Tempe Diablo Stadium prepared for spring training despite MLB lockout
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- There was no “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday. It was quiet, except for the sounds of traffic on I-10. Despite the MLB lockout, stadium manager Jerry Hall says they are prepared for spring training.
“It’s been something we’ve been ramping up for months and months,” he told Arizona’s Family on Monday. “And you know we’re just kind of sitting and waiting now. So it’s been hard.”
This is Hall’s 16th spring training season. The dugout in Tempe is empty and the concession stands are closed for now, but Hall says it takes a lot of work to prepare for that first pitch. Between 8 and 10 groundskeepers help get the field ready. They actually started preparing in November and Monday would have been game two for the Los Angeles Angels. Even on a Monday, Hall thinks they could have sold about 5,000 tickets.
Hall says the ongoing negotiations mean up to 45 part-time workers are on standby and there are dozens of volunteers also waiting to take tickets and more. He says they had a staff meeting to get ready just in case. The waiting game though hasn’t stopped true baseball fans. Steve Henson is from Michigan and had tickets for games this week. He swung by just to see what the stadium looks like.
“It looks too gorgeous to even play baseball on,” said Henson. “The grass almost looks like it’s not real.”
While the lockout continues, it seems many can still agree there’s something special about spring training from the atmosphere to the weather. “Everybody has anticipation that they’re going to be good this year and we’re going to have a winning season,” Hall said. “And that’s where it starts. Here.”
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