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Chase Field

The Diamondbacks designed Chase Field to have a retractable roof and air-conditioning because of the often intense desert heat in Phoenix. When the park was built it was only the second with this design. The park was built in phoenix’s warehouse district, it is a traditional red brick and steel construction, the Park is barely visible within this district.

 

Mixing the old with the new, this pleasant baseball environment attracted more than 3 1/2 million fans in the teams inaugural year. It passed the million mark in only the 22nd game of the season, faster than any other ballpark that decade. In 1999 the Diamondbacks rewarded their fans with the web Western division title becoming the quickest expansion franchise to reach the postseason.

 

The park has many interesting features. The rules has multiple panels and a telescope out one over the other to cover the whole pie in less than five minutes. They sometimes leave it open to allow sunlight to reach the grass, while keeping the structure cool. They have an 8000 ton cooling system that pumps out 1.2 Million cubic feet of air per minute, and can lower the temperature by 30° in just three hours.

 

The park has a picnic area that is beyond center field in the swimming pool of the right-center field wall. Water stands near the pool shoot streams of water with each home run.

 

On the field, a dirt path between the pitchers mound and home plane is reminiscent of the earliest ballfields.

 

Construction

In the spring of 1994, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved a quarter-cent increase in the county sales tax to pay for their portion of the stadium funding. This came about at a time that the county itself was facing huge budget deficits and lack of funding for other services. The sales tax being levied was very unpopular with local citizens, who were not allowed to vote on the issue of funding a baseball stadium with general sales tax revenue (usage of public subsidies for stadium projects was actually prohibited by a 1989 referendum). The issue was so controversial and divisive that in August 1997, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox was shot and injured while leaving a county board meeting by Larry Naman, a homeless man, who attempted to argue in court that her support for the tax justified his attack. In May 1998, Naman was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder.

 

Costs for the stadium were originally estimated at $279 million in 1995, but cost overruns (in part because of rising prices for steel and other materials) pushed the final price to $364 million. As part of the original stadium deal, the Diamondbacks were responsible for all construction costs above $253 million. These extra expenses, combined with the Diamondbacks and their fellow expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, not being allowed to share in the national MLB revenue for their first five years of operations, left the Diamondbacks in a less-than-desirable financial situation, which would come back to haunt team founder and managing partner Jerry Colangelo and his group later on.

 

The stadium was once the home of the Insight Bowl, a college football bowl game from 2001-2005. In 2006, the bowl game moved to Sun Devil Stadium, to replace the Fiesta Bowl, which moved to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The football configuration was notable because of the lack of nets behind the goalposts and the dugout behind the south end zone. The final Insight Bowl played at Chase was between the hometown Arizona State Sun Devils and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

 

The stadium also hosts occasional concerts and international soccer games. For football and soccer, the field is set up with the end lines perpendicular to the third-base line and temporary bleachers added on the east side.

 

Chase Field has staged nine women’s college basketball games. The second game, which was played on December 18, 2006, was shortened by rain with four minutes and 18 seconds remaining and Arizona State leading Texas Tech 61-45. Venue staff closed the roof in an effort to finish the game, but officials deemed the court unsafe. In 2000, ASU had played Tennessee at the same facility.

 

Chase Field was also the site of the “Challenge at Chase”, a college baseball game between Arizona State and Arizona. Arizona won both contests. There was no game scheduled in 2008 and in 2009.

 

In February 2006, the Professional Bull Riders hosted a Built Ford Tough Series bull riding event at this venue. Chris Shivers won this event with a total score of 181.5 points on two bulls, including an impressive 93.75 (out of 100) points on Taylor Made bucking bull, Smokeless Wardance, in the short-go round. During the long-go round, the roof was closed, but during the short-go, the roof was opened.

 

Monster Jam comes to the field every year.

 

Transportation

Chase Field is served by METRO Rail’s Washington at 3rd Street station.

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Tagged:
2001 World Series, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chase Field, Jerry Casale, Jerry Colangelo

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