A couple weeks ago I posted a story that was broken by Deadspin writer Timothy Burke about how the Arizona Diamondbacks forced Dodger fans, that were sitting behind home plate, to change out of their Dodgers gear for more home friendly Diamondbacks merchandise. In the article the reason for the incident was explained by the Diamondbacks P.R department with the following.
“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.”
Well Kristin and Nat Parra reached out to us and the experience they had wasn’t as friendly as the D-Backs P.R department would have it seem. In an email to Bleed Blue Crew Nat told us his story and this is what he had to say.
“I was one of the Dodgers fans in the box. We didn’t want to “raise hell.” We were given 3 options…move…change…or leave. We didn’t want to give up the best seats in the house we paid 3k for and traveled 3 hours to sit in. It was a group decision and not everyone could agree. What kind of Dodgers fans are these? We had some hardcore Dodgers fans, some wore neutral undershirts or the cheap D-back shirt backwards. They were irate to say the least. It sucked for us and we were forced to be peaceful or as Ken Kendrick, the owner of the D-backs, put it “be escorted out in cuffs.” When asked if the 7-year-old girl with us would be cuffed he said “whatever it takes.”
“The D-back ushers and staff were trying to be cool and they were. It’s not their fault their boss is rude. This was our 3rd annual trip in this box and it’s not a policy. Ken Kendrick said this went into effect “an hour before we got there.” We were not informed when we bought our tickets. The Dodgers fans kept it cool and tried to avoid making a scene like the owner. He did bring us a box of cheap shirts and caps (I’ve seen better quality at Walgreens). However, those seats are all-inclusive for drinks and food. Some hard-core Dodgers fans were not happy but tried to keep it classy for the sake of their reputation. We had 2 veterans, some Border Patrol agents, a police officer, a fire fighter and healthcare professionals in this group…..heck of a lot classier than the owner of an MLB team.”
Kristin sent me another email saving the best stuff for last, “Nat forgot to mention in his email that the AZ marketing team were actually calling our group and asking if we would be back this year knowing we are Dodgers fans. They all knew us and pursued our business knowing we are Dodgers fans. That BS about policy wasn’t true. We felt welcomed last year. The D-backs staff were so cool. It was an on the spot policy because the owner didn’t like what he saw and just came up with that policy. The D-backs comments are damage control BS.”
Wow so they’ll take your 3 grand but you have to wear their gear. That is no way for any owner to treat fans of any team. I’d be surprised if Bud Selig hasn’t spoken to Kendrick about this. Granted it is Kendrick’s stadium, but the goal of all owners should be to promote the game of baseball and to make sure that fans, of all teams, have an enjoyable and fun-filled experience regardless of how the owners feel about what their image looks like on TV. Kendrick is disgracing not only himself, but fans of baseball everywhere. I like the fact that I can go to any stadium wearing my favorite teams gear without having to worry about being “escorted out in cuffs.” What garbage!