You would think that paying $3,000 for seats behind home plate affords you the right to wear whatever team’s colors you want right? Apparently this is not the case at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
During the first inning of last Friday’s game between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, several fans could be seen in the suite right behind home plate wearing their Dodger blue and enjoying the game. Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick apparently took exception to what he saw and ultimately gave the group an ultimatum. They could keep their Dodgers gear on and move seats, or they could wear Diamondbacks gear and stay in their seats.
Ultimately the fans agreed to change into Diamondbacks gear supplied by ushers in order for them to keep their seats. According to the report, when the Dodger fans rebutted that they could not find a dress code stated anywhere on the ticket, Ken Kendrick apparently stated that the policy had just gone into effect an hour before the game.
This is the statement issued by the Diamondbacks Organization in response to outrage over the incident:
“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.”
To me this incident is so ridiculous that it can only be related to an episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine is forced to remove her Orioles hat while sitting in the owners box at a Yankees game. As a fan, I have been to numerous Cubs’ road games, including in Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. At each opposing stadium, I have worn my Cubs gear, and while I have been met with different levels of playful jabs or boos, I have never thought that I should have not worn the colors of my favorite team.
Ultimately, It should not matter if the dress code was a stated policy or not. As long as the clothing they were wearing was not obscene, then they should be allowed to wear anything that they want, whether of not they are sitting in a “high visibility” area. Obviously Kendrick and Diamondbacks organization thought they were right in trying to protect their brand from opposing fans, but in this instance however they were dead wrong.