For the second year in a row, the Arizona Diamondbacks are running their “Season Ticket Scholarship Program.” I think this is one of the best initiatives that I’ve seen a professional franchise run. The basic premise is that any fans (usually previous season ticket holders) who are experiencing a financial hardship can apply for this “scholarship” by telling the club about their current situation and their love of the Diamondbacks. Then the team will go back and select a few winners who will received completely free lower-level season tickets for the upcoming season (winners may also receive parking passes and/or concessions vouchers). Fans can be nominated by a friend, or they can send self-nominations and include references.
- A family of seven that hit rough times financially and asked for two tickets to share among the entire family…the Diamondbacks gave them seven season tickets.
- An older married couple who were charter season ticket holders (since ’98), but whose medical bills had risen too much for them to afford season tickets anymore.
- A grandmother who raised two grandchildren on her own and who used baseball to help teach math to her grandchildren.
- The family of one the victims from Arizona’s 2006 “Serial Shooter.”
The Diamondbacks are one of those teams that is truly committed to their fans, and this program is the perfect example of that dedication. Derrick Hall has done an incredible job since he was named team president a couple of seasons ago. I pay close attention to the team to see what new fan-friendly initiatives they come up with each season, and I would suggest that others do the same.