Ballpark Review: Chase Field

Franchise: Arizona Diamondbacks

Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 48,519

Games Attended: April 7 and April 10, 2016 v Chicago Cubs

Section 318 and Section 119

Along with Safeco Field, Chase Field ushered in the era of modern parks with a modern look. It also was one of the first modern parks with a retractable roof. It was also built during a time when fan’s were coming back out to ballparks in record numbers after the 1994 strike, which led to stadiums with far too many seats built in. The effect it had on Chase Field is its “airplane hangar” look. Overall, Chase Field was a good place to watch a game  but nothing special.

1) Aesthetics- 13/25

Exterior-3/5

Chase Field is a ginormous structure, which is actually quite impressive. But from the outside it truly does look like an airplane hangar and you can’t completely walk around the building which I don’t like.

Interior- 7/10

When the roof is closed, it does feel like a domed stadium, especially because the lighting is so dark compared to Minute Maid or Safeco. Cool features of the park do include the dirt strip from the mound to the plate- a nice old school touch- the tall fence in center, and the pool out in right field. The most distinguishable feature of the park has to be the giant video boards and ads in the outfield. While the interior isn’t ugly by any means, there isn’t anything remarkable about it either.

Backdrop- 3/10

This poor rating will, somewhat unfairly, hurt Chase Field’s overall ranking. But there is no backdrop. The video board and ads eat up the entire backdrop whether the roof is open or not. While the video board and ads can be somewhat aesthetic, it’s not the same as having a nice cityscape in the background. The reason I’m not giving this a 1 is because 1) it’s unique 2) If you trace a line from home plate to each foul pole and up around the top of the video board, you can trace a home plate shape which kinda cool. But it’s a wasted opportunity here to showcase the downtown buildings or local desert environment.

chase field

Seats & View- 14.5/20

Sight Lines- 9/10

The sight lines are good. There is very little overhang on the first and second levels. Moreover, the fence does not rise up down the lines which can cut of angles down the corners from certain seats in the park. So no matter where you sit, you should be able to follow all the action.

Proximity- 2.5/5

Chase Field is a big park and you can tell from the proximity of most seats. On the field level behind the plate, there is quite a gap from the first row to the batter’s box. Down the lines you are close to the action, but the field level goes back some 40 or so rows, at which point you are pretty far from the field for a field level seat. Meanwhile, the upper deck goes on FOREVER. Up at the top, you feel a mile away from the action.

Comfort- 3/5

I remember the upper deck being kind of tight, but the field level seats were typical in terms of leg room and being squeezed with the seats on other side of you.

3) Atmosphere- 7.5/15

Fan Participation- 2/5

Yikes- it’s all I can say. Granted I went to a game v the Cubs, whose fans travel well and some live in Arizona. But this was Wrigley South, both games. Someone who doesn’t follow baseball would have thought this was a Cubs home game. I gave a 2 rating for the benefit of the doubt.

Attendance- 2.5/5

The lower level was packed both games, but the upper level was pretty parse. And this was for Opening Weekend! With the Cubs in town!

Fan Knowledge- 3/5

It was tough to pick up on because there were so many Cubs fans. But those D-Backs fans that were there were hardcore fans.

4) Attractions- 4/20

Team Museum & History- 1/10

I hate to give this ranking because it will kill the overall score and Chase Field is not the worst park I have been to…but the Diamondbacks are an 18 year old franchise with little history outside their amazing 2001 season. And the stadium does little to honor the little history they have.

Things to See & Do- 3/10

Again, there’s not much to do here. Normally before a game, when visiting a park for the first time, I will do an extensive tour of the park that can take up to an hour if not more. Here, I think I was done in under 30 minutes. Check out the pool, team store, and food- that’s about it.

5) Food & Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 3/5

A good, but very basic hot dog. Nothing to write home about.

Best of the Rest- 5/5

One thing Chase Field is known for is its food- or heart attack food. There is the D-Bat Dog, Churro Dog, and all other kinds of 2000+ calorie meals. There is good beer and prices aren’t bad at all. You can eat tacos, burgers, and a whole bunch of different food that all look amazing.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 4/5

Considering their on-field product, they need to have a good game presentation to entertain fans. And the D-Backs come through with all the classics- video board cams, mascot races, and fan contests.

7) Cleanliness- 4/5

chase field13

8) Local Scene & Location- 5/5

I love downtown Phoenix and with the park being in downtown Phoenix, this gets a perfect score for me. There are lots of bars and restaurants just minutes from the stadium that make for great places to eat and drink before or after the game.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

This is an easy park to access. You can walk here from downtown or take the metro to land right outside the park from any other part of Phoenix. And if you’re driving, it’s right off the highway with lots of parking by the stadium.

As for cost, food and drink prices are among the best in baseball while tickets are not expensive compared to their peers. In fact, I believe Chase Field has the best consumer fan index in MLB.

10) Misc+ 0

11) Personal Opinion- 3/5

For someone looking to hang out with friends and enjoy a game, this is a great spot. For the baseball junkie, it leaves you wanting more. Aesthetically, it’s a good but not great stadium. The redeeming qualities are the location, price, and food/drink. There are better parks out there, but some that are worse.

chase field4

Overall Score- 66.5/115

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