Baseball is a business, it’s something we hear about anytime a big name player is traded or signed to a new team. One thing businesses are always cognizant of is their image and ownerships will go great lengths to ensure their image isn’t tainted, even if it means asking fans who paid for admission to change their clothes.
That was the case Friday night in Arizona when Diamondbacks ownership sent out an all-points to their stadium staff: get those Los Angeles Dodgers fans sitting behind home plate and in full view of television cameras, out of here. Two Dodgers fans were seen displaying their loyalty at Chase Field, but they were seated directly behind home plate and the fact that Dodgers fans and Dodgers colors were clearly being seen at a Diamondbacks game was something ownership wasn’t pleased with.
So, naturally, they asked them to either change into Diamondbacks gear or leave. The fans, who likely paid upwards of $3,000 for their seats, accepted the Diamondbacks gear and were allowed to stay where they were seated.
Deadspin.com contacted the Diamondbacks to ask them a simple question: what gives guys?
Due to the high visibility of the home plate box, we ask opposing team’s fans when they purchase those seats to refrain from wearing that team’s colors. During last night’s game, when Ken Kendrick noticed the fans there, he offered them another suite if they preferred to remain in their Dodger gear. When they chose to stay, he bought them all D-backs gear and a round of drinks and requested that they abide by our policy and they obliged.
Welcome to Communist Chase Field, apparently. Much like the Soviet Union, who barred freedom of the press, the Diamondbacks are barring freedom of fandom.
In all seriousness though, the Diamondbacks aren’t the only team in baseball with a dress code policy for home plate seats, but it’s rare that we actually see it enforced as though it’s an episode of Seinfeld. Luckily for Diamondbacks ownership, the Dodgers fans didn’t get all Elaine Benes on anyone and complied with the code — and got some free gear along the way.