but that’s a different conversation.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect on Zombie Night. Are we going to see flesh-eating monsters wandering around the stadium selling hot dogs, beer, and brains? I will give the Diamondbacks credit; at least Zombie Night is not a game against the Dodgers. If Zombies feed on brains, they would starve to death with the Dodgers in town.

The second promotional date of interest is related to the first. On August 2nd before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates the Diamondbacks will giving away 20,000 D-backs Zombies. I’m not sure why you would have a themed night in April and then give away a themed figurine in August. Maybe there are just too many undead to contain in one night at the ballpark.

So for all of you Zombie hunters you have two dates to try and save the world. The August 2nd game could especially be scary since it is just two days after the July 31st trade deadline. If the season does not go as planned we could all be baseball Zombies. Who knows, maybe the Diamondbacks will bring back the erratic Armando Galarraga. Every base on balls he gives up could be described as Walking the Dead.


  1. Mystery Question: The D-backs’ official news release states that they will give away six bobbleheads in 2014. They name the bobbleheads as Patrick Corbin, Gerardo Parra, Martin Prado, Bob Brenly, and Paul Goldschmidt. But wait, that is only five! What is the sixth bobblehead?

    The intrigue is further enhanced by the fact that bobblehead games are more expensive games. The D-backs now lists ticket prices using a new variable pricing model (following the Seattle Mariners approach). Some games are priced as singles (lowest price), doubles, triples, and homeruns (highest price). All bobblehead games are on Saturdays. All bobblehead games have ticket prices listed as either triples or homeruns.
    Now look at the game on Saturday, August 23rd, against the San Diego Padres. It is listed as a triple! What makes the 23rd special? There are no promotions on August 23rd. In contrast, a non-promotional game against the Rockies just two weeks earlier on a Saturday is priced only as a double.

    Do the D-backs have a surprise for fans on the 23rd? (Of course, maybe it is that the folks in the D-backs marketing department just lack counting skills.)

    Another theory is that management expects the D-backs in late August to be in a pennant race. At that point, under the new dynamic pricing model (now being use by the D-backs and all MLB teams for individual tickets), ticket prices will skyrocket!

    • From those I’ve talked to, there are only five bobble heads for 2014. Most of the weekend games have always been premium games, not sure why the Rockies game is lower. Season tickets are all priced the same for all games, one of the advantages of being either a full season or partial season ticket holder. You can also usually get a break by purchasing a six-pack or ten-pack game tickets. That’s normally how I purchase extra tickets when I need them. There is also Stubhub where you can purchase tickets from season ticket holders who cannot or don’t want to attend a specific game. The people who sit behind me always sell the Dodger tickets because they can’t stand the Dodgers.

      • Jeff, I regret that I must respectfully disagree with you. Season tickets for season ticket holders are NOT priced the same for every game (but the total invoice one pays for season tickets is the same as last year). For the first time ever, the D-backs are using a variable pricing model for pricing season tickets. Ask your account executive to send you the “2014 Season Ticket Pricing” form and then you will be up-to-date. Go D-backs!

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