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Nearly 20 years into its existence, Coors Field has become representative of the game of baseball in a way.
When we went back to Coors this season, it was familiar, friendly, fun. It was apparent less has changed than has stayed the same in two decades, and really, that's a very good thing.
Sure, they've added a few upgrades – the LED video board is well-done, the Mountain Ranch Club is now open-air when weather permits and the Humidor helps keep baseballs inside the park – but for the most part, Coors Field is the same top-notch ballpark it was when first constructed in 1995.
Yes, the Colorado Rockies began their MLB life in 1991, with their first games taking place in the 1993 season inside of Mile High Stadium. It was magical; baseball had come full-circle in the Mile High City. Long before we fell in love with the Broncos and professional football, Denver was a baseball town, sporting multiple minor league teams from the 1880s through the 1990s. The Denver Bears, who were a minor league team of the New York Yankees, paved the way for the Broncos due to their Bears Stadium.
With a stadium already in place, then-owner of the Bears Bob Howsam tried to start an NFL team in the Mile High City. He was denied by the league, so he in-part began a rival pro football league – the American Football League – with the Broncos a charter member. 33 years later, the Rockies used that same stadium – Bears Stadium, which was re-named Mile High Stadium in the late 60s – to play their first two seasons. Two years later, in 1995, Coors Field's construction was complete and it not only revitalized Lower Downtown Denver, it also reimagined how new-age ballparks looked and functioned for fans.
The classic brick architecture matches the surrounding LODO neighborhood, the forest green painted metal beams reflect the beautiful forests in the Rocky Mountains just 30 miles to the West. And inside the park, fans have always come first, met by friendly ushers willing to help out in any way possible. The “Rockpile” section was created to give fans and families a way to experience games for the lowest of prices, with tickets going for as low as $4.
The Rockies became the first MLB team to play in the Rocky Mountain Region, just like the Broncos in the AFL and eventually NFL; professional baseball has flourished ever since.
In their first season, the 4.4 million fans to watch a game in person were an MLB record, and more than 3 million fans attended for the Rockies first nine seasons, another record. They were also the franchise to reach the 60 million fan mark the fastest, a true testament to how popular they've been.
In 1995, Coors Field was home to the team's first playoff series against the Atlanta Braves. In 1998, it hosted the MLB All Star Game and in 2007, it hosted two World Series games, both losses by the Rockies. The team went back to the playoffs in 2009 – including that special play-in game – only to lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS.
Coors has certainly seen its fair share of games; crucial contests and inconsequential ones, memorable and forgettable games, in sun, snow, rain and wind, yet it looks no worse for the wear. When Coors Field was first constructed, it was built to last, and it should be a Denver sports icon for many generations to come.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The food and beverage at Coors Field is wide-ranging and relatively well priced.
For traditional fare, something good for fans young and old to enjoy is the "Rockie Dog." It's a footlong hotdog that can be topped with peppers, onions or sauerkraut or all three for $6. These stands (Grille Works) also carry hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, beer (Coors/Light, Bud/Light for $6.50), candy (M&Ms, Red Stripe Licorice), French fries and nachos. Talk about a baseball-lover's dream!
There are footlong Bratwurst stands, Blake Street Burrito stands, and places to get panini and deli sandwiches, too.
For those with a more mature taste, there are also smaller free-standing cheese steak stands to visit. The cheese steaks grilling send a wonderful smell throughout the concourse and you will not be disappointed in buying one ($6.00). (Sections 115, 133, 312, 330)
If a "50's Diner" meal is more your taste, check out the No. 17 Grill (in honor of the greatest Rockie of all time, Todd Helton). The No. 17 Grill offers the Helton Burger Combo, with fries and a shake for $12. Carl Mittleman, regional vice president of Aramark, the Coors Field food vendors said, "We think we have the best burger in baseball." (Sect. 153)
Of course, there are other snacks around the park and you can buy peanuts, Cracker Jacks or even Dippin' Dots, an interesting and tasty ice cream snack. Madeline's is an ice cream stand that offers soft serve and hand dipped ice cream cones and sundaes. (Sect. 151)
Other drinks include Coke products ($3.25) and there are "Beers of the World" stands in which attendees can purchase a microbrew if it suits their taste. (Sections 106, 120, 135, 137, 147, 217, 236, 316, 326) Liquor Bars are found throughout the stadium as well (Sects. 137, 221, 236, 314, 330) and the Blue Moon Brewing Co. (Sect. 111) offers a bar experience in the stadium as well. If you're seated up top, check out the Clock Tower Bar (Sect. 331)
And then, for an experience all its own, there's the Mountain Ranch Club and Bar & Grille in the right field corner of Coors Field. For the first 15 years of the ballpark's existence the windows on the Mountain Ranch Club were closed - but in 2010 the stadium opened them up. There's a two tiered outdoor patio with tables that seat two-four people and include a personal TV. Each game ticket at the Mountain Ranch Club includes a $30-$50 food credit and the menu seems extensive. But, the Rockies won't say how much tickets are for this unique location so please call (303) 312-2222 for more information on ticket pricing and advance seating.
There's even a Gluten Free food stand! (Sect. 142)
The atmosphere at Coors is partly wild and fun, but mostly relaxed and laid back.
There's no doubt that Coors Field promotes a family-friendly atmosphere and many children dot the stands during most contests.
Coors has an interesting atmosphere, certainly the least rowdy of Denver's three professional sports venues on any given regular season night.
Still, it's Colorado's biggest outdoor bar. The team doesn't have to be competitive for the stands to be at least halfway filled, as Coors is a cool place to spend an afternoon in the sun or an evening with friends after a long day at work. It's a hip destination and only mere blocks away from the best dining and nightlife Denver has to offer.
Depending on when you are at the stadium will decide the type of atmosphere you will find. Opening day, Fourth of July and games in September will certainly sell out and will offer more lively crowds, while middle of season games will likely be laid back.
As was touched on earlier, the LODO neighborhood that calls Coors home is amazing!
There are seemingly countless numbers of bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels that are literally steps from the home plate entrance of Coors Field.
One such place is The Tavern Downtown, which is half a city block from Coors at 1949 Market St. The Tavern is a cool place (literally and figuratively) to pre or post game party, and they put on happy hour just before first pitch.
Upstairs there are two huge outdoor bar areas with splendid water misters that surround the outlying area which are perfect for a hot summer's day or night. There are some 10-14 flat screen TVs with all the night's sports action on, and there's a 20 foot tall projection screen that is used when the sun goes down.
From their website, "The 11,000 square foot award-winning rooftop patio overlooks Coors Field and Market and 20th streets." It was actually voted the No. 7 best rooftop bar in America by Playboy and is definitely one of the places to be in Denver.
Happy hour runs M-F 2-7 p.m. which includes 2-for-1 well drinks, house wine and domestic draft beer. If you're looking to attend a Rockies day game on the weekends, the Tavern offers $10 large pizza, $1 sliders and a free kids brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). The full menu can be found here and is moderately priced ($7-$15) for "gourmet bar food."
The Breckenridge Brewery is one of Colorado's many breweries and they make very tasty beer. Located across the street from Coors Field's right field entrance, the Breckenridge Brewery Blake Street Pub both brews its own beer, offers an ample variety of brews and what they call an, "eclectic menu." There's a great assortment of food, from lots of appetizers, salads and sandwiches to Mexican foods, chicken sandwiches and hamburgers and entrees like "Beer-B-Que Pork Ribs" and a Grilled Fresh Salmon Fillet.
The Blake Street Pub also has happy hour M-F 3-7 p.m. which offers $3-16 oz. draft beers, house wine or well drinks. And for those that aren't able to find tickets, they have buy one get one free drafts during the middle of the second and seventh innings.
Or you can just wander around downtown, stopping in many of the diverse bars and restaurants. Go on your own downtown Denver adventure!
After years of losing, the Mile High City's frustrations with the team were as high as the row of purple seats that circle Coors Field.
Then, the team that wouldn't spend money on big time players showed its philosophy of growing their own talent has paid off.
The Rockies won 21 of 22 games to end the 2007 season and get into the playoffs for their second ever time. It was the first time they went to the postseason in a dozen years, and Colorado went all the way to the World Series only to be swept by Boston. Even though the Rockies were swept, a new generation of baseball fans became inspired by baseball in Denver.
The fans came back to the field in the late 2000s, but the team doesn't offer much to get excited for as of late. They've been terrible since 2009, posting one plus-.500 season and continuing on a downward trend since.
It's put a pinch on the true fans, people showing up to watch the game, while stands still seem somewhat full due to the party-goers.
Coors Field is located in downtown Denver, but is only blocks away from I-25 and the Park Ave. exit (#213) denotes it is the one to follow to Coors.
There are two parking lots at the stadium with thousands of spots to park for $12-$14. If you don't mind a little walk, there are thousands of parking spots throughout the LODO neighborhood and my brother and I parked at 20th and Welton streets for only $1.
And while you can almost always find a spot for less than $5 within a mile of the stadium, the most convenient way to go to a Rockies game is by taking one of RTD's Light Rail trains ($2). The most appropriate train is the Route C train that follows I-25 north and ends at Denver's historic Union Station. Full schedules of all the three trains that run close to Coors Field can be found under the Light Rail section on RTD's website.
For handicapped individuals, there are approximately 1,000 accessible and companion seats throughout Coors Field.
Tickets are relatively low priced and there is lots of entertainment all over the stadium, including the play on the field, of course.
For those looking for a cheap way to take in the game, tickets in the Rockpile are $4.00 for regular attendees. Youth (12 and under) and senior (55 and over) Rockpile tickets are a scant $1.00.
Overall, for a family of four, $100 can pay for an tremendously fun and exciting time at Coors Field; a great deal in 2013.
There are extras galore at Coors!
The Coors Field interactive area is located behind the bullpens in center field and includes; Pro Batter and Pro Batter Jr. (video batting cage), Speed Pitch (throwing for a speed gun), Tee-Ball (ages six and under for free), and the 850 KOA Fantasy Broadcast Booth (participants can record their calling of half an inning of baseball and take the DVD home as well).
There is also a children's playground in the left field corner on the first level, in section 149.
Don't miss the Platte River Rendezvous, a bar in center field, and the Rockies right field terrace picnic area (Sects. 215-217).
Tours of Coors Field are available for $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. They take place on non-game days at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. and on evening game days at 10 a.m. and noon.
Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native and freelance journalist. Rich has been the Rocky Mountain Regional Correspondent for Stadium Journey since 2010 and he currently writes for a litany of websites. Follow Rich on Twitter: @RichKurtzman.
15 years ago, when Coors Field first opened, the nickname seemed silly.
Coors Field wasn't even the greatest stadium in Denver, Colorado, let alone the greatest place on Earth.
But after a decade and a half of Major League Baseball in the Mile High City, Coors has lived up to that moniker.
Coors is an extremely unique baseball stadium for a number of reasons.
Denver became the first city in the Rocky Mountain region to host a Major League Baseball team when the MLB awarded them the expansion Rockies in 1993. Therefore, Coors Field (1995) became the first MLB stadium in the Mountain Time zone as well.
Coors is also unique because it rejuvenated the Lower Downtown (LODO) area in Denver, turning a defunct once busy warehouse district into a place for entertainment and great nightlife.
In addition, what makes Coors special are the extremely low ticket prices. The "Rockpile" was designed as a place in the stadium where fans can attend games for a mere $4. Beyond the deepest part of the park in the Rockpile, there are cheap seats to be had all around the stadium up high around the row of purple seats that denotes exactly one mile above sea level.
The classic brick architecture matches the surrounding LODO neighborhood, the forest green painted metal beams reflect the beautiful forests in the Rocky Mountains just 30 miles to the West. The open concourses give free views to onlookers and passersby - so many people are surprised you can actually stand anywhere along the lower level just feet from the top of the stairs to take in the game for as long as you like. Seats along the right field line will give awe striking views of Colorado's mountains and sensational sunsets.
Of course, there's not a bad seat in the house - whether it be the top row of the upper deck, in the suite level, second row behind home plate, out in right field over the scoreboard, in left field on the bleacher seats or deep center in the Rockpile - if you go to a game at Coors Field, a good time will be had by all.
Coors Field is a dream come true for baseball fans in the Rocky Mountain region. Denver is a city that was thought of and passed by for a baseball team for years, but was finally rewarded in 1993 with the Colorado Rockies. After two years of playing at the home of the Broncos, Mile High Stadium, the Rockies opened their own park in Lower Downtown Denver (known as LoDo). When it was announced where the city was planning on building a ballpark, many people were baffled. LoDo was known for gang activity, poverty and empty rundown warehouses. Many people questioned whether it would be safe to attend a night game. After 15 seasons of baseball at 20th & Blake all of the doubters have been proven wrong. The stadium infused life into the rundown area of Denver. Where there once were abandon buildings, there are now restaurants, bars, and converted lofts. LoDo proudly boasts some of the most expensive property in Denver.
A game at Coors Field is a "can't miss" for a good time. Approaching the front of Coors Field a baseball fan is greeted by the beautiful red brick that form the outer walls of the stadium. With a lovely clock tower as the focal point, Coors boasts an "old-school" feel. However, the feeling inside the gates is anything but "old school." The hallways of Coors Field are wide open. They are easy to maneuver through, rarely will a fan get stuck in the gridlock that commonly occurs at many baseball stadiums. Fans will quickly notice how clean the park is. Trash cans are always close by and the stadium crew keeps the park in great shape.
After navigating through the park to the seats, a fan will quickly discover that there are no bad seats to be found. For just $4 a fan can buy a seat in the "Rockpile." These seats are in straight away center field, above the batter's eye. These seats are adequate to watch the game from, but also provide an excellent view of the Denver skyscrapers behind the main gates to the park. Coors Field was the first park to face every seat in the park to face the infield, making it easier for fans down the line to enjoy watching the game without having to wake up the next morning with a sore neck. With a comfortable atmosphere on a classic Rocky Mountain summer night, a baseball fan could not leave Coors Field without having a good time.
Coors Field is a gem of a ballpark. Coors' construction was completed in 1995 and the team has played there since. When Coors was build, the architect showed baseball owners and fans that a classy, beautiful ballpark could be created that merged the best of the old and new.
Coors' rustic-looking brick facade echoes the surrounding LODO (Lower Downtown) district, one that was mainly filled with ancient manufacturing plants, warehouses and the like.
But since Coors came to be, the LODO area grew up along with it. Now, LODO is the place to be in Denver on a Friday or Saturday night especially, as the area combines great shopping, wonderful dining and the city's best nightclubs without a doubt.
Now it's hard to take in a game without visiting one of the fine establishments to enjoy a locally brewed Colorado beer (the state boasts nearly 30 breweries) before or after the last pitches have been thrown.
If you consume too much, take the RTD's Light Rail train home, or call No DUI Denver, a service that will drive you home in your car.
In all, Coors Field is an amazing place to take in an MLB game, whether it be a day or night contest, you'll be sure to have fun.
Great food, great beer, great area, great city. Denver is one of the best cities to visit and potentially live in the US. Naturally it should have a great stadium to house such a great team. However, I wish parking was easier here. The outdoor mall is relatively close and worth the day as well.
Very beautiful ballpark with alot of uniqueness
Just a terrific place to attend a ballgame. It's easy to get to with major interstates nearby, along with Union Station. Traffic can be busy, but that's the only gripe. As Rich mentioned, LoDo is an awesome city neighborhood and is a top notch place to hang out before or after the game. Lots of food options...and if you're feeling "ballsy" try the Rocky Mountain Oysters.
The ballpark is beautiful and designers did a great job to allow for views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains. Also liked the landscape display in centerfield. Fans are pretty good and it seems like the Rockies are #2 in the pecking order of Denver sports teams. They support the team well, though the feel inside is more of a place to hang-out instead of a boisterous, passionate crowd. All-around Coors Field is a really great ballpark with nearly every aspect of the experience top notch
Fan friendly staff and a beautiful view combine with perhaps the best neighbourhood in the country to make Coors a must-see for any ballpark chaser. Easy access from the light rail and tons of ticket deals only add to the experience. The only problem for me was the constant promotions every half inning, which reminded me a bit of a minor league game. Sometimes, silence can be golden.
2301 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80205
1930 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202
1949 Market Street
Denver, CO 80202