First Trip to Arizona in 2018

My 2018 season started off with only four home games before I was taking my first road trip of the season. The Dodgers were heading out to Arizona for their first away series of the year. After being in Arizona for three weeks in March, I was already dreading the idea of going back for this series. But knowing it would only be a six-hour drive I wanted to make my way out there for two of the games.

I left Orange County at about 7:00 am and made my way to Arizona. Before heading to Chase Field, I had to stop by my hotel in Maricopa. The reason I was staying in Maricopa was because I had won a free night stay at Harrah’s during an on-field game at Spring Training and figured there was no better time to use it than heading out for a game against the Diamondbacks.

After about six hours of driving, I made it to Harrah’s. The only downside to this hotel was that it was about 36 miles past Phoenix which is where the Dbacks play. When I won my free night stay at Harrah’s, I also won $40 worth of credits on the slot machines. So that was the very first thing I did after I checked in. I don’t gamble nor do I know anything about it or what to bet or even play. I sat down at a random game and just started playing and somehow ended up winning a decent amount of money. I won $55 on a minimum bet and instead of taking my money and calling it a day I decided to put it back into the game and lost it all within minutes.

Luckily, after I lost my money, it was time to head to the game. Otherwise, I probably would have tried to win all of my money back, because that’s exactly what they want you to think is possible, and I almost fell for it. It took me about 45 minutes to get to Chase Field, and I parked outside the stadium at Tee Pee Tap Room for only $7. There’s plenty of lots outside Chase Field that let you park for half the price the Dbacks charge to park in their parking structure.

Outside the stadium, they have a bar/restaurant where families can hang out before the game and have a couple of drinks before heading inside for the game. The very first thing I saw when I got there was how many Dodger fans there were outside the stadium. At this point, there were a lot more Dodger fans around the stadium than there were Dback fans. Which is pretty standard for every game the Dodgers are in town for. The funny part is, one of my friends who lives in Arizona told me that the Dbacks intentionally asked for all their home games against the Dodgers to be during the week so that way Dodger fans couldn’t take over their stadium on the weekends. It’s pretty sad and pathetic when you think about it. If this is true, it shows that the Dback fans would rather have their stadium half full instead of completely full because they don’t want Dodger fans there.

The Dbacks let their season ticket holders in the stadium about 30 minutes before they allow anyone else. So when I was in line waiting to be let into the stadium this old man, who is behind the fence, and hiding behind security, yells at all of the Dodger fans and tells security not to let us in. He then starts talking about the game the night before asking if any of us saw when the Dodgers lost in extra innings, and you would have sworn they won the World Series by how happy he was over a win. I laughed at him and yelled back, “Yeah we saw. But did you see the NLDS?” His response was something along the lines of talking about the past which is ironic considering he was celebrating a regular season win from last night. Sure, I get that maybe the NLDS was last season, but this guy is over here celebrating a random regular season game that will end up meaning absolutely nothing by the end of the season.

Once we were let into the stadium the first thing I did was walk around the whole stadium to look at as much as possible. This was my fourth time to Chase Field and only the first time I’ve ever taken the time to walk around the field. There isn’t anything all that special about Chase Field. It’s a pretty dull stadium, and they don’t have much that catches your eye, or that sticks out to you as they may have at other stadiums. Sadly the “coolest” part of the stadium is probably the fact that the roof opens for night games.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I posted a few different food items that they sell at Chase Field and left it up to Twitter to decide what I would eat. The first item of food that won was the Tot Hot Dog. The Tot Hot Dog had tater tots, chili, cheese sauce, green onion, and sour cream on it. I don’t ever eat hot dogs because I don’t like them but had thought maybe it was just the type of hot dogs I was eating. This hot dog confirmed that I don’t like hot dogs. But putting that bias aside, overall it wasn’t bad. The combination of all the toppings went together really well, and the tater tots were surprisingly still crunchy after being drenched in cheese, chili, and sour cream. If you like hot dogs and don’t mind any of the mentioned above toppings, then I’m sure you will love the Tot Hot Dog.

If you’ve been to a game in Arizona, then you know how petty their fan base is. It’s hard to even call them a fan base because the loudest cheers you’ll ever hear come out of Chase Field is their “Beat LA” chant that they stole from the Giants. When they cheer for their team, it’s at about half the volume that they yell “Beat LA” at. Unfortunately, this is how their whole organization treats the Dodger fans. The employees are extremely rude, and they also seem to change their policy anytime the Dodgers come to town.

Before the games the Dbacks let fans stand down the first base line to watch the Dodgers warm up. One of their security/fan service employees mentioned that they usually make fans leave that area five minutes until game time. But for some reason with the Dodgers being in town, they decided to kick fans out of that area 20 minutes before the game started. One Dodger fan even approached the employee and asked her why this only ever seems to happen when the Dodgers are in town.

If you ever have the opportunity to make it out to Chase Field take a few minutes to observe how everyone there treats you or reacts to you cheering for the Dodgers. It’s pretty comical. Back in October, I went to NLDS Game 3 with one of my friends, and we were cheering for the Dodgers, and a Dbacks fan pointed back at us and said, “We’re sitting in the asshole section.” All we were doing was cheering for the Dodgers and not saying one word about the Dbacks, and this is what one of their fans says to us. Don’t expect much class if you head out to Arizona.

The second game I attended in Arizona I had probably the best carne asada nachos I’ve ever eaten before. Funny enough they didn’t even have beans at their taco stand. We were only in the 3rd or 4th inning, so I’m pretty sure they didn’t run out, but they didn’t have any, to begin with. There were a few food items that I had wanted to try, but the Dbacks didn’t have them at any stand throughout their stadium. The food items were on their website and said what section they were at, but every item I looked for wasn’t anywhere to be found. I was super bummed by this because I was excited to try some of the things they had on their menu.

The way the Dbacks have their bullpens set up is pretty cool because it allows the fans to buy seats surrounding the bullpen. So far the second game I went to I bought my ticket right next to the Dodgers bullpen. It was a new experience for me being able to sit there and watch all of our bullpen guys interact and get ready for the game. Hearing the bullpen phone ring and watch Mark Prior answer it and get some of the guys ready to possibly throw in the game. When Wednesday’s game ended, I was able to get Pedro Baez to throw me a ball from the bullpen. I’ve never had a player toss me a ball like this before, so it was a cool moment in such a bad series.

There’s no point in talking about the games because we all know how those ended and it wasn’t fun. At the end of the day, it’s always fun traveling for an away series no matter the outcome of the game. Of course, it’s more fun when the Dodgers win but seeing how another team’s stadium is set up and the different types of food they have made it worth it on its own. The Dbacks happen to have the lowest average prices for beer and food out of all MLB teams which makes it more affordable to do as a family trip. Overall I had a great time in Arizona even though I saw the Dodgers get swept. Heading out there again for the series in May and hoping this time it goes a little differently.

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