According to Deadspin, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick doesn’t want your money. Okay, so that’s my conclusion. But still, the events that transpired in last night’s opening game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field make very little sense.
UPDATE (4/17/2013): Apparently Deadspin got in touch with members of the group who sat behind home. First off, I apologize for jokingly proclaiming them to be unloyal fans for caving to Kendrick’s wishes. They didn’t, until Kendrick threatened to have security remove them. Also, one of the group members was a terrified 7-year-old girl. Stay classy, Ken Kendrick. Read the new article, linked above, and tell me that Kendrick isn’t just out of his mind crazy? End/update.
As you can see in the picture above (h/t Deadspin), there is a group of Dodgers fans sitting in the VIP seats behind home plate. That bunch of seats reportedly costs over $3,000. But Kendrick may have scared away any future business from opposing fans with his insistence upon enforcing an idiotic organizational policy. From the Deadspin article:
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.
So if people see anyone not supporting the D’Backs in that frame during games on TV, does Kendrick think they turn the game off in a fury? Does he not realize that money is money no matter who spends it? Did he forget that many people consider their team affiliation and the gear they wear to support said team is far more important to most fans than where they are sitting?
Buying a round of drinks for fans whose identities you are forcing to change (with their own money, probably) in the name of business may, in this case, actually be bad for business. At least Kendrick was gentle about the move. But does that mean it’s justified? I know that if I was among the group of fans there, I would have kindly told Kendrick to shove it and made sure I was in direct line of the camera all night.
It seems fair to assume that most viewers of this situation on TV would quickly get past the confusion of the situation and recognize that those high-priced seats go to anyone who can afford them (as do any seats in any stadium), regardless of fandom.
Calls to boycott Diamondbacks games among the Dodger faithful are already infiltrating Twitter. While that might be a little extreme for my taste, this move certainly won’t reflect well on the Diamondbacks front office in the eyes of the general MLB fan.
Oh, and just for the record, those fans DID agree to change their gear. They have promptly been removed from the Dodger family. If you want a funny read, check out the reddit thread comments on this issue.
What do you think? Is the policy legit? Vote in our poll below!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)