The Arizona Diamondbacks hosted a Media Day on Thursday, March 25th to present their new protocols, products and approach to the 2021 season at Chase Field. It was hosted by President and CEO Derrick Hall, with the help from D-Backs legend Luis Gonzalez. Here is the list of everything you need to know before attending a game at Chase Field this season.
The Diamondbacks issued a press release on Tuesday, March 30th, stating that they will be increasing the initial stadium capacity of 12,000 to 20,000, following the new changes to COVID-19 restrictions within the state. There will still be mask mandates within the stadium; however, the increased capacity will be implemented immediately.
“As we continue to see the key measurements improve throughout the state and the restrictions lifted on businesses, we feel very comfortable that we can permit additional fans to enjoy D-backs baseball while still providing a safe and comfortable environment,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We will continue to require masks and ask fans to distance appropriately while keeping all other policies in place to start the season.”
There will be a plethora of signage featured throughout the stadium, encouraging people to maintain social distancing and to wear the appropriate masks and facial coverings throughout the game. In addition, there will be game-day staff monitoring the crowds and reminding fans to follow all corresponding guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In the seating areas of the stadium, the Diamondbacks staff have used zip ties to close off certain sections within the ballpark. These seats are closed off to create separation between groups of fans during the game.
In terms of purchasing tickets, fans will be able to buy packages between one and five tickets. Pods or groups of larger than five will not be able to sit together, in order to maintain social distancing throughout the stadium.
Chase Field Goes Cashless and Contactless
Chase Field will be entirely cashless and contactless throughout 2021, regardless of whether they increase attendance or remove any COVID-19 protocols. Through the MLB Ballpark app, you will be able to purchase tickets, order food and partake in a variety of forms of entertainment throughout the stadium.
In order to maintain that contactless approach, fans will be required to use clear bags to bring any items into the ballpark. The shift to this new bag policy will allow security and check-in personnel to do pre-game searches without the need for human contact. The Diamondbacks will be giving away clear bags as a promotional item during games from April 9-11.
New Kids Zone
The Kids Zone has been temporarily moved from the upper deck “sandbox” to the first level near row 125 for the convenience and safety of fans. In addition to the relocation, the Kids Zone will also be contactless, as all engagement and interaction will take place via the MLB Ballpark app. Furthermore, kids will be eligible to claim free prizes by logging into their app and customizing their profile. Each kid can collect up to ten prizes (one per game).
New Food Items
Head Chef Steve Tilder presented a variety of new menu items that will be featured in Chase Field this season. Among them is a mint chocolate chip milkshake that has been created in partnership with local dairy company, Danzeisen.
Furthermore, there are a few new locations throughout the stadium where you can purchase delicious ballpark food. One of the restaurants is Taste of Chase, where you will be able to order your food through the MLB Ballpark app and be notified when it is done in order to come pick it up without any contact or money exchange. In addition, any Chase banking members will receive a 25% discount at this location.
Another new addition to Chase Field is Phoenix favorite Gadzooks, a Mexican-style restaurant, where fans will be able to enjoy burritos, nachos, enchiladas and even Margaritas during the game.
In an effort to give back to the community, the Arizona Diamondbacks added a few new features to their Community Clubhouse, such as the ability to browse and purchase game-used items from players on the team. In addition, fans will be able to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win said items, with a large portion of the proceeds going to the organization’s charities.
To further their efforts of maintaining contactless throughout the ballpark, the Diamondbacks partnered with Fry’s to create a Fry’s On-the-Go mini-market, where fans can go to purchase beverages and other non-perishable items without any interaction with gameday staff.
The MLB has given each organization strict player protocol, regarding interaction and engagement with fans, so do not expect to take a selfie or get an autograph from your favorite player, as all MLB athletes are prohibited from any close encounters with fans until further notice.
Attendance and Mask Mandates Moving Forward
Hall addressed the team’s approach to the rest of the season by stating that they are currently considering all related safety measures to ensure that if they choose to increase attendance within the next few months, each and every fan, staff member, player and coach is safe. As for the lifted mask mandates at the state level, Hall did say that they do not planning on going from zero to 100 right away, regardless of local governmental guidelines. They will take everything into account before making any changes to their initial approach to the season. He did mention that, in all likelihood, fans will be required to wear masks in Chase Field for the entirety of the 2021 season.
He did bring up the idea of a possible “vaccination zone” within the ballpark, where fans will be able to consent to looser restrictions within a certain section of the stadium, based on their vaccination records. He even brought up the possibility of administering vaccinations within the stadium but did not elaborate beyond the conceptualization phase.