Last weekend I flew out to Phoenix to visit Chase Field for a Diamondbacks game. Phoenix is one of my favorite cities to visit- there’s so much to see and do (especially if you like dry heat). I stayed with my friend Malerie in Scottsdale and we went on all kinds of adventures- shopping, hanging out in Old Town, and even a hike up Papago Mountain. Scottsdale and Tempe are two great places to stay when visiting Phoenix. Tempe is very college town since its home to ASU, but it easily connects to downtown via the METRO light rail. Scottsdale is a little further out and doesn’t connect, so you’ll need a car or an awesome friend! Not only did Malerie pick me up from the airport and let me stay with her, she talked to her friend Caleb (one of the attorneys for the Diamondbacks), so we got free field level tickets. He was also nice enough to get us field passes for the concert following the game and even gave us a tour of the front offices. Big time ;)!
Malerie figured it would be easier for us to just drive and park next to the ballpark instead of parking at one of the lots and riding the light rail. Since we weren’t paying for tickets, I figured it wasn’t too bad of an expense. Parking varied around the park-$15-$10 and we settled on the $10 garage and walked a couple blocks to the field. We passed the Jefferson St. stop, which conveniently drops fans off right in front of Chase Field. Phoenix’s downtown is relatively small and in my opinion, doesn’t have many skyscrapers, thus the stadium sticks out in the skyline. The outside is nice, but it’s not all that exciting since it’s very square shaped and the roof is usually closed. The façade is mainly brick up the sides that hit some windows and green and tan siding. There is some fancy steel work incorporated at the top and the side that faces north has large team posters to break up the monotony. We stopped at will call to pick up our tickets and enjoyed a little shade under the canopies across from Sliders. We walked around to the Friday’s entrance, which is a good place to peek your head in if you don’t have a ticket to the game. There was also a spot outside, but you’d have to be pretty desperate to stand in the heat the whole game!
We rode the elevator up to the restaurant and walked around the bar to the “outdoor” seating to see the view. It’s a pretty cool option, especially for larger groups since 50% of the price goes toward food credits. We entered the park and went down to the field level to find our seats. We passed through the outfield concourse which was lined with the Picnic Pavilion and the Uptown Bleachers. It also sits above the center field pool. One of my ballpark bucket lists is to cannonball into it- someday! It’s a private suite option. This ballpark has some fun seating options like Friday’s bar, pool, and directly behind right field, though they’re a little more expensive than the $9 nosebleeds! We continued on towards home plate passing through a bunch of concession options and a fantastic value menu option at the DoubleHeaders stands. They have hotdogs, soda, and popcorn all for $1.50 each! What else is on the value menu? $4 beers! They’re the smaller cups, but they’re usually $6-7 in other parks, so drink up! As we neared our section, we can across the D-Backs Legends (mascot race characters) and I got a picture with the Big Unit. Not sure how much I liked him in that jersey. There was also a poster making station at section 130 for fans to make signs for their favorite players. We considered it but held off. Before the anthem, we meet up with Caleb and his girlfriend Becky and went to our seats along third base. The view was fantastic and I saw my second inside-the-park home run by Justin Upton. Just as exciting as the first!
Around the fourth inning, Caleb invited us to meet some of his friends visiting from San Diego (Padres were in town) and go on a tour of the front offices. This was such a neat opportunity! We walked to the entrance, passing the 2001 World Series Trophy display and my heart sank. I remember that final game like yesterday- spent the night crying to my mom that Paul O’Neill didn’t go out with a win. Shaking away my sad face, I followed everyone into the reception area where we got to see some neat D-Backs memorabilia before riding the elevators up to the offices. The first room he took us in was a small meeting room that was formally the original owner’s office. He told us the windows were bullet proof just in case a crazy fan showed up. Scary! There were also balls signed by the current roster and the bats they used on Opening Day. We continued on through some hallways and stopped in his office (which overlooks the concourse and stands) before entering their main boardroom, which is gorgeous with the stone ceiling and light up cases of the minor league team’s jerseys. Must be fun (and stressful) to come to work for a sports team every day. We ended our tour back in the main concourse- just in time to see the D-Backs Legends Race (Randy won!)! While everyone was chatting, I scouted out the standing room situation and found a few good spots along the 100 level stands between concessions. You have to squeeze into places, but it’s doable and I found some nice views- even near home plate. I met back up with the group and Malerie and I decided to head up to see what the upper levels had to offer.
As soon as we got off the elevator in left field at the 300 level we were engulfed in screaming kids. The Sandlot is perched up here with a playground and batting cages. There was a decent view of the field from here and there were plenty of parents trying to watch the game. We walked through the concourse, stopping in the team shop to see if they still had the snake hats my sister and I found when we visited in 2010. They did not, but I found something almost as good. My stomach was starting to growl, so we got hotdogs and drinks off the value menu and sat at one of the alcove picnic tables. You can’t see the field very well, but at least you can hear the game and still enjoy the stadium atmosphere. After we finished we walked to right field, where there was another picnic area and some suites. Underneath these suites is the Arizona Baseball Club, a sit-down restaurant open to all fans and we decided to check it out.
Malerie and I headed down some steps and into the restaurant, which was almost completely empty. There were a few fans sitting on the outside deck, but no takers for the seats directly behind the windows. Caleb had told us it wasn’t a super popular fan destination and we were surprised- it has a great view of the field! The game was almost over and we wanted to get back down for the post-game concert, so we walked quickly through the 200 level suites. This area is now open to all fans, but it’s not very exciting if you don’t have seats or a suite. There are a few open areas with couches and food courts, but there’s no view of the field unless you’re in the stands or a suite. What is nice at this level are the large paintings of baseball legends along the walls. Malerie and I made it to our seats just in time to see the Padres seal up a victory (9-3). For a game with so much scoring, it went by really fast!
After they set up the stage we joined other D-Backs fans on the field for the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers concert. They’re a popular local band and they had the place rocking in no time. I was just happy to have found my way back onto the field– I’m batting 1.000 for getting on the field post game at Chase Field (2/2). After a few songs we said goodbye to Caleb and Becky and headed out to Tempe for some frozen yogurt at Mojos (my favorite!) and walked around the outdoor mall before calling it a night- we had an early morning hike planned.
For this trip, I spent $155 on my plane ticket, $10 on parking, and $58 on food and drink the entire weekend ($223). One of my cheaper road trips for sure! As I said before, Phoenix is one of my favorite cities to visit and I was so happy to see Malerie and some other family friends during my visit. Once again Chase Field delivered a fun and memorable ballpark experience!