SBD/April 7, 2014/Facilities

D-Backs Exploring Ways To Decrease Seating Capacity At Chase Field

After a sold-out D-Backs home opener last Monday, the "vastness of Chase Field was on display over the following three days," when attendance "dipped from 48,000 to the 18,000-19,000 range in the rest of the Giants series," according to Nick Piecoro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Empty seats at the ballpark "raise a question: Is there anything the Diamondbacks can do -- that is, short of getting more people out to the park?" Piecoro wondered if the D-Backs can "somehow reduce the capacity of the ballpark, either with a structural change or by blocking out seats." D-Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said, "It's obviously a concern of ours and we would love to have a smaller capacity but there's no solution right now. I'm totally opposed to tarps. I don't like that. I don't like the look." Hall added that the team has considered "installing wider seats" for the upper deck. He said, "That would make it more of an amenity upstairs -- a larger, more comfortable seat. We've looked at it. It could reduce capacity by 4,000 seats." Piecoro noted one possibility the D-Backs "haven't yet looked at closely, is what the Rockies have done at Coors Field" when they "cleared out 3,500 seats to create a 38,000-square-foot restaurant and bar area." Hall said that he "hoped to speak with Rockies owner Dick Monfort about the specifics of their renovation," which reportedly cost $10M. He added, "I think today if I were to build a stadium I'd probably want it to be 42,000. I think that's probably perfect. Some new ones are 38,000 to 42,000, and that seems to be the number" (AZCENTRAL.com, 4/5).
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