It’s an interesting decision by the team to move the event from downtown Phoenix to Scottsdale. I’ve got to think it’s related to the ongoing spat between them and Maricopa County over the stadium. While they are contractually obligated to play home games at Chase, there’s no such requirement for the Fan Fest, and this would appear to be a statement of, “See? We have other options...” Mind you, I’m not sure it’s a wise decision. SRF is hell to get in, park at and get out of for a game, with 15,000 people. There will be significantly more, perhaps close to twice as many, on Saturday, though admittedly not all arriving and departing at the same point.
According to the team, “With the move to Salt River Fields, the annual event will include new opportunities including unique access throughout the award-winning Spring Training complex.” I’m not quite sure what those “new opportunities” will be: looking at the list of events/attractions, it looks pretty similar to last year. So all of the above, combined with the fact it’s about twice as far to drive from SnakePit Towers to SRF as it would be to Chase Field, has led to an executive decision to skip it this year. But if you are going, here are some details of what will be taking place.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will host the 13th annual SUBWAY® D-backs Fan Fest from Noon-4:00 p.m. next Saturday, Feb. 18, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The free event will offer fans access to current players, coaches, alumni and broadcasters. This year’s event and will feature a variety of activities for everyone, including:
- Autograph & photograph sessions with current and former players
- Free kids autographs sessions
- SUBWAY Stage Show, featuring Q&A with players, new management and alumni
- Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Yard Sale
- Open Batting Cages
- Wiffle ball fields featuring staff from the D-backs Baseball Academy, presented by Phoenix Children’s Hospital, including catch-a-fly ball and fielding
- D-backs Science of Baseball activities for fans to learn how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are executed in baseball, presented by Chase and Insight
- D-backs Team Shop, presented by Majestic
- D-backs Authentics featuring game-used memorabilia
- Live Sports broadcast on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and Univision Deportes Radio 105.1 FM throughout the day
- D-backs Race Against Cancer registration, presented by University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s
- @Dbacks Social Media Zone and Instagram scavenger hunt
- Activities with FOX Sports Arizona
- Sanderson Ford Cronista Infantil D-backs Spanish broadcast auditions for Univision Deportes Radio 105.1 FM
- D-backs inflatables & face painting
- Tryout information about National Anthem, Rally-backs, Golden Glovers and D-backs Legends Racers
- SUBWAY® cash cards loaded with amounts ranging from $1 - $100 for the first 3,000 fans
Among the D-backs players currently scheduled to attend include Nick Ahmed, Jake Barrett, Archie Bradley, Sócrates Brito, Enrique Burgos, Andrew Chafin, Patrick Corbin, Rubby De La Rosa, Randall Delgado, Brandon Drury, Zack Godley, Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke, Chris Herrmann, Chris Iannetta, Jake Lamb, Evan Marshall, Ketel Marte, Jeff Mathis, Shelby Miller, Chris Owings, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Robbie Ray, Fernando Rodney, Braden Shipley, Yasmany Tomás and Taijuan Walker.
Coaches expected to participate include Manager Torey Lovullo, Bench Coach Ron Gardenhire, Bullpen Coach Mike Fetters and Quality Control & Catching Coach Robby Hammock. Broadcasters Bob Brenly, Steve Berthiaume, Greg Schulte, Tom Candiotti, Mike Ferrin, and Oscar Soria will also be in attendance, as well as President & CEO Derrick Hall, Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen, Luis Gonzalez, J.J. Putz, Willie Bloomquist, Orlando Hudson and Dan Haren, among several other former D-backs players.
The SUBWAY® Fan Fest Stage will feature special Q&A sessions, including:
- 12:15 p.m. – Hosted by Schulte with guests: Johnson, Gonzalez and Brenly
- 12:45 p.m. – Hosted by Hall with guests: Lamb, Bradley
- 1:15 p.m. – Hosted by Berthiaume with guests: Hazen, Lovullo and Hall
- 1:45 p.m. – Hosted by Soria (in Spanish) with guests: Peralta, Tomás and Rodney
- 2:15 p.m. – Hosted by Berthiaume with guests: Goldschmidt, Pollock and Greinke
- 2:45 p.m. – Hosted by Ferrin with guests: Ray, Corbin, Walker & Catchers
These Q&As will also be streamed on the Fox Sports Go app, so I’ll be able to tune in to these, even though I’m not going. #Winning
Fans can buy autograph session vouchers for $5, with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation [maximum of one table per session and two vouchers per table]. No word yet as to who’ll be at what session, but Season Ticket Holders have the first opportunity to purchase autograph session vouchers, online from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. D-backs Insider e-mail subscribers get an online presale opportunity on Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. [Sign up at www.dbacks.com/insider] Vouchers go on sale to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, at the Salt River Fields Home Plate Box Office.
If you go, do a FanPost or something. :)