Arizona baseball fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the Arizona Diamondbacks’ home opener Friday with fun, food, drinks and a good cause at CityScape in what could be a new tradition for the Diamondbacks and downtown Phoenix.
Before the Diamondbacks host their season’s home opener against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field, CityScape will be hosting a tailgate to benefit the Foundation for Blind Children.
Elena Fernandez, a marketing assistant at CityScape, said that in other cities, the baseball home opener is cause for huge celebration. CityScape wanted to help bring that type of festive atmosphere to Phoenix, Fernandez said.
“I feel like it will be a really big night,” Fernandez said. “We’re excited for starting the first tradition for celebrating the opening day for the Diamondbacks. Arizona doesn’t have anything like that.”
The Downtown Phoenix Partnership, RED Development and Foundation for Blind Children have been working to make this a memorable event and hope to keep the momentum for years to come, Fernandez said.
R.J. Price, the online community and publication editor for the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said that part of what makes a home opener worth celebrating is the Americana aspect, but for Phoenix it has the potential to be a big, community event.
“The return of baseball means everything,” Price said, adding that it functions as a community builder and a good business opportunity. He said that businesses have really been getting involved with the event by offering great deals for baseball fans.
According to downtownphoenix.com, there are 15 restaurants listed for having home-opener day deals.
Price said that while Phoenix has a “transient” population that brings their home-team fandom with them, as downtown Phoenix grows business-wise, baseball could become more attractive.
Tobin Ernst, director of marketing and public relations for the Foundation for Blind Children, agreed that this event could be the beginning of an Arizona tradition of celebrating the Diamondbacks home opener.
“We want this event to be the lead-off base hit of a grand-slam tradition where Valley residents can celebrate America’s pastime and generate awareness of the Foundation for Blind Children so we can create opportunities for visually-impaired individuals,” Ernst said in an email interview.
Festivities include music, food and games provided by the Diamondbacks, wine tasting and a beer truck. Oakville Grocery will be grilling gourmet natural hotdogs for attendees to buy.
Fernandez said that because of the expected good weather and television promotions, CityScape is anticipating 2,000 people to attend. Part of Central Avenue will be closed off for the event. People who don’t have a ticket to the game can hang out and watch at CityScape on LED screens that will be set up.
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers will be performing a 30-minute concert to begin the festivities at noon.
The event is free, but there are two VIP ticket packages available, one for $100 and one for $50. The proceeds from the packages go to the Foundation for Blind Children.
The $100 package includes a ticket to the game, food and drink at the tailgate, parking and access to the VIP area. The $50 package is designed for people who already have a ticket for the game but is otherwise the same as the $100 package.
Ernst said the Foundation for Blind Children has already sold 100 VIP tickets, and are hoping to raise $30,000. This would be enough money to provide braille lessons to 30 blind children.
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