“We’re going to feel like we’re going to play at home”
— David Peralta before Game 3 of the NLDS at Chase Field
As the Arizona Diamondbacks bulldozed their way through the postseason, slights like this one were the kind of bulletin-board material that kept the team ready to prove their skeptics wrong.
Still, the facts are the facts. In the same article, Bill Shaikin notes that when the Los Angeles Dodgers played at Chase Field, attendance rose by 27%. And it’s not like Chase has been an attendance magnet: 2008 was the last year the D-backs were in the top half of MLB attendance.
It’s a trend the D-backs front office has set out to change, building on the momentum that comes with a pennant run and a young, exciting team that’s just getting started. This offseason, the organization is taking steps to continue engaging fans and growing buy-in.
Here’s how — and why it matters.
The D-backs offered fans an amazing ticket package
It’s the kind of move designed to get fans in the seats at Chase Field — and allow fewer seats for out-of-towners.
So far, it’s working. According to Nick Piecoro,” A team official said 2024 season-ticket sales have been strong since October, and the season-ticket holder base likely will be north of 10,000 for the first time since the early 2010s.”
Sure, it allows the D-backs to generate revenue (and if moves like this one allow the organization to keep signing players like Eduardo Rodriguez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., well, even better),
But it’s also a fan-centric move that provides affordable access to games.
The front office has made moves to improve the team
In his postseason media availability, general manager Mike Hazen made clear the D-backs would be buyers in the offseason: a starting pitcher; an upgrade at third base; and a right-handed bat along with the other MiLB signings any team makes in preparation for a season.
Hazen’s promise was the result of two things. First, he has publicly accepted responsibility for holes in the D-backs’ 2023 roster. “I have a lot of regrets,” Hazen said. “It’s kinda painful to sit here and talk about this after getting bounced from the World Series and feeling like what happened in Game 4 isn’t 100% on me.”
Second, he understands the D-backs’ window of contention has opened, and he’s going to take advantage of it.
So far, he has been a person of his word. The D-backs have traded for third baseman Eugenio Suárez, signed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, and brought back Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Hazen has said they will continue to pursue a bat to bring more consistent offense to the team.
The D-backs will have a record payroll in 2024, and owner Ken Kendrick says he’s fine with it.
“I’m not going to tell you what it will be,” Kendrick said, “but it will be the highest payroll that we’ve ever had and as Mike (Hazen) alluded to — he’s more careful with his words than I am — we have more to do. And he’s been given the authority to go make the team better than it is as we sit here today.”
Currently, Forbes projects the D-backs will have a payroll around $162 million.
When a team spends money to get better, it’s a promise to fans: We’re in this to win.
In addition, Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo have signed contract extensions, which promises leadership stability.
They’ve done a uniform refresh
Back in mid-November, the D-backs announced they’d made changes to their uniforms.
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It’s nothing too radical, but it brightens up the D-backs’ current look — and the teal highlights are pretty sweet.
(It’s too bad they stopped short of bringing back their classic purple-and-teal uniforms, a move Zac Gallen has advocated for.)
Sure, selling new uniforms means increased merch sales for the organization, but they also symbolize a new day.
Zac Gallen reached out to thank fans — and promised them more:
In his essay published by “The Players’ Tribune,” Gallen addressed fans directly and with honesty:
If you ask me, the best thing about this run was the pure joy our fans got to experience. The looks on everyone’s faces, the energy around the city, the roar we’d hear at Chase when we were stringing hits together, or when Mert or Prada or Ginkel needed to make a big pitch. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And it made me so proud to be a part of this organization, this city, this community. I won’t forget it as long as I live.
He goes on to add, “We didn’t win it all obviously, and I hate that. But what we did do was still pretty f*****g sick. And it really felt like we did it together.”
Check out how he closes:
It’s a whole new era of D’backs baseball, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t wait to see where things go next.
See you all in March!
That’s a perfect third-strike curveball closing: It’s a new day. We’re in this together. Come join us, and embrace the chaos.
It’s an invitation (and a promise) to fans — it’s the kind of thing that gets fans invested in a team.
As Nick Piecoro writes of the team’s postseason run, “They captivated the Valley, turning indifference into fandom. They made Phoenix feel like a baseball town again.”
The D-backs are doing all they can in the offseason to ensure that doesn’t change.
Renee Dechert has been writing about the Colorado Rockies on Purple Row since 2017. However, she began adding the D-backs to her portfolio last year. (You can find her writing at Pitcher List, Just Baseball, and Venom Strikes.) This is her first contribution to Arizona Snake Pit (even though she’s been lurking for some time).