Security Service Field, home of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, represents the city in its name and the ballpark is clearly the place to be on a mid-summer's night, as the city's proud baseball fans flock to the field for fun.
Colorado Springs, Colorado is home of the United States Air Force Academy, and many Cadets come from all across America to learn how to serve, protect and secure our country from military threats. Beyond the young Cadets though, many other veterans and more experienced military men and women live in Colorado's second biggest city. No doubt about it, this is a military town.
Which is why Security Service Field is the perfect name for their minor league ballpark.
Security Service Field was originally built in 1988, when the Hawai'i Islanders of the Pacific Coast League relocated to Colorado Springs.
The Sky Sox remained the AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox from 1988-1992, and when Denver was awarded the Colorado Rockies in 1993, the team became the Rockies' AAA farm team.
The stadium was built for $3.7 million in 1988 and its construction was completed in a mere 90 days - it stands as a feat of engineering, hard work and determination.
And while it was a fine ballpark for many years, the organization has made some major aesthetic and fan-friendly improvements.
Bland concrete facades have been covered with more appealing brick and wrought iron metal work. Above the press box, behind home plate, the new Sky Boxes have been created, luxury suites that adorn new carpet, ample comfortable seating and the Sky Bar, dedicated to serving only the luxury suite ticket holders.
And down the right field line, a new two-story banquet hall has been created, complete with its own bar and flat screen TVs, it can host huge parties for games. And down below the banquet area, the Coors Picnic Terrace can host smaller parties of people.
Another new addition was the state-of-the art video board in center field that brightly displays stats, pictures of the players and other fun games for fans to play between innings.
No doubt about it, the Sky Sox ownership understands their team is important to the fans, and they've invested into creating a better and more enjoyable fan-friendly environment in recent years.
Overall, Security Service Field is a unique, quaint and comfortable place to take in a minor league baseball game.
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".
Security Service Field has everything you would expect from a baseball park, but nothing more, in terms of food.
Sure, they have hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and nachos, but where is something signature to the stadium? For kids and adults alike that are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth, there are the delectable Dippin' Dots to cool you down on a hot night. And of course there are sodas (Pepsi) and cold beers on tap as well.
The game-day atmosphere of SSF is very similar to its big league brother, Coors Field.
Fans are rowdy and into the game from the first pitch and the Security Service Field staff keeps it interesting for the duration of the game.
There are many cool contests for fans, keeping them involved with trivia questions, choosing the music to be played during the seventh inning stretch and many other contests for free food, tickets etc.
The pipe organ playing away adds a nice touch to the old-school feel of being at a baseball game and the rally towels that were given away on this night were seen waving all game long.
And since seats are so close to the field (there's also a grassy hill with open seating down the left field line) it's nearly impossible for fans young and old not to have a great time.
The neighborhood for Security Service Field is unique, but not necessarily in a good way. The ballpark is basically located smack dab in the middle of the suburbs of Colorado Springs, and it's a weird experience driving to the field.
Not to say that the views aren't still beautiful at parts, but seeing row after row of houses surrounding the stadium was a completely different experience compared to the majestic mountains in the West and the many sky scrapers surrounding Coors Field in Denver.
And besides being in the middle of the suburbs, there wasn't much shopping in the immediate vicinity of SSF.
Though, when leaving the park, we noticed a huge shopping district (Stetson Commons on Powers Blvd) within about 10 minutes of the stadium.
Almost directly across the street from SSF is The Indigo Bar and Grill which offers a good mix of American and Mexican foods at around $10 per plate. Just down the street from there is Rhino's Sports & Spirits, a fun and exciting place that was named as one of the best sports bars in Colorado Springs by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
The fans of the Sky Sox were everything you would expect from a minor league town.
They were baseball savvy, rowdy and loud, and they supported their team with an assortment of Sky Sox related gear.
For a stadium that only sits 8,500 fans, it roars with excitement for big plays and sounds as if there are many more people there at times. The fans are fantastic; families, young people and adults alike took in the game and had fun while getting waves going in celebration of the Sky Sox' six home runs in the first two innings in this game.
The only reason the fans don't get five out of five here is because a good chunk left a few innings early because of the blow out. Still, the Sky Sox fans went beyond good, they were down-right great.
The access to the stadium is not the greatest. Since it's in the suburbs, there's only two ways to get to the parking lots. The first way is to take Barnes Rd. East and turn South on Tutt Blvd. The majority of traffic was heading that direction (there was a massive line of cars) so we stayed on Barnes East to the other parking lot, where there was a very short wait to get into the lot and parking was only $2.
Also, the concourses are a bit too small around home plate, they get extremely crowded before the game as thousands of fans file in.
Parking is extremely inexpensive, tickets can be found for a very low price ($12 adult, $10 children) and food at the park is a good price as well.
Going to Security Service Field to take in a Sky Sox game is a great idea for any sized group and the ballpark is certainly family friendly. Many families were at the park this particular night, and I imagine there are a good number of families at most games.
Don't miss the Focus on the Family Fun Zone where rides and games are set up for youngsters to play and have fun. And, if you have the chance, try out the left field berm, a huge hill of open seating that's unique to be sure.
For only $24 per adult, you can sit in the Coors Picnic Terrace which includes an all you can eat buffet of BBQ pulled pork, fried chicken, lots of sides and Pepsi products, access to a full-service bar, your ticket to the game and parking.
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6120 Barnes Rd
Colorado Springs, CO 80922
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