Street vendors return outside of Chase Field ahead of Arizona Diamondbacks opener

Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 22:03:11-04

PHOENIX — After losing thousands of dollars in 2020, Phoenix street vendors are back and ready to sell outside of Chase Field.

Friday is the home opener for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the franchise is allowing 20,000 fans in. Seven hours before the first pitch, local vendors were already setting up outside the stadium, picking up where business left off in 2019.

Merwin Dergins has been vending outside of Chase Field for nearly a decade. He sells the essentials (water, peanuts, and sunflower seeds) and a large array of candy and gum to baseball fans who are looking to save some money on snacks.

"I love doing this I love saving people money and make a little income for myself," said Dergins. "I miss those people."

Dergins said that he lost out on potentially tens of thousands of dollars in sales, but is happy to be back on the corner of 7th and Jefferson streets to experience that ballpark atmosphere.

"We really enjoy doing this. I like talking to people," said Dergins. "I enjoy sitting here and chit-chatting with people from all across the nation to watch a ball game."

Just a couple of blocks away, Michael McGee is set up to sell more of the essentials. McGee has been vending outside Chase Field since the early 2000s. He says there have always been good days and bad days for business.

"It depends on how good the team is. When they're contending for the playoffs it's really good, other days it's uh barely minimum wage," said McGee.

Both Dergins and McGee were two of the first vendors to set up, and made their first sales of 2021 around midday, well before the Arizona Diamondbacks game at 6:40 p.m.