Phoenix to ramp up police presence as World Series, Halloween, Suns game converge

Downtown Phoenix will host Game 4 of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers, along with a Phoenix Suns basketball game Tuesday. It’s also Halloween. (Photo by Hunter Fore/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – The city is revving up for a sports and American holiday confluence.

On Tuesday, Game 4 of the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers will overlap downtown with a Phoenix Suns game. Tuesday is also Oct. 31 – Halloween.

The capacity of Chase Field is 48,633 people, while Footprint Center’s capacity is 17,071 people. Chase Field has sold out for games 3, 4 and 5. Footprint Center was sold out for the most recent Suns home game against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 28.

“It’s going to be a heavy lift,” said Phoenix Police Sgt. Rob​ Scherer, a department spokesperson. “There’s going to be 70,000 minimum extra people down there. That doesn’t account for the people that just want to be in the area hanging out at local restaurants.”

With the expected influx of crowds, the department plans to double the number of officers in the downtown area to patrol traffic, according to Scherer. The average Diamondbacks and Suns games have 20 to 25 officers dedicated to traffic, but the two games combined will warrant heightened law enforcement presence.

“This isn’t a June baseball game,” Scherer said. “This is a World Series event with the Suns. … Know before you go, understand some of the parameters that are happening. We’ll get you down there … safe.”

The Phoenix Police Department is urging people not to bring any dangerous items into crowded public areas, even if they are for Halloween, Scherer said. The agency understands that some Halloween outfits may include elements such as blades, fake guns or lasers.

“Do your best to stay away from those,” Scherer said. “Those present different elements and will draw attention from not only us, but other patrons. … We’re going to address those even understanding the element of Halloween.”

Just one block separates Chase Field and Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix, where the Diamondbacks and Suns will host their games, respectively. The first pitch of the World Series is scheduled for 5:03 p.m., while the Suns’ tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Diamondbacks are hosting World Series games for the first time since 2001, and Tuesday’s Game 4 will mark the third straight year that a World Series game has been scheduled on Halloween.

On Tuesday, the Suns host Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and the San Antonio Spurs.

With the number of people attending the games, the police department encourages using ride-hailing services and public transportation to alleviate traffic.

There are multiple nearby parking options available. Parking passes for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night range from $20 to $138 for nearby lots owned by ACE Parking.

The Block 23 lot, located at 101 E. Washington St., charges $60 for an event pass on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as does CityScape East Garage located at 1 E. Washington St. The Renaissance Square parking at 2 N. Central Ave. charges $30 for an event pass.

Valley Metro is ramping up its light rail service for the night by adding more three-car trains to the tracks, according to Brittany Hoffman, public information specialist for Valley Metro. The three-car trains can fit more than 400 people.

The increase in rail service will be similar to the services provided during this year’s Super Bowl, when the transit agency served more than 250,000 people, according to Hoffman.

“We’ve done big, mega-events before, so we are planning and prepared for all of the people,” she said. “We want to get people where they need to go safely … on, not only event nights, but … holidays as well.”

Halloween festivities can present safety concerns, Hoffman said. As people dress up in costumes, they should be cognizant of what they bring.

“We know that people like to get very festive and you know those costumes are really great to see,” she said. “But just as a reminder, we want to make sure that everyone’s safe.”

Related story

Hoffman said the Valley Metro security team is prepared to handle events across the light rail system, but riders should be aware of their surroundings and abide by the “see something, say something” practice.

“Of course there’s a lot of people going to be downtown. We have a lot of sporting events happening, and on top of that it’s Halloween,” said Carmen DeAlba, public information specialist for the city of Phoenix transit office. “Same rules apply as always: Be respectful of others.”

“We are a huge component of making sure that people get to those games safely,” Hoffman said. “Back in 2001, there was no light rail. So you kind of imagine how many cars there were downtown trying to get 50,000 people into downtown for the World Series. Now there’s a great option of the Valley Metro rail and so we’re ready to take all those passengers and help that gridlock downtown.”

The light rail has stops within a few blocks of Chase Field and Footprint Center. The agency encourages riders to download the Valley Metro mobile app, which allows them to track trains and look at transit schedules. Riders are also advised to purchase a mobile pass, which costs $4 per day. Hoffman said the light rail gives fans a chance to “get in the spirit before (they) even hit downtown.”

News Reporter, Phoenix

Zach Bradshaw expects to graduate in May 2025 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minors in sociology and economics. Bradshaw is an intern at The Arizona Republic and is news director at Blaze Radio.

Hunter Fore(he/him/his)
News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Hunter Fore expects to graduate in December 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in French. Fore has experience as a writer for Phoenix Business Journal and Downtown Devil along with an internship at Times Media Group.