ANAHEIM, Calif. – In a dark tunnel deep in the innards of Angel Stadium, Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall passed a fellow baseball official a few hours before Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“So,” the official asked, “are you guys ready?”
The Diamondbacks are on the clock.
One year before the All-Star Game comes to Phoenix for the first time, a contingent of roughly 50 local officials, including a group of about 30 Diamondbacks employees, canvassed Anaheim the past several days.
They toured the annual All-Star FanFest, a sprawling event that is a baseball fan’s fantasyland. They got a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark. And they shadowed their Anaheim counterparts to get a first-hand look at the event and to better anticipate the differences between a Southern California All-Star Game and one in the desert.
The big difference: the heat. Some were griping about the weather in Anaheim on Tuesday, when temperatures climbed into the upper 80s – a far cry from Phoenix’s mid-July average high of 107.
“We know they’re going to say it was hot,” Hall said about next year’s game. “How can we get fans to say, ‘Even though it was hot, it was a great All-Star Game’?”