Sunday is the 20th Opening Day at Chase Field, and sees the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the San Francisco Giants, in a rare Sunday afternoon Opening Day contest, beginning just after 1pm, Arizona time. Whether you’ll be headng downtown to watch the game or staying at home, we’ve got you covered, with all the information you need to know.
Going to Chase Field
1. Have your ticket. Sunday’s game is officially a sell-out, which looks like the 10th consecutive Diamondbacks "home" opener to do that - quotes used advisedly, since that includes the 2014 contest in Sydney. The last Chase opening game which didn’t sell out was a Monday night one in 2007, but it was actually the eighth game of the season. Similarly, the lowest opening game attendance came the previous year, when only 37,355 showed up for a Tuesday night against the Rockies. The smallest crowd for a "proper" Opening Day game i.e. the first contest of the year, was in 2000, when 44,298 were at BOB, again on a Tuesday, to see us take on the Phillies.
If you don’t already possess a ticket, you’ll be at the mercy of the secondary market. Checking around, StubHub, SeatGeek and TicketIQ are all offering tickets starting in the $30-35 range, for outfield reserve seats. If you feel more like conducting a negotiation face-to-face, there will be scalpers around Chase on the day: Jackson and 4th street seems like a particularly popular spot. If you want the best value, you’ll need to play a game of chicken: the nearer to first pitch you leave it, the better the chance of a ticket at or near face-value, because the last thing scalpers want is unsold product. If you’re okay with missing the first inning, even better. On the other hand...
2. Arrive early. Close to fifty thousand people will be trying get into Chase Field. That involves finding parking, going through security, buying concessions, etc. It’s going to take a lot of time, so the sooner you are there, the less stressful the whole experience is likely to be. Gates open at 10:45 am, but beginning at 10am, there will be a beer garden, live music, food trucks and family entertainment on the streets in front of Chase Field.
The actual Opening Day ceremonies will begin at 12:30 p.m. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by former Phoenix Suns star and two-time NCAA Champion Grant Hill. while the National Anthem will be performed by the most recent winner of American Idol, Trent Harmon. As has become a tradition, at the conclusion of the anthem, four F-16s from the 390th Fighter Squadron "Wild Ducks" at Luke Air Force Base will do a flyover above Chase Field and the 300’ x 150’ American flag in center field.
Something else maybe worth keeping an eye on, there appears to be a new scoreboard configuration, at least for the exhibition games. Curious to see if this will be sustained once the regular season starts.
3. Bring sunscreen. THE ROOF WILL REMAIN OPEN. This isn’t common for day games, even in April, and the forecast high for Sunday is 84 F, which is plenty warm enough. That’s especially true if you are seated in the South-facing sections, which are likely to be in the sun for some or all of the game. One of the worst cases of sunstroke I’ve ever had was the result of a day spring-training game, so treat this one as if you’ll be on the lawn at Salt River Fields, and you should be fine. This means SPF 50 and a cap, and drink copious amounts of fluids. I will leave it up to you whether "beer" qualifies as adequate hydration. We’re all adults here.
4. Come hungry. imstillhungry95 already wrote about some of the new food offerings at Chase, which he will be trying on your behalf. [Prediction: by the All-Star break, he’ll have change his name to imnolongerhungrymakeitstopimgoingtobarf95]. But let’s just provide you with the complete set. Legal note: this is not to be used as a "to-do" list. Or if so, you’re entirely on your own. The SnakePit accepts no responsibility whatsoever for medical costs incurred on such a fool-hardly and ill-advised mission. A Fanpost, however, would be welcome...
- Bacon-wrapped Pretzel Baguette: 12-inch, bacon-wrapped pretzel baguette stuffed with black forest ham and Swiss cheese and served with honey mustard and roasted jalapeño ranch. Location: Taste of Chase (Section 130)
- Chicken Enchilada Dog: 18-inch chicken enchilada sausage, queso blanco, enchilada sauce, pico de gallo, black olives, sour cream and tortilla strips on a talera hot dog roll. Location: Big Dawgs (Section 126)
- Churro Dog 2.0: White iced long john donut, churro rolled in Oreo crumbs, frozen yogurt, whipped cream and topped with strawberry topping, chocolate sauce and Oreo cookie crumbs. Location: Designated Dessert portables
- Funnel Cake Chicken Sandwich: Crispy chicken fillet, garlic black pepper Cheddar, house strawberry jam, powdered sugar and maple syrup, served on two funnel cakes. Location: Taste of Chase (Section 130)
- Sonoran Vegan Burger: Vegan burger, vegan pepper jack, soy chorizo, chipotle veganaise, cowboy caviar and guacamole on a wheat bun. Location: Red Hot (Section 139)
Sizzle & Cheese
The D-backs will add a new concession stand titled Sizzle & Cheese at section 105, offering the following items.
- Triple Cheese: American, pepper jack and cheddar on Texas toast
- Bacon Cheeseburger Mac and Cheesy: 1/3 lb. beef patty, cheddar cheese, Colby bacon mac, Texas toast
- Haystack Burger: 1/3 lb. burger patty, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, bacon, crispy onion, local Parker House roll
- Classic Burger: 1/3 lb. beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Mrs. Kleins bread and butter pickles on a local Parker House roll
- Warm Cookies and Milk: (3) warm chocolate chip cookies, ice cold Danzeisen Dairy milk
- Milkshakes: Strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and one rotating flavor milkshakes, featuring Danzeisen Dairy milk
- Tot Dog: Foot long dog, chili, cheese sauce, tater tots, sour cream, green onion, soft bun
- Chipotle Chorizo Dog: Foot long dog, queso blanco, pork chorizo, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, soft bun
- Pretzel Crusted Brownie Sticks: Triple chocolate brownies, pretzel crust, caramel raspberry sauce, strawberry garnish
- Applewood Turkey BLT: Roast natural turkey breast, Applewood bacon, garlic black pepper Cheddar, butter lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, soft bun, house barbecue kettle chips
- 18-hour Smoked Beef Brisket: Game Seven Grill smoked brisket, barbecue sauce, horseradish slaw, onion roll, house barbecue kettle chips, Mrs. Klein’s bread and butter pickles
- All American Burger: 1/3 lb. beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Mrs. Klein’s bread and butter pickles, secret sauce, toasted Kaiser roll
- Poppin’ Pepper Jack Burger: 1/3 lb. beef patty, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, jalapeño poppers, chipotle aioli, toasted Kaiser roll
- Spicy Honey Chicken Sandwich: Crispy chicken fillet, Crockett’s Honey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pimento cheese, soft Kaiser roll
AZONA Street Tacos
- Barbacoa Street Tacos: Corn tortilla, beef barbacoa, queso fresco, salsa rojo, cabbage, pickled onion, cilantro
- Barbacoa Beef Nachos: Tortilla chips, queso blanco, beef barbacoa, salsa rojo, cilantro lime crema, pickled jalapeños
- Chicken Tinga Street Tacos: Corn tortillas, chicken tinga, queso fresco, cabbage, salsa rojo, cilantro lime crema, radish
- Chicken Tinga Nachos: Tortilla chips, queso blanco, chicken tinga, salsa rojo, cilantro lime crema, pickled jalapeños
- Southwest Chicken Tortilla Salad: Cabbage, romaine, ancho chicken, tomatoes, bell pepper, crispy tortilla strips, honey-chipotle vinaigrette
Also new to Chase Field in 2017 is Roger Clyne’s Moonshine Tequila drink "The D-backs Swing," a blackberry margarita.
Following from home
You might as well save time and turn your TV on to Fox Sports Arizona now, because they’re rolling out an all-you can eat buffet of Diamondbacks’ content, pretty much from now through the end of tomorrow. This begins shortly, at 9am Saturday - cleverly named "The Day Before Opening Day" by their marketing department - when they are offering eight consecutive hours of D-backs Opening Day replays. [All times here are Arizona]
- 9:00 am - D-backs vs Phillies (2000) - Randy Johnson goes 8 2/3 innings with 10 Ks, while Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley & Damian Miller all go deep in the D-backs win
- 11:30 am - D-backs vs Dodgers (2001) - Randy Johnson strikes out 10, Luis Gonzalez homers and the D-backs start their World Series championship season with a win in Dodger Stadium
- 3:00 pm - D-backs vs Padres (2002) - Randy Johnson kicks off his fourth straight Cy Young Award season by tossing a complete game shutout and Mark Grace homers to lift the D-backs to victory
Things then kick off even earlier on Sunday, at 8am. The schedule for the day is as follows:
- 8:00 am - Diamondbacks 20 Amazing Endings
- 8:30 am - D-backs Season Preview Show
- 9:30 am - Randy Johnson Road To Cooperstown
- 10:00 am - Cup of Coffee: Shelby Miller
- 11:00 am - D-backs Season Preview Show
- 12:00 pm - D-backs Live pre-game show from Chase Field with Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson, Mark Grace & Brandon Webb
- 1:00 pm - D-backs vs Giants, with Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly.
If you’re not near a TV, you can watch the game on your computer, phone or mobile device, by logging into FoxSportsGo.com, via your cable provider.
Naturally, you can also listen to the games on the radio. Arizona Sports 98.7 FM is the regular home, where broadcasts are anchored by Greg Schulte, who has been with the team since their very first Opening Day in 1998. He’s supported by Tom Candiotti on play-by-play and the ever-vigilant Mike Ferrin, on pre- and post-game duties, with the D-backs BP Show and
Diamond Talk Snake Talk respectively. Spanish broadcasts can be heard on KHOV 105.1. Their play-by-play announcer Oscar Soria has been around almost as long as Schulte (since 1999) and is joined by analyst and former big league pitcher Rodrigo Lopez and Richard Saenz.
Naturally, we’ll be here on the SnakePit as well, tomorrow previewing both the game and the rest of the series against the Giants. Then there’ll be the Opening Day Gameday thread, which we’ll probably get up a little earlier than usual, since... hey, we are excited about Opening Day as you are!