PHOENIX – In the past few years, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been growing their Hispanic audience through various events and promotions. It ramped up with the unveiling of their “Serpientes” City Connect jerseys in 2021, and since then, Chase Field has been home to numerous Mexican Heritage nights, Hispanic Heritage events and Serpientes giveaways.
This trend continued with a Serpientes Fiesta event on Jan. 27. The event outside of Chase Field featured Valley food trucks, a lowrider car show, a meet and greet with longtime Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and live music performances by Grupo Supremo 602, Freddy Vega Jr. and Enigma Norteño.
Oscar Soria, who does Spanish radio play-by-play for Diamondbacks games, said that events like these help to make up for time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everybody will understand how hard it was these recent years to bring people to the stands. I think the Diamondbacks are putting Hispanic people in the stands,” Soria said.
Soria said that the outreach to the Hispanic community predates the pandemic. Starting in 1998 with the team’s formation, the Diamondbacks played exhibition games in Mexico. Over the years, Hispanic players, such as All-Star Eduardo Escobar, have taken part in community events in the Phoenix area. The Serpientes Fiesta event was no different, with appearances from Montero and current pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
Even before the bands took the stage for the fiesta, music and singing could be heard throughout the event. Soria said the connection between music and baseball is something unique to the Hispanic game day experience.
“If you go to a game in Latin America, not only in Mexico, the party in the stadium is amazing. There is music in between the game, so there is a great combination between sport and music,” he said.
With the season coming up – spring training starts in late February – Amilyn Pierce, vice president of government affairs for the Diamondbacks, said Hispanic fans should expect more events like the Serpientes Fiesta in the coming months.
“Always during the season, we do Mexican Heritage Night, we do Hispanic Heritage Weekend. Those are so much fun at the ballpark,” Pierce said. “There is live music and food, and we usually have teams from the Mexican league that come out. It’s a really fun time, and it’s getting bigger and bigger every year.”
Genaro Martinez, a lifelong fan of the Diamondbacks and an Arizona native, said that he and other fans have noticed the effort being put toward his community.
“They’ve been very accepting of the culture,” he said. “They’ve had the different days where they’re honoring our culture, like the Hispanic Day at their ballpark. They really embrace the culture of the Hispanics here in Arizona, since it is a larger part of the population in the Phoenix metro area.”