Our friendly ticket rep Mike Dellosa sent through the info on group pricing, schedules, etc for the 2011 Diamondbacks campaign - another step forward towards the new season! As in 2010, we'll be having two group outings to Chase: if you didn't go last year, you missed out, as they were great events. The second one, by happy coincidence, was the night Luis Gonzalez had his number retired, with the game culminating in a walk-off homer by Chris Young. Not sure how we're going to top that...
After the jump, we'll look at the possible games, both for the Cactus League and during the regular season...
I did look into seeing if they have any kind of group discount at the new park, but those are only available for the "party pavilions," and start at a price of $19, food and drink not included. So, it'll just be a bunch of tickets at normal prices. Looking at the schedule, if we want to see the new complex in Scottsdale, the most likely days are Saturdays, March 19th and 26th, against the Reds and Royals respectively. That's late enough, we should mostly be seeing people we've heard of, and the opposition are not exactly renowned (or loathed, in the case of the Cubs) for their traveling support, shall we say.
Opinions on which date is preferred are welcome, or counter-suggestions. Info on the tickets available and their prices can be found here [where I note that a season ticket package saves you...exactly zero dollars over buying 33 single game tickets!]. Do we want to get proper seats, or should we just get there early and sprawl on the lawn? D-backs Spring Training single-game tickets go on sale Monday, January 17 at 10 a.m, so I want to come to a decision by Sunday night, and then post the button for people to send the money next week.
Here's the group schedule and prices [PDF format]. First off, I assume we're going for the same bullpen reserve seats as last time. Lower level, down the third-base side by the foul-pole, so we can heckle the opposing left-fielder mercilessly - I hear Ryan Spiborghs is still going to therapy after SnakePitFest 3.0... They are also within easy Molotov cocktail; range of our bullpen, though hopefully there'll be much less need for that in 2011. One of these days, we hope to snag a foul-ball as it whizzes into the section. Or failing that, divert the ball so it knocks out Baxter.
They have changed the group pricing somewhat this year, with the cheapest games [$8 for the bullpen reserve seats], now taking place midweek. While a (slight) disappointment for us, this certainly makes more sense: I could never understand why they had half-price group outings on a Saturday, which is surely among the easiest of games to sell. This has now been corrected, with the incentive now offered on, for example, a Tuesday night game in late September against the Pirates. Of course, that game could turn out to be a contest between division leaders, with massive playoff implications. Who's with me?
[Eye contact is avoided. Crickets chip. Tumbleweeds roll across the SnakePit. Feet are shuffled]
Yeah. Moving rapidly on. I think we probably want to stick with the weekends, to give the Tucsonites a better chance of making their way up, and also allow for us to meet at some venue beforehand [and I am seriously inclined to make some effort this year, for it not to be the overpriced and underwhelming Sliders] While there are no Sunday games, there are a trio of Saturdays which still offer a pretty good discount, with the baseline reserve seats being $10 [normal price being $15-21]. There's June 18th against the White Sox; July 23rd (Rockies: Spiborghs can start planning a DL stint!) and August 13th (Mets).
My instinct is the first and last of these - not least because, if last year is anything to go by, we'll be sick and tired of playing the frickin' Rockies by about mid-May. Interleague play is always fun - we'll get to laugh at the White Sox pitcher trying to work out which end of the bat to hold - and Mrs. SnakePit is a former Mets fan. However, as above, I am prepared to hear counter-arguments or other thoughts on the matter!