Anyone who has seen a D-backs home game on TV knows that Chase Field features a pretty sweet suite directly behind home plate. Being a suite, it commands a hefty price, but also comes with nice perks that include food and drink, and the chance to wave at the camera whilst on your phone all game long.
I've always wondered why I had never seen any opposing team fans in the suite, or at least not a large group. It seems like quite a few fanbases would have enough fans, and affluent fans, to afford the $3,000 required for the seats. It turns out the reason is that the D-backs require, as part of buying the tickets, that any there not wear opposing teams' gear.
Last night some Dodgers fans ran headlong into this policy, and I can't imagine this is going to reflect well on the franchise. Deadspin, of course, is right on top of this important story:
Some Dodgers fans decided to splurge on seats at Chase Field's Batters Box Suite behind home plate last night, an investment of more than $3,000. That kind of money doesn't buy respect, though, as they learned when Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick demanded they change their clothes or seek seating elsewhere.
Now, the piece also has a quote from the D-backs, who claim that Kendricks bought the fans D-backs gear and a round of drinks. Although you wouldn't know it from the mocking tone of Deadspin's piece, that's a pretty reasonable compromise to the situation. If the D-backs require that fans not wear opposing teams gear, well, buying them gear is Not Really That Awful.
But forcing customers to not wear their favorite team's gear is.
Look, I don't like seeing Dodgers fans in Chase Field anymore than Ken Kendrick, or any of you. But I also think it's more a reflection of our city and still embryonic fanbase that it might even be considered a problem. If a group of people want to buy a $3,000 suite, I really don't see the problem with them wearing their gear. I'm not going to judge someone else for being a Dodgers fan, or any other type of fan. We're all fans.
And that it was a high profile location doesn't really justify this whole kerfuffle. That you might sell tickets to opposing fans is part of the business. If you don't like it, then make those seats season-ticket only, or do better at getting local fans to be D-backs, not Dodgers, fans.
In the end, this doesn't matter a ton. Deadspin gonna Deadspin, and I bet those people are more bummed that they saw a Dodgers loss than they got some free D-backs swag that they had to wear for 8 innings. The biggest problem is it's just another thing that makes the D-backs look bad. It makes our favorite team look petty.
So what do you think? I understand this is a bit of a biased crowd, but do you think it's a non-issue or bad PR by a team that always insists that it's the Most Fan Friendly Team in Baseball?
*Shirt offer only good for non-Diamondbacks fans.