The Arizona Diamondbacks held their annual FanFest this past weekend with another large crowd turning out for a day of fun and interaction. D’backs’ CEO Derrick Hall indicated that the event drew 25,000 people, on par with last season and about twice as much as the 2011 turnout. It shows that fans in the Valley are excited about the 2013 season even as old faces such as Chris Young and Justin Upton are no longer with the team. A new era has dawned in D’back history with a core that will be together for at least the next three years, an era that hopes to see a multitude of playoff appearances topped off with a World Series Championship.
Arizona baseball fans have many reasons to be pumped. While the trade of Upton still upsets some folks, the arrival of Martin Prado will give a boost to the clubhouse and if the statements by Atlanta Braves fans are any indication, D’back fans will fall in love with him quickly. Prado, Aaron Hill, Miguel Montero and new arrival Cody Ross have all been inked to multi year deals and there has been a willingness by the club to offer a long term contract to Paul Goldschmidt. Whether you agree with all, some or none of the moves this offseason, ownership is showing fans that they are willing to spend money to bolster the Major League club. The payroll now stands at $91 million, the highest total since the 2002 season and with deferred salaries from prior contracts now off the books and more revenue expected in 2014 due to a new national television deal, expect management to keep pouring more money into the team.
Now is the perfect opportunity for the D’backs to seize the Phoenix sports scene. The Suns have regressed to a lottery team, the Cardinals have gone back to being the “same old Cardinals” and the Coyotes and the rest of the NHL have just come off their third work stoppage in less than 20 years. FanFest shows that the D’backs have built a loyal following. Now it is time for the organization to reward that loyalty with a playoff season in 2013 and many more in the future.
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