The Colorado Sky Sox are a AAA baseball franchise located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They have been in existence since 1988. Colorado Springs gained this franchise after the Hawaii Islanders relocated to Colorado due to financial issues. Prior to 1988, Colorado Springs had a single A franchise from 1950-58.
The Sky Sox were affiliated with the Cleveland Indians from 1988-1992. In 1993, a new expansion team started play in Denver. Colorado Springs became the AAA affiliate for the Colorado Rockies. This arrangement stayed the same until late 2014 when it was announced that the Rockies would be partnering with Albuquerque instead. This caused some angst in Colorado Springs since there are a lot of Rockies fans there and the fact that Coors Field is only a 75 minute drive from Security Services Field. After the dust settled with affiliation changes, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Colorado Sky Sox were left as the last teams without a partner. Both franchises linked up on a two year agreement beginning in 2015.
The Sky Sox have had some success both from an individual standpoint as well as championships. The Sky Sox won the Pacific Coast League title in 1992 and 1995. Many great players have spent time playing in Colorado Springs including Todd Helton, Albert Belle, Jim Thome, and Vinny Castilla.
Security Service Field is the highest baseball stadium in the US at 6,531 feet above sea level. The seating area and stadium design face the plains area and some housing developments. Although it would be nice to get a good view of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains, the sun setting in the west would be a distraction to hitters.
With a seating capacity of 8,500, it is the smallest AAA baseball stadium.
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 variety of food and beverage here is what you would expect from a AAA franchise. Nothing wild and crazy but something for any appetite. One theme I notice is the items seem pretty pricey for the setting. For instance, $5-$6.50 for a soda seems a bit high no matter where you are. When you add in $8 for a foot long hot dog, it can make for an expensive evening.
There are some promotions that will save your wallet a bit. Kids eat free on Mondays, $2 Coors and Coors Lights on Tuesdays, and 50 cent hot dogs on Sundays.
Common fare here include: Buffalo and Chicken Tenders w/fries, Red Hot Chicago and/or Chili Cheese foot long dog, Wisconsin Brat, foot long corn dog, Pikes Peak Nachos, and The Mighty Colorado Nacho Plate. Prices range from $4.50 to $9.00 depending on your choice. The Mighty Colorado Nacho Plate is a good choice for $7. This plate includes chili along with the other standard nacho toppings.
Other delicacies include ice cream and shaved ice stands, a Gold Funnel Cake stand, and Domino's Pizza. One unique spot that made me hungry immediately is a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shop. Inside this shop is a big variety of candy and chocolates for fans to choose from. Most portions ran between $6-$7 but looked plentiful. Last season, a maple bacon donut hot dog was available but I didn't see it on this night.
There is a Hall of Fame Bar & Grill accessible from inside the concourse. It didn't look like anything special on the inside. There are a few dozen chairs and tables inside with ballpark ambiance in the room. This area seems to be meant for a sit down experience as the menu states to please allow 20-30 minutes for meal prep. The menu seems to be close to what is offered on the concourse but a couple dollars higher. Save your time and money and skip this place. Your time is better spent on the concourse and in your seat.
Snacks include peanuts, candy, soft pretzel, cotton candy, popcorn, kettle corn, fries, etc. and range from $1.50 to $6.50.
The beverage selection here is decent. Pepsi products are offered for $4.50-$6.50. For beer options, they offer: Coors, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Killian's, Miller Light, and Alaskan Amber. The real specialty is down the third base concourse where there is a vendor offering local brews from the Bristol Brewing Company and Oskar Blues. Both of those breweries are located in Colorado Springs.
Don't be tempted to try and bring food/drink from home or the gas station next to the entrance. Except for sealed soft plastic bottles of water, outside food and drink are not allowed in the stadium. Security seemed to follow this rule closely as I watched a mother and kids get temporarily turned away due to non-compliance.
The seating areas at Security Service Field offer good views no matter where you are. The ring of seats closest to the field are blue seats with seatbacks and cup holders. There is a walkway between these seats and the upper level. The upper level seats are aluminum benches with backs but no cup holders. The upper level seats are more apt to get foul balls so be on the lookout if sitting along the first or third base lines.
There is only one gate at Security Service Field which makes for a big cluster around the main entrance. This coupled with a fan assistance booth and a giveaway zone nearby, entering the stadium can be a chore. A gift shop and two snack shops are in the main entrance way as well which is poorly designed in my opinion. After the game, the crowd flow goes surprisingly smooth considering how crowded it is. If more improvements are done to the stadium, I would suggest opening another gate along the first base line to help alleviate congestion.
The ushers and staff at Security Service Field are all friendly and helpful. Most had smiles on their faces and seemed to be enjoying themselves at the game. One friendly usher in my section on this night sought conversations with people between innings. They were attentive yet not at all over bearing like some places.
The Coors Picnic Terrace between the first base line and the outfield wall hosts groups between 25 and 500 people on the deck. For $26 for adults or $17 for children 12 or under, you get: a game ticket, parking, and an all you can eat buffet of pork, fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, fixings, and Pepsi products. This is a great deal for anyone bringing a group to the game.
There is a set of 18 luxury/club seats above the press box and behind the home plate area. There is a hot tub down the first baseline that you and up to eleven of your friends can rent for a unique experience at a ball game. There is a Focus on the Family Fun Zone with bounce houses and other kid's attractions down the third baseline.
All seats (except the luxury/club seats) are in the sun and other weather elements and there are no shaded or covered areas except for the cramped concourse behind home plate. Come prepared with clothing layers or sunscreen depending on when you visit. Both might be needed the same day. Recommendation: Check the weather before attending the game and always pack sunscreen and at least a long sleeve shirt.
The Sky Sox staff do a good job keeping the crowd entertained between innings. Trivia games, fan interaction, and games on the field are the norm here. On this night, my section received coupons to a local establishment. The one downside is the team's mascot, Sox the Fox. He is entertaining but spends a lot of time on the dugouts dancing and blocking the view. At one point, he laid down on his side staring at us while we were trying to watch the game. As fun as that may sound, we in the fourth row from the field weren't amused.
The scoreboard is viewable from all seats and displays the current score by inning including hits and errors. Strikes, balls, and outs are also displayed. A video board is a part of the scoreboard and provides the names and current stats of the player at bat for both teams, as well as shows advertisements, in-game contests, and scans of the stands.
Security Service Field is located on the eastern side of Colorado Springs. Located a mile or so east of Interstate 25, it is in a newer area of town. When the stadium was built, there wasn't a whole lot around the stadium. Now, chain restaurants, houses, and stores line the blocks around the stadium.
A place to visit pre or post game is Rhino's Sport & Spirits. Though only a half mile from the stadium, I wouldn't recommend walking to Rhino's because one must cross a six-lane highway and traffic is in abundance with minimal acknowledgement to pedestrians. There are several chains and restaurants nearby including: Good Times, On The Border, Egg & I, Dominos, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Zen Fusion Sushi, and others.
The closest hotel to the stadium is the Residence Inn Colorado Springs Central. Though not walking distance, it is just 2 ½ miles from the stadium. There are several other hotels near the airport.
Although slightly more than five miles away, do take a visit to the Air Force Academy when in town and check out the Visitor's Center and the Air Force Chapel. The chapel houses three distinct worship areas under a single roof and has been named a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It has received many architectural prizes since its construction in 1962.
Another fun thing to do is to check out Pikes Peak and the surrounding mountains. There are options to hike to the top of Pikes Peak, take a train up there, or drive up there. If you are feeling adventurous, I would highly suggest it.
As of 2015, a new neighbor shares the grounds with Security Service Field. The Colorado Switchbacks FC stadium is right next door. This could pose an interesting dilemma for parking but there won't be any days this year where both teams play on the same day.
Fans at Sky Sox games are what you would expect at a minor league game. Lots of families, kids, and fun had by all. The fans seem to be most attentive during contests and games. The action on the field is secondary. The crowd does cheer good plays and applauds at the right times. However, you won't find many people keeping score here.
Those that are there for the social aspect will have a bunch of options to entertain themselves. Families with young kids will have plenty going on around them to keep everyone entertained.
Colorado Springs is a huge city in terms of land, covering nearly 200 square miles. The city has approximately 440,000 residents yet the metropolitan area has roughly 680,000 residents. The city of Colorado Springs and surrounding area seems so spread out that driving is the most logical option. The same can be said about getting to Security Service Field. The stadium is located a couple miles off of Interstate 25. I'd check the Sky Sox website for directions. The directions do state that coming from the north take Woodmen off of I-25. I'd recommend taking Interquest Pkwy instead, as it is less congested and has fewer traffic lights.
Parking at the stadium is five dollars. It is a necessary evil but you do get a five dollar coupon at Jose Muldoon's. Be prepared for a lot of patience when leaving the game from the main lot. I recommend, instead of turning on Tuft St (where the signage indicates to turn), continue straight on Barnes Rd till the next light and make a right. That will take you to the 'back' parking lot which is way easier to exit after the game. The signs will say it is season ticket parking but they do allow the general public to park there.
Getting to the stadium via bus is possible but I don't think it is used much since I haven't seen a bus there in the times I've been there. To check for a bus schedule and times, check the Colorado Springs transit website.
Tickets are reasonable for an AAA ball game. Lower box is $15; upper level is $12. Military, seniors, and kids under 12 get an additional $2 off.
The Sky Sox organization provides all kinds of promotions:
Sunday: 50 cent hot dogs and Family Day. Sundays are usually a give-away game, as well
Monday: Kids eat free
Tuesday: Two for Tuesdays - $2 tickets; $2 parking, $2 Coors/Coors Light
Wednesday: Kids Day Matinee
Thursday: $3 Microbrew Thursday
Friday: Friday fireworks
Saturday: Select themed nights like Men's Night Out, Star Trek Night, and more
A couple of bonus points are awarded for the free program given at the front gate. This program has rosters and other pertinent info needed. It doesn't skimp on player info and also gives previews of upcoming opponents and what prospects might be coming through town.
Another bonus point is given for the coupons given out. I walked away with three coupons to local restaurants on this night, a towel, and a free ticket to an upcoming game. My free ticket was due to a promotion where if the Sky Sox win on a Monday, fans can get a free ticket to an upcoming Monday game this year (excluding Memorial Day).
All in all, Security Service Field and the Sky Sox provide great entertainment on and off the field. The food prices are a tad high and losing the Rockies affiliation hurts. At the same time, the Sky Sox franchise seems to know how to put on a good show. Let's hope the fans keep coming back.
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 Colorado Springs Sky Sox are the AAA affiliate of the MLB Colorado Rockies and are conveniently located an hour and 15 minutes or so south of its parent club at Coors Field. The Sky Sox play in the Pacific Coast League (PCL).
Security Service Field (originally known as Sky Sox Stadium) is the highest baseball stadium in the US at 6,531 feet above sea level (higher than Coors Field).
The team originated as the Hawaii Islanders in Honolulu, HI; but after that team fell into financial problems, the team moved to Colorado Springs in 1988.
The Sky Sox organization honors all military personnel, as Colorado Springs is very much a military town as it is sometimes referred to as the "nation's military space capital." The organization is also focused on family and there certainly are a lot of kids who attend Sunday home games, as those are Family Days at Security Service Field.
Attending a game here is mostly a fine time with one or two items that could be improved. Read on…
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