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MLB Opening Day 2016: What to expect at Chase Field

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It's not ALL about the Diamondbacks taking on the Rockies this evening at Chase Field. There will be a bunch of other stuff going on as well. If you're going to the game, here's what you will get in addition to the baseball!

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If you're going to get there early - and with a close-to full house being expected, that wouldn't be a bad idea! - the Game Seven Grill on the Chase Field Place will open at 1:00 p.m. for fans to enjoy outdoor seating. They'll also be having live grilling going on. The Opening Day Street Festival will than begin at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Gila River Casinos Plaza along 4th Street and Jackson featuring food trucks, D-backs inflatables, live music and several other activities.

The park gates will open to the public at 4:30pn, As fans enter the stadium, you can look to pick up one of the 40,000 2016 D-backs Magnet schedules being handed out. You can then charge off to try some of the new Chase Field food items, Stuffed cheeseburger? Don't mind if I do... Also new for 2016, the D-backs have converted a section in the Upper Right Field Concourse inside Chase Field to "La Terraza". where fans before the game can enjoy a Latin vibe that includes specialized décor, live music and authentic regional food from local favorites such as El Güero Canelo. It's going to be open for 28 of the 81 games, typically the home weekend series, but also today.

There's a few other things to keep an eye out for as you wander around the park. For instance, I believe the names of over two thousand half and full season ticket holders will now be featured on top of the home dugout this season. And if you're looking for new gear to start off this new season, the team shop has been redone with an expanded selection featuring the new uniform colors and logos. The D-backs Authentics store has also been expanded, with a new walk-in store location behind section 134.

Before the game, the Diamondbacks' players who won awards last year will have them presented. This will, understandably, heaving involve Paul Goldschmidt. He will need those big forearms to carry off his haul, consisting of a Louisville Silver Slugger Award, Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and a Rawlings Gold Glove. A.J. Pollock will also be presented with his own Gold Glove, but will presumably be holding it in his left hand. I think I just made myself sad. On the brighter side, the Arizona Diamondbacks will also be receiving the team award from Wilson, as the top defensive team in all of baseball for 2015.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and the national anthem will be sung by Grammy-nominated country and western recording artist David Nail. I have heard of Larry Fitzgerald. I have not heard of David Nail, but he is apparently quite famous in country and western recording artist circles. At the end of the anthem will be a much appreciated moment, a flyover by two F-35s from the 62nd Fighter Squadron's "Spikes" from Luke Air Force Base.

Then, there's just the little matter of the most expensive player in franchise history making his debut, Zack Greinke taking the mound to start the 2016 season. All told, there's nothing quite like Opening Day in baseball. That mix of anticipation, excitement and nervous energy never gets old, and I'm more excited for this particular D-backs one, than for quite a few years! Fingers crossed the result lives up to expectations.

Preview to follow a little later in the afternoon, so there will be plenty of commenting room before the game!