Chase Field

Phoenix, AZ
Year Opened: 1998
Capacity: 48,686
Games Attended: 3, plus 1 tour
First Game: March 2011 Tour
Most Recent Game: October 4, 2015
Next Game: April 7-9, 2023
Setting 16.5/20 1 Thumb Up
Locale 4/5 1 Thumb Up
Accessibility 4/5 1 Thumb Up
Neighborhood Local Scene 8.5/10 1 Thumb Up
Architecture & Aesthetics 28/65 1 Thumb Down
Exterior Design/Aesthetics 8/20 1 Thumb Down
Interior Aesthetics/Visuals 17/20 1 Thumb Down
Concourse Aesthetics 3/5 Thumb Sideways
Functionality & Essentials 37.5/50 1 Thumb Up
Sightlines: Field Proximity 11/15 Thumb Sideways
Sightlines: Seating Geometry 5/5 2 Thumbs Up
Seat Comfort 6.5/9 Thumb Sideways
Concourse Functionality 11.5/15 Thumb Sideways
Scoreboards/Tech 3.5/6 1 Thumb Up
Amenities & Features 33.5/50 Thumb Sideways
Concessions: Food Variety 3/5 Thumb Sideways
Concessions: Food Quality 2.5/5 1 Thumb Down
Concessions: Craft Beer/Other Drinks 3/5 Thumb Sideways
Social Gathering Areas/Restaurants 6.5/10 Thumb Sideways
Premium Seating/Clubs 5.5/9 Thumb Sideways
Historical Exhibits, Memorabilia, Art, & Other Displays 8/10 1 Thumb Up
Kids Areas/Other Entertainment 5/6 1 Thumb Up
Atmosphere, Vibe, & Policies 11/15 Thumb Sideways
Fan Support/Attendance 3.5/5 Thumb Sideways
Ballpark Traditions/Gameday Presentation 3/5 Thumb Sideways
Ballpark Policies/Staff 4.5/5 1 Thumb Up
Adjusted Raw Score 126.5/200=63.25=63.5
Bonus 2
Curve for All 7 7
Final Score 72.5
Ranking #26/30

Note: This article is based on a tour taken in March 2011.  The following pages are in the format of a photo essay done in 2011, so some aspects may have changed.  However, the following is an abbreviated review excerpted and edited from our piece Ranking and Rating the ballparks.  One of our traditional long-form, full, in-depth reviews will come after my April 2023 revisit!


Chase Field view


Chase Field hasn’t received much attention from ballpark enthusiasts, and when it does, the reaction is rarely positive.  For something as tribal as a baseball team’s home, there’s a pretty wide consensus here, as Chase Field is routinely placed in the bottom-5 of Major League Baseball.

I always enjoy my outings at Chase Field, but I think that’s correct.  Not to say that Chase doesn’t have plenty of nice features, as it should not be compared to the likes of Tropicana Field and the Oakland Coliseum.

Situated on the outskirts of downtown Phoenix, Chase Field possesses a decent location overall, but it has a subpar local bar and restaurant scene for a setting in a major city center (Phoenix doesn’t have a great downtown for a big city, so not too surprising).  Regardless, an urban setting downtown is still a plus in my book.  Better a mediocre downtown than a parking lot in suburbia.

Chase Field is probably the least architecturally inclined/aesthetically attractive of the “modern-day” post-1990 ballparks.  I’ve criticized Chase Field for its clashing architecture, typifying an era where inevitably modern retractable roofed ballparks also tried to be retro.  You can’t do both.

Looking at the outside, the red brick and green steel are meant to evoke the classic ballparks. The yellow sandstone represents the Phoenix southwest regional character.  The geometric glass windows and sharp, clean lines look pragmatically modern.  It all adds up to one of the most schizophrenic exteriors in baseball.  Not only does the exterior fail conceptually, but it’s a rather brute, rudimentary structure, lacking the nuances of other facades.  It’s not downright ugly like a Tropicana Field, but it’s probably the worst façade of the retro parks.

The interior aesthetics are also among the worst of the post-1990 ballparks.  People have likened watching a game in Chase Field to watching a game in a giant gym.  While panels in the outfield fold open, the roof opens like that of an airplane hangar.  Even when the roof is open, you feel like you are watching a game in an enclosed environment.  When closed, almost no natural light is emitted into the building.  The pool is a total gimmick, by the way.

Further underscoring a lack of emphasis on aesthetics, Chase Field replaced its natural grass surface with artificial turf in 2019.  True, this isn’t your father’s ugly carpet surface, but this is a step in the wrong direction.

Form follows function at Chase Field, and Chase Field is indeed functional.  This certainly separates it from the lesser parks above.

Chase Field benefits from a functionally sound concourse system, with 360-degree field visibility throughout the lower bowl.  Articulated by murals outlining Arizona’s most beautiful landmarks, the inside of Chase Field’s rotunda is its aesthetic strongpoint.


Chase Field pool
Chase Field’s signature feature, the pool.

Arizona was one of the first parks to aggressively orient the seats down the lines toward home plate.  Most parks since 1995 orient the seats toward the infield to some degree, but here, every single seat, even those at the ends of the dugout, is angled toward home plate.  This can lead to some awkward foot room, but it’s definitely ideal for sightlines and particularly seating geometry. The ballpark also features above-average field proximity, without the presence of an extra suite level between the club level and the upper deck.  Overall, Chase Field features some of the best sightlines among post-1990 ballparks.

With a ballpark that is obviously punting on architecture and aesthetics, but is generally strong from a functional point of view, Chase Field’s biggest missed opportunity is in the amenities category.  Like Angel Stadium, Chase Field has not received proper capital investments, a fact the Diamondbacks have been keen to point out.

With a ballpark of this size, Chase Field could do pretty much anything.  It’s not necessarily going to be attractive, but the possibilities for amenities are endless.  Instead, we have mall-like concessions, a lack of local food options, a poor craft beer selection, few social spaces, two outfield restaurants that look like they haven’t been touched since the ballpark opened, a worn club level, a tired series of “premium” bars at field level, and few Diamondback historical references.

The Diamondbacks have been roundly criticized for demanding a new ballpark due to the county’s failure to upkeep Chase Field, but the inconvenient truth is that the Diamondbacks are right in some sense.  No, I’m not advocating for a new ballpark, which isn’t likely to be any more attractive than Chase Field, but regardless of who should pay the bill, Chase Field has not received the extensive enhancements of other 1990s ballparks.


Located on the outskirts of downtown Phoenix, Chase Field has an average location overall, but a subpar location for a downtown park, somewhat similar to the Minute Maid Park.

Architecture & Aesthetics

Exterior Design:

Chase Field hasn’t received much attention from baseball or the ballpark community. 
Chase Field exterior design
Chase Field has been roundly criticized for its clashing architecture, typifying an era where inevitably modern retractable roofed ballparks also tried to be retro (read more about this in my article). You can’t do both.
A cornucopia of clashing elements. The red brick and green steel is meant to evolve the classic ballparks. The yellow sandstone represents the Phoenix southwest regional character. And the geometric glass windows and sharp, clean lines look pragmatically modern. It all adds up to the most schizophrenic exterior in baseball; it’s ultimately a ballpark that doesn’t know what it wants to be.
Not only does the exterior fail conceptually, but it’s a rather brute, rudimentary structure, lacking the nuances of other facades.
Chase Field open windows
No post-1991 ballpark is downright ugly on the outside, unlike Tropicana Field, but Chase Field will probably score the lowest of all ballparks reviewed on exterior architecture. The retractable windows are nice, but there aren’t many redeeming qualities, in what is a relative disaster compared to other retro ballparks, as it even fails worse than Minute Maid, Miller, or Safeco.
Chase Field rotunda
Like Tropicana Field, architects attached a classic rotunda to the outside that doesn’t really look like it belongs, complicating an already muddled structure. As we’ll see later, inside the rotunda is quite nice though. To the left, we see the APS Solar Pavilion being installed as an addition for the 2011 All Star Game.

Interior Aesthetics:

Chase Field view from outfield roof open
View of Chase Field cross section. The ballpark has a simple decking structure, which is very functional but not very aesthetically attractive, which is the general theme of the entire ballpark.
Chase Field retractable roof mechanisms inside open
View of left field stands. Unlike Miller Park, Chase Field’s retractable roof mechanisms are relatively simple, ensuring a reasonably long lifespan.
Chase field roof open
Chase Field has the largest upper deck in baseball, but that shouldn’t be taken to mean it has the highest seats. With no separate suite level, it’s upper deck starts very low to the field.
Chase Field pool
The pool is a lovely amenity, but it isn’t very well integrated into the outfield aesthetics, as it just sits among a functional array of stands. The pool could have been used as a concept to beautify the aesthetic scene, as the possibilities are endless. It’s a fun idea, but it could have been part of a larger design schema.
Chase field roof open
One benefit of the airplane hanger retractable roof design is that the retractable roof doesn’t loom over the outfield like at Safeco Field or Minute Maid Park. But that isn’t saying much, as those two ballparks are still more attractive anyway.
The general consensus on Chase Field from the ballpark community likens it to watching a ballgame in a giant gym.
Chase Field cantilever
Chase Field has decent overhang in the upper deck.
Chase Field view from luxury suite
When closed, Chase Field holds the distinction of letting virtually no light into the building, as the retractable panels are not transparent.
Chase Field close upper deck
Chase Field has one of the closest upper decks in baseball, as there is no separate suite level.
Chase Field from dugout during tour
While it may be one of the least aesthetically attractive interior designs in baseball, there is a certain welcomed symmetrical simplicity in the outfield scene.
Chase Field inside dugout
Chase Field has more foul territory than most ballparks built in the last 20 years.
Chase Field dugout
We have poor use of space above the restaurant in left field, like a multi-purpose facility, not a ballpark.
Chase Field dugout roof open
The ballpark lets slightly more light in than Miller Park in the outfield when open. Overall, the interior aesthetics score very similar to Miller Park, as the outfield scene is slightly more attractive, but it doesn’t benefit from the structural novelty from the fan shaped roof behind home plate at Miller.
Chase Field roof open
For what it’s worth, we have great use of space in center field. The batter’s eye connects well with the outfield wall and the scoreboard, unlike ballparks like Petco Park where the batter’s eye sticks out like a soar thumb. Just compare the center field landscape to that of Miller Park, which doesn’t have quite as good balance. Chase Field may be enclosed, but at least it is coherent. Compared to Miller, it also benefits from a much more flavorful color scheme.
Chase Field grandstand
Check back in the summer of 2017 for a full analysis of the interior design.


Chase Field rotunda
Foyer of Chase Field rotunda, articulated with Arizona murals.
Chase Field rotunda
The tour guide spends a great detail of time talking about the murals in the rotunda, and for good reason. Also housing pieces of Diamondbacks history, the rotunda is certainly the artistic highlight of Chase Field.
Chase Field open concourse
Chase Field benefits from a functionally excellent concourse system, with 360 degree field visibility on the lower level.
Chase Field main concourse
Aesthetically, Chase Field has been criticized for being like a mall, but on the whole, its a functionally sound ballpark.
Chase Field main concourse
While it isn’t as spacious as some of the newer ballparks, Chase Field has relatively wide concourses.
Chase Field outfield concourse
Unfortunately, the concourse gets much too crowded in the outfield, separating it from the superior 6-7 systems. They do have two interesting party areas in the outfield. One is the picnic pavilion, which you can’t get much information on, and the Diamond Club.
Chase Field Picnic Pavilion
View of the Picnic Pavilion. These were officially sold as all-you-can-eat seats as of 2011.
Diamond Club.

Functionality & Essentials


In terms of seating geometry, Chase Field has some of the best sightlines in all of baseball. It seems like a simple proposition, but few got it exactly right. Read my sightlines article about this.
Chase Field seat angles
In many parks, they market the fact that they angle the seats toward the infield. But sometimes they just indiscriminately angle each seat down the lines at the same angle, no matter the location down the line. Chase field truly orients each seat towards the infield.

Seat Comfort:

Chase Field bleachers with cup holders
Chase Field is the only ballpark I’ve seen with cupholders in the bleacher seats. By my best guess, looking closely at the ballparks I haven’t been to, this is the only ballpark in the majors to have cupholders in the bleachers.
Club seats are not padded.
Chase Field box seats
First two rows of dugout box seats are fully padded.
Seats in Friday’s Front Row are padded.


See last page.

Scoreboard System:

Chase Field video board
Chase Field added a new HD videoboard in 2008.

Amenities & Features

Quality and Selection of Concessions:

Chase Field is thoughtfully designed for tours, as the closed concession stands have pictures of old ballplayers.
Sandwich concession stand.
Despite providing a mall-like quality, Chase Field has a terrific variety of concessions. American (Fatburger), Mexican (Macoyo’s), Asian (Panda Express), Subs (Subway), and numerous sweets (Cold Stone Creamery and TCBY) are available. But you’ll never see Chase Field on a list of best ballpark concessions, for good reason.

Public Restaurants/Bars/Sitting Areas:

Chase Field Friday's Front Row Sports Grill
View of Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill in left field. Note the new kids play area on top of the restaurant.
Chase Field Friday's Front Row Sports Grill
Inside Friday’s bar area.
Chase Field Friday's Front Row Sports Grill
View of Friday’s dining area.
View of Friday’s dining area.
Ticketed outdoor seating tables at Friday’s.
Outdoor patio table.
Great views from indoor table at Friday’s.
Chase Field Arizona Baseball Club
Arizona Baseball Club in right field. Party suites are above it.
Chase Field Arizona Baseball Club
Formerly a members only Stadium Club restaurant, the Arizona Baseball Club is now open to all fans.

Premium Seating/Clubs:

Chase Field Home Run Porch
The Chase Field home run porch boxes are a wonderful concept. The all inclusive package comes in groups of 4 seats and is included with a flat screen TV.
Chase Field Home Run Porch
Loosely similar to the NBA arena’s loge boxes, the seats are actually hovered over fair territory in center field. These are surely some of the most underrated seats in baseball.
Chase Field pool
Chase Field’s pool suite is certainly one of the coolest areas in baseball. New Marlins Park takes this concept to another level, representing the premium seating evolution from suites to clubs. Marlins Park’s Clevelander seats essentially serves as a left field pool club, with access to a bar, pool, private bathrooms, and three rows of fully padded seats against the outfield fence.
Chase Field pool
No jumping into pool from the concourse!
Chase Field Insight Diamond Level
Luxury Suite hallway in right field on Insight Diamond Level.
Chase Field suite
Entrance to a suite at Chase Field.
Chase Field Insight Diamond Level
Insight Diamond Level (club level) concourse at Chase Field. The Club Level is somewhat similar to that of Miller Park, which both function more as a de-facto suite hallway than a true club level. If you are noticing many superficial similarities between retractable roof parks not having to with the roof, I might add that Minute Maid Park has one of the top 5 mezzanine club levels in baseball.
Chase Field Luxury Suite
Chase Field luxury suite.
Chase Field luxury suite
Chase Field luxury suite.
Chase Field 3rd Base Box
Chase Field dugout box seats.
Chase Field dugout
Chase Field uses an interesting formula for its premium seating behind home plate. While they don’t have an ultra premium all inclusive home plate club, clubhouse box ticket holders get access to the Audi Quattro Lounge, the Sedona Club, and the Soronan Room.

General or Artistic References to Baseball or Team History/Museums:

Chase Field 2001 World Series memorabilia in the rotunda
2001 World Series memorabilia in the rotunda.
Chase Field statue
Chase Field statue.
Chase Field historical mural
Historical mural on outfield concourse.
Naturally, Chase Field is an ahistorical building, but they’ve done a good job in retroactively integrating Diamondbacks history into the ballpark. Overall, Chase Field inevitably scores among the lowest in aesthetics, but it’s an underrated ballpark in terms of functionality and amenities. Despite all the criticism in design, it has a great scoreboard, excellent sightlines, above average concourses, great kids entertainment, and a great variety (albeit fast food quality) of concessions. It will definitely score in the range of Turner Field, Miller Park, and U.S. Cellular Field, but my subjective opinions of this park are actually higher.  It’s a fun place to see a game.

Atmosphere, Vibe, & Policies


For being one of the most fan friendly ballparks in the majors, in multiple respects +2
For the many restaurants, including the three unadvertised bunker clubs that are often open to all fans (if you can find them) +1
For being the one ballpark that aggressively angles the seats down the lines +1
For the pool +1
For the attractive rotunda +1
For the APS solar pavilion +1


TL;DR?  Here’s the long-form piece in a nutshell:

As the first baseball-only stadium with a retractable roof, Chase Field is all function over form, geared toward pumping in air conditioning to make baseball work in the desert.  Often likened to an airplane hangar, it’s the least aesthetically attractive MLB ballpark of the post-1990 building boom, lacking any architectural intrigue.   It often lands in the bottom 5 of ballpark rankings.

Chase Field’s big and boxy exterior profile features terribly clashing architecture, typifying an era where inevitably modern retractable roof parks tried to be “retro.”  Inside, Chase Field feels like watching baseball in a giant gym.  When the roof is closed, almost no natural light is emitted into the building.   When the roof is open, Chase Field’s aesthetic sensibility is much better — panels fold up throughout the entirety of the outfield — but it still feels like watching baseball in a box.  And the cavernous upper deck screams outdated empty stadium.

With a dearth of significant enhancements over the years, Chase Field’s amenities have not aged well.  Think mall-like concessions, pedestrian food quality, a poor craft beer selection, minimal social gathering areas, two aging outfield restaurants (although, at least decent burger joint now occupies one of them), tired premium spaces at field level, and a worn club level.

That’s before getting into the behind-the-scenes technical issues fans don’t always see.  The roof can only be opened or closed when the stadium is empty due to a broken pulley (fan safety issue). The roof leaks, as seen during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.  It’s made the local news rounds for grease fires in the kitchens, burst pipes, faulty scoreboard lights, and other issues.

Chase Field has some bright spots.  It’s a downtown ballpark.  There’s the pool.  I love the murals in the rotunda celebrating natural Arizona landmarks.  It’s still a pretty functional building for watching baseball despite all the behind-the-scenes issues, with superb seating geometry and an open main concourse without interruptions in field visibility.

Bottom 5 is right, but it doesn’t deserve to be grouped with the “bad” ballparks in Tampa, Oakland, and to a lesser extent, Toronto.  It’s safely in that #25-#27 range.  The Diamondbacks desire a new ballpark or a top-to-bottom renovation to Chase Field.

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