Chase Field Guide – Where to Park, Eat, and Get Cheap Tickets

Chase Field is well planned out for one reason: retractable roof. Perhaps no other place begs for an air conditioned ballpark more than Arizona. Whether the blazing heat, or an infamous monsoon; you are covered, literally. Lets look at some ideas to save money at Arizona’s ballpark.

Cheap or Free Parking at Chase Field

You can park for free near Chase Field, but as usually is the case, you will probably need to arrive early. The metered parking around the ballpark is only in effect up until 5pm, after that point you can park there for free. As you might imagine you will want to get there around 5pm if possible to find one of these.

If you are there that early, you can afford to swing around the blocks surrounding the stadium a few times and look for an open spot. You may have about a 5 – 10 minute walk, which you can gauge how you feel about that with the heat. See the image below for a couple of hot spots for free parking. You will want to focus on the streets running east and west with Presidential names. If you can’t parallel park, you may want to search for a cheap lot.

There are also a good amount of private lots in the area where you can park for $5. The D-backs don’t usually sellout, so most of the smaller private lots have an easy in and easy out after the game. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a $5 lot no matter which direction you come from, most of which are a couple of blocks from the stadium.

There is also the option of public transportation to save money getting to the Diamondbacks game. Arizona has a light rail system and of course buses operated by Metro. You can buy an all day fare pass for $2.50, and you can buy online so you don’t have to mess with getting in a line or anything at the station.

If you have just a couple of people, or you are going to the game by yourself, you can certainly save some money if you live or stay near a station. Here is a handy link where you can plan your public transport trip if you know you start address. Just plug in the Chase Field address as your destination (401 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ?).

Another nice option for parking at Chase Field is Parking Panda. This website lets you pre-pay and reserve a spot ahead of time so you can cut out some of the stress and guesswork when it comes to finding a spot. Certainly that isn't a bad option.

Here are spots for upcoming games:

And finally another option is the D-backs Express which runs during select games from Tucson, leaving 3 hours before the start time. The price is $20 per adult round trip, so you can determine if that is worth it for you. Here are the details of which games it will be running for:

how to find cheap d-backs tickets

As I write this, you probably should never pay face value for Arizona Diamonbacks’ tickets. They are simply not that in demand, and with scalping being legal outside of Chase Field, you can usually find deeply discounted tickets as game time draws near.

If you have never dealt with scalpers, don’t be afraid to make an offer. Tell them you only have ____ to spend and see what they offer you. You ultimately have the power because the game isn’t sold out, and you can walk up to the window and buy for face value. So that is my first recommendation for best value tickets at Chase Field.

Tickets are always available on eBay as well. Here is my advice for ticket buying on eBay; wait until the last minute. I know that sounds crazy, and you would think that closer to the event the prices would shoot up; but that is not the case. I have bought and sold plenty of tickets on eBay and I have found that when I sell them early I get top dollar because there is less competition.

As the event gets closer, everybody in America who is selling tickets begins to list them at auction. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when the market is flooded with supply the price is driven down. I don't know if there are any published numbers to back me up, but I have seen it time and time again. So if buying on eBay, buy late. Here are a couple of auctions ending soon with a current bid under $50.

Another great place to buy tickets is from Score Big. Let's face it, most ticket broker sites are the same but this one is actually different. It is kind of like the Priceline of sports tickets. Essentially you can search events in your area, and make an offer on tickets and get an instant answer on whether your bid is accepted.

Here are a couple of screenshots of how it works. You can select a quantity, and then it gives you different tiers. It gives you an approximate discount percentage, and shows on the seat map which sections your tickets could possibly be in.

Next you enter in a price, again it gives you an idea how how likely that is to be accepted. I made the comparison to Priceline, and it is true, you have to put in payment details prior to making an official offer. But if you are going to the game, what a great way to save money on tickets!

Here are games coming up in the next 30 days:

When looking for ticket values at Chase Field, you can buy tickets as cheap as $5 from the team. These will get you outfield reserve seats, which are a little far away but you can move to a different section if you would like. If you are trying to move to better seats at a ballpark, you probably shouldn’t get greedy. Be happy with moving to upper deck seats behind the plate, which get you a much better view but don’t generally have people checking tickets. You can try for the field level later in the game. Here are my general principles for moving down:

  • Get a birds eye view and scout empty rows, and usherless sections.
  • Wait at least 3 innings, people are always late.
  • Once you have found the area to invade, WALK CONFIDENTLY.
  • Half the battle is looking like you know exactly where you are going.
  • If there are ushers around, act like you’re on the phone. They are less likely to stop you.
  • In the lower sections, move to the middle of the row. It is preferable if you don’t have to get folks to stand up and let you in. The less you inconvenience people sitting there, the less likely they are to say something.By being the middle you decrease the odds of somebody coming in with those seats, (people like aisle seats) and you give yourself options to move in the same row if somebody does show.

My personal vote for best bang for your buck at Chase Field is the bullpen reserve section in 108 and 136. These are about half the price of the next section over, with virtually the same view. There are specific seats here that are better than others. Certainly if you can get to row one that would be ideal, but as close as you can will do. Notice in the image below that part of the section actually runs down by the field, in front of the foul pole. The low rows will put you down there, which is where you want to

The bleacher seats aren’t bad either; they do have seat backs unlike some bleachers. These are about $15, and a good way to get close to the action for not a lot of money. If you have kids, this is a great way to splurge because you are in home run territory and are within earshot of the outfielders who will occasionally toss up a ball if they get the final put-out. 

Kids that I know might get quickly disinterested sitting far away in the upper deck, keeping them close to the field might buy you some time to actually watch the game for a few minutes between bathroom and concession breaks. Why pay $15 for upper deck behind the plate when you could pay the same and potentially be hanging over the outfield wall? That is just one man’s opinion.

A couple of other things I want to mention about the best seats at Chase Field. They have a good portion of the seats down the line which sit at a funny angle. If you have no idea what I am talking about, some modern stadiums turn seats at an angle to face the pitchers mound. I know many people, including me, who don’t really like those seats. They feel more cramped in my opinion, if you are a bigger person, and they can get a little uncomfortable for your back. It just feels odd. I don’t have a comprehensive list about which sections to avoid, but staying somewhere in the infield or in the bleacher seats will definitely keep you facing straight on.

The second thing is that the D-backs have bought into the crap where they have regular and premium games. At least they only have 2 categories, I have seen as many as 4. You will pay about 20% more for tickets to a premium game which is determined by opponents and special dates like opening day. Always plan ahead and make sure you are going to a regular game if you aren’t really concerned with the opponent.

Final Word: Look on eBay first, or try to hit a scalper and at least make a low ball offer before you go to the ticket window. You have nothing to lose and you may get below face value tickets at Chase Field.

food

You are allowed to take food into a Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. They ask that it be in a clear plastic grocery bag so it can easily be seen by the gate security. Concession prices are always expensive, so save big money by taking your own snacks and dinner to the game. This can mean packing, or picking up something at a drive-thru on the way to the game.

You can also take sealed bottled water into Chase Field. Soft coolers are permitted along with the food and drinks, but there is a size requirement so keep it small (11x11x15 to be specific.)

Another option that I consistently recommend is Restaurant.com Here you can buy $25 gift certificates to local restaurants for $10. You can also do a google search for "Restaurant.com coupon codes" and almost always get an extra 60 - 80% off that. I often buy these $25 certificates for $2. That is the best way to eat a decent meal before or after the game and save a chunk of change. When you follow the link, just type in the zip code of Chase Field (85004) to see what restaurants are nearby.

Another local place that you might want to try if you are from out of town, or from Phoenix but have never tried, is Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe. Its mostly home cooking, but I like eating at small hole in the wall type places like this when I can. It gets crowded at peak times, but if you leave early for the game you can get a great dinner.

Jake Cain
 

A Cincinnati native, lifelong Reds fan, father of 3 boys and husband of one wife. Doing what I can to make your next ballpark trip more fun and affordable.