• Meg Minard

Chase Field - Arizona Diamondbacks


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

Chase Field 401 E Jefferson St Phoenix, AZ 85004

Arizona Diamondbacks website Chase Field website

Year Opened: 1998 Capacity: 48,519

 

Valley of the Sun

The MLB Arizona Diamondbacks (D-Backs) claimed their one and only World Series Championships 20 seasons ago. The team has made it to the postseason several times over the years and fans are looking for that to happen again soon. The Diamondbacks are a relatively young franchise starting play in 1998. They are the fastest expansion league to win the World Series, only four years after their inception.

They play their home games at Chase Field, formerly known as Bank One Ballpark. It is one of eight major league baseball stadiums with a dome or retractable roof, needed for the extremely hot summers in Phoenix, AZ.

Up until the end of the 2018 season, Chase Field was one of two MLB stadiums that had that attractive dirt path going from home plate to the pitcher’s mound. In 2019, ‘near natural looking’ synthetic turf replaced the grass field and the dirt path was covered. That leaves Comerica Park in Detroit the last remaining MLB baseball stadium with a dirt path.

The organization puts on a good game day operation. To me, seeing a game with the roof open vs the roof closed is a vast difference, so if doable, try attending a game in April when the weather isn’t so hot and the roof is open.

Food & Beverage 4

**Stadium Journey reviewed Chase Field early during the 2021 season when the D-Backs provided physically distanced operations and lowered attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For purposes of this review, normal operations are represented with notations for temporary items.

Though many food outlets are still open, every other one is closed, as are all in the outfield concourse area this early part of the season. All concessions are now cashless so remember to bring a credit or debit card.

Like most MLB facilities, all varieties of food stands, concessions, bars, snacks, and drink offerings are widely available at Chase Field at traditional high-priced stadium amounts.

Some of the offerings include Hungry Hill sandwiches (sausage, bratwurst, meatball, etc) $10 – $11, Paradise Valley Burger Co (seen on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives), Portillo’s Hot Dogs, Tamales, Cold Stone Creamery, Streets of New York Pizza ($11). Vegan burgers and wraps are available at some concessions.

Snacks include cotton candy, churros, snow cone, horchata ($5 – $8) and traditional peanuts, Cracker Jack, and popcorn. Menu boards display a calorie counter for many of the items.

Craft beers include local Phoenix Four Peaks, as well as Elysian, Golden Road, and Cerveza Importada. A Leinenkugel’s stand and a Hop Valley stand are on the first level (Hop Valley is down the first base side). Beers tend to run a costly $12 – $15.

New concessions include Gadzooks (local Phoenix restaurant known for their enchiladas), Fry’s Food grab-and-go, and Cutwater (canned cocktails).

Chase Field provides value items at their Double Header concession stands where a Pepsi, hot dog, corn dog, or popcorn are each just $2. That’s quite a deal when all that’s desired is a snack, however, the hot dogs are cold and not tasty. Get the popcorn instead if purchasing a value item.

Several restaurants have closed or shut down during the pandemic. The TGI Fridays Front Row in left field and Game Seven located outside the stadium in the plaza are permanently closed. The D-Backs organization plans to renovate both areas in 2022 with Game Seven expected to be a year-round sportsbook (Caesars Entertainment). The Sedona Club/Sonoran Room and BMW Homeplate Lounge (upscale dining restaurants) are temporarily closed but expected to reopen when the stadium allows full capacity.

Atmosphere 3

The Diamondbacks provide a decent game day experience where, for the most part, the actual game still seems like the focus of attention.

Most seats are the comfortable standard green fold-down stadium seats with cup holders and plenty of legroom. The upper third level is rather steep. The lower left and right field seating areas have metal bleachers with backs and cup holders.

Installed in 2019, Shaw B1K synthetic turf expects to reduce water consumption by two million gallons per season. To the naked eye from the third level, it looks quite natural.

The home dugout is on the third base side.

The scoreboard features clear game information and video replays. Each side of the scoreboard presents the lineups displayed throughout the game (excellent for those who keep score). Out-of-town scores are also posted on dot matrix boards in the outfield. The scoreboard provides closed captioning for ‘canned’ announcements; some in both English and Spanish.

The organization runs promotions throughout the year and includes things like bobblehead giveaways, fireworks, ethnic heritage days, etc. Paused for now is the on-field entertainment like T-shirt tosses, an MC, and the Legends Race. The music volume is acceptable except when sitting field level near the video board where the volume is obtrusive because of the speakers. Sit in the infield areas if blaring, loud music gives you a headache or you want to have a conversation without yelling.

A unique feature at Chase Field is the swimming pool in the right-center field. A few other stadiums have that now (like Marlins Park/loan Depot park and the Jacksonville Jaguars venue) but Chase Field was the first. Another item to visit when in the park is the 20th Anniversary Experience – a museum documenting the Arizona Diamondbacks history – its origination, logos, victorious moments, signed autographs, gold gloves, and more. The museum is on the first level right-center concourse.

Neighborhood 5

Located right downtown Phoenix, Chase Field is within a few blocks of many restaurants, bars, hotels, and other entertainment.

The Arrogant Butcher, Pizzeria Bianco, The Kettle Black Kitchen, and Majerles’ are just a few blocks away. If just looking for an affordable craft beer before the game, check out the Whining Pig.

Recommended places to stay within walking distance of the stadium include the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, or the Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix Downtown. Since these are right smack downtown, they are pricey. Other hotels near the Valley Metro light rail stations may offer more affordable choices.

Attractions near Chase Field include the Arizona Science Center, Wells Fargo Museum, Heritage Square, and St Mary’s Basilica. The WNBA Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers (indoor football) are other sports in the area during baseball season.

Fans 3

The Diamondback fans provide good encouragement to the team, albeit in small numbers. However, when popular teams like the Red Sox, Cubs, or Yankees come to town, the stadium gets sold out. Fan attendance generally runs a tad over 50% full and the Diamondbacks are about the middle of the pack in overall MLB attendance.

Most fans sport their Diamondback hats and jerseys to games and they are quite welcoming to visiting fans.

Access 5

Chase Field is very accessible via automobile as it has close and easy access to I-10 and I-17. Plenty of parking is available for $10 – $22 in nearby garages. The Chase Field Garage at 401 S 4th St is the closest. Parking is cashless at most garages.

Even better than driving, Phoenix’s Metro Light rail system has a stop right near Chase Field’s entrance either at the 3rd St/Washington or the 3rd St/Jefferson stop depending on which direction you are traveling. Check out the Metro website for detailed information to plan your trip to Chase Field.

If traveling from out-of-town, Sky Harbor International Airport is the most popular airport in the area. A fan can take the light rail right from the airport to Chase Field. Located in the APS Solar Pavilion by the main entrance, the stadium offers lockers to store luggage or oversized items.

Clear bags are now required when entering Chase Field. Security still asks fans to pull out and show eyeglass cases, binoculars, wallets, etc. so they can see any hidden material fans are not trying to sneak in.

Inside the venue, the concourses are wide (even on the third level) though I expect during a sold-out game even those can get crowded. Only one escalator is available near the main entrance at Jefferson and 4th St but plenty of elevators are on hand to get patrons to the higher seating levels. Note: Elevator availability is limited due to the pandemic and physical distance protocol.

Return on Investment 4

Single game ticket prices range from $19 up to $180 (even more when the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs come to town). Prices vary based on the day of the game and the opponent. Check third-party sites to see if there are less expensive tickets if attending just one game. The D-Backs have extremely affordable season ticket holder packages/deals (even mini plans) so if living in the area, that is a more affordable option.

Concession prices are high but not uncommon for MLB stadiums. They do have the $2 deal so that’s a fantastic bonus.

Inexpensive parking or a $ 4 day-pass ($2 for seniors) on the light rail makes getting to the ballpark quite reasonable.

All in all, attending a game at Chase Field is worth any fans’ sports entertainment budget.

Extras 4

Chase Field has several additional items worth noting.

Energy Efficient Pavilion – The APS Solar Pavilion provides 14,000+ square feet of shaded entry plus it generates additional solar power energy.

Organ Music – Organ player Bobby Freeman, located on the third level just near the top of the escalator and kid’s zone, is a joy to listen to at points during the game.

Swimming Pool – Chase Field is the first sports venue in North America to provide aquatic delight for its fans.

Pandemic Safety – The D-Backs organization is doing an admirable job at providing physically distanced seating, attempts to reduce lines at concessions, and other health precautions due to COVID.

Final Thoughts

Chase Field provides good game day enjoyment and it is easy to reach and traverse. The swimming pool and the retractable roof and panels offer unique elements to the ballpark. A recommendation is to visit early in the season (April) to enjoy a game with the roof open. Phoenix is a vacation destination in early spring and late fall so enjoy a D-Backs game when in town.

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