|PHOENIX, Ariz. (5/3/11) — The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies are taking their National League West rivalry to a new level this season with a responsibility challenge. The Clubs are launching a Designated-Driver Challenge through a partnership with MillerCoors, TEAM Coalition, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division to educate fans about the importance of never driving drunk and always designating a driver.Fans who pledge to be designated drivers must meet the following criteria:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Provide responsible transportation for all members of their group
- Not purchase and/or drink alcohol beverages at the game or during their time as a designated driver
The season-long competition will pit Diamondbacks fans against Rockies fans in a challenge to collect the most designated driver pledges. At the end of the 2011 regular season, the Club with the most fans pledging to be designated drivers (cumulative total) will win the Challenge and receive the coveted Designated-Driver Challenge trophy.
To promote the Challenge and increase the stakes even further, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Hegarty, Assistant Director of the Arizona Highway Patrol Division within the Arizona Department of Public Safety recorded radio PSAs, and he promised to deliver some of Arizona’s best Machaca burritos and salsa to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) should the Rockies win the Challenge. And should the Diamondbacks win, the Arizona Department of Public Safety will enjoy a Colorado beef steak dinner compliments of CSP.
“This is a perfect opportunity for Governor Brewer’s Office and the Arizona Highway Patrol to partner with the D-Backs and MillerCoors and save lives,” said Director Robert Halliday of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “To increase awareness and encourage designated drivers is a step in the right direction and a step closer to safer roadways in Arizona,” Halliday said. Director Halliday looks forward to the challenge with the Colorado State Patrol and knows Arizona’s motorists are up to the challenge.
The baseball season encompasses all the summer holidays around which traffic safety messages are increased, including Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. So the Designated-Driver Challenge between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies not only extends the National League West rivalry, but it may very well save lives.
“If you plan on consuming alcohol, plan ahead and have a sober designated driver or schedule a taxi ride home before the game begins. If you drive hammered, you will get nailed,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We commend Major League Baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks and all the program partners for creating such a fantastic incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to not drink and drive.”
During Diamondbacks vs. Rockies games, fans will have the opportunity to sign a 10-foot-tall baseball when making their pledge to be a designated driver. Highway Patrol officers will be on-site at the ballparks helping sign-up fans for the program. The goal for the season is to cover every inch of the ball with signatures of responsible Diamondbacks and Rockies fans – the all-stars of responsibility.
“Fans truly are the voice of this campaign” said Jill Pepper, executive director of TEAM Coalition. “Everyone that attends a game plays an important role in alcohol management by drinking responsibly, following the fan code of conduct, always having a designated driver. We are happy to partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks and MillerCoors to help spread the message of responsibility.”
“We know that many sport fans enjoy a beer during a game,” said Kim Marotta, MillerCoors vice president corporate social responsibility. “By working with organizations like TEAM Coalition, we encourage fans to drink responsibly, use designated drivers and never drive drunk. MillerCoors believes that with great beer comes great responsibility. We want fans to enjoy the game, get home safely and remember the occasion for all the right reasons.”
The Arizona Diamondbacks are committed to promoting safe drinking practices. The Designated-Driver Challenge runs out of the Guest Relations offices (sections 128 and 322) for every home game at Chase Field. And for the games when Diamondbacks host the Rockies, a second Designated-Driver Challenge location will be outside the ballpark along with the giant, inflatable baseball in the Plaza Area at Fourth and Jackson Streets. Fans who participate will receive a coupon for a complimentary soft drink redeemable at any concession stand in the ballpark.
“We want every game day to be safe and enjoyable for our fans, both in the stadium and as they travel home after the games,” said Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We’re proud that so many of our fans have chosen to demonstrate responsible behavior. And we are confident that we have what it takes to win the Designated-Driver Challenge.”