It can be grueling just to sit in the bleachers for an outdoor game in the heat of the Arizona summer. But baseball remains the great American pastime, and a fine sport to introduce your kids to at a young age. In Phoenix, though, there’s no need to treat the choices of sweltering diamond-side or watching the game through the mediation of television as a dichotomy—instead, you can see an Arizona Diamondbacks home game at Chase Field in air-conditioned comfort.
It’s kind of a revolutionary concept. Though Chase Field opened as recently as 1998 (then known as the Bank One Ballpark), it was the first stadium in the country built with a retractable roof over a field of real grass. When the weather’s fine, or when the stadium’s empty and there’s no game in progress, the roof is left wide open so the grass can stay healthy. On hot days or in the midst of a dust storm or monsoon, however, twin 200hp motors roll out the ceiling and a HVAC system powerful enough to cool an entire neighborhood lowers the temperature by as much as 30°.
Chase Field is also notable for having the largest LED score- and video-board in the major leagues, as well as for the swimming pool immediately behind the right-center field fence. Players have often hit balls into the pool, and if you can afford to rent it as a suite, you can even watch the game from the water. And with nearly a quarter-mile of concession stands, featuring everything from Panda Express Chinese to Subway, from Streets of New York to the foot-long franks of Big Dawgs, there’s plenty to keep the whole family satisfied.
The Diamondbacks are a relatively new team—starting simultaneously with the building of the stadium—but they took the World Series in 2001, winning a championship faster than any other expansion team in major-league history. Five-time National League West Champs, the Arizona Diamondbacks are a very competitive team and a lot of fun to watch.
401 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004