Photo courtesy Rachael Keating/Arizona Diamondbacks

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

The Arizona Diamondbacks Fan Fest is returning to Chase Field, where President and CEO Derrick Hall always wanted it to be.

The annual event was held at the team’s Spring Training facility, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, from 2016 to 2019 because Chase Field was hosting other events. At the time, the team did not control Chase Field’s schedule.

But now that Fan Fest is returning to Chase Field on Saturday, February 15, the D-backs—and their fans—no longer have to worry about adverse weather or dusty environs.

“We ran into some weather issues, which we never have here,” Hall says at Chase Field. “The biggest advantage to having it here downtown is it’s easier for all parties to get to. We have control with the weather. We can just close the roof. This year, we’re using every square foot of the building, on every level, and hosting wider tours than we’ve ever had in the past.”

Running until 3 p.m., Fan Fest will open for season ticket holders at 9:30 a.m. and the general public at 11 a.m. Hall is expecting record crowds. Fans can obtain free tickets at dbacks.com/fanfest.

“I think our attendance will be huge,” he says. “Fans have already gotten used to the free tickets. We’re already over 10,000—and we’re a month-plus away. I expect us to have 20,000, 30,000 again. It was over 30,000 the last time we had it here.”

The clubhouse tours will include previously uncharted territory, including the weight room, the laundry room and the players’ dining area.

“Fans really wanted to feel like a player, so we expanded the tour,” he says.

Festivalgoers can also play catch on the field and learn the basics with the team’s baseball outreach staff. Kids can have fun on the inflatables and at the Little League baseball stations. The World Series trophy will be near home plate so fans can take pictures with it.

At Chase Field, the concession stands will be open, as will the Cox Virtual Reality Cages. Near center field, kids can take part in arts and crafts. Also available in the upper concourse is the STEM Dugout, which allows kids to learn STEM-related facts, play baseball-themed games and take photos within the D-backs dugout next to manager Torey Lovullo.

Fans are encouraged to tour the 20th Anniversary Experience on the main concourse in right field behind the Coors Light Strike Zone. The area features historic artifacts, memorabilia, photography and a wall with signed baseballs from nearly all D-backs players and coaches. The experience also includes a showcase of the team’s 2001 World Series championship and several Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and Cy Young awards won by D-backs players.

The much-coveted Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Yard Sale—where trinkets, T-shirts and bobbleheads are sold for charity—will be in the main rotunda area.

The bullpen cart will be out so fans can photograph it.

Season ticket holders will be treated to a player autograph session on the suite level. Players will rotate for the remainder of the fans.

“Season ticket holders can go there, and we’ll distribute clear bags because we have a clear bag policy now,” Hall says.

Each fan may carry one bag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a 1-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar). Additionally, fans may also carry a small clutch purse no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, with or without a handle or strap, that is subject to search.

“We have a lot going on,” he says. “It’s going to be all interactive and showcasing the whole ballpark.”

D-backs Fan Fest, Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 15, dbacks.com/fanfest, free admission; tickets required.

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