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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

All Star Park – Colorado Christian Cougars


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43

All Star Park 200 S Harlan St Lakewood, CO 80226


Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 442

 

CCU Cougars – Keli McGregor Field at All Star Park

The Colorado Christian University (CCU) Cougar’s baseball team plays their home games at the almost 20-year old Keli McGregor Field at All Star Park in Lakewood, CO. They play in the RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), an NCAA Div II league.

All Star Park is part of the Gold Crown Foundation, an organization offering youth sports in Colorado and neighboring states. It was built in 1998 and was named in honor of the Colorado’s all-star game that same year. All Star Park was renamed Keli McGregor Field at All Star Park in 2011, a year after Keli’s early passing. Keli was the president of the Colorado Rockies and was a multi-sport athlete at Lakewood High School.

Gold Crown Foundation mission is “Educating youth and community through sports and enrichment programs” and its facilities are used by youth groups. The facilities not only include All Star Park, but also Field House (basketball, volleyball, etc.) and golf.

The CCU Cougars baseball team began their play in 2006 as part of the RMAC. The team has not had a lot of success in its eleven year history.

Food & Beverage 1

Minimal choices are available; just snacks and drinks and are purchased via cash only. The concession stand is located behind the press box and one of three bays is open for a Cougars game.

Snacks include peanuts, sunflower seeds, candy, and chips ($2). Ice cream varieties are Snickers ice cream bar, Drumstick, and ice cream cup (vanilla) ($1 – $2.50). Drinks are Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Powerade, and coffee ($2 – $3 – it’s odd the coffee is the higher priced item). The only “food’ is a Hot Pocket ($2) or a Rip n Dip – a stuffed pizza ring ($4). On the day of this review, 11 items were scratched off the menu listing.

Outside food and drink can be brought in for a Cougars ballgame and if desiring something of more substance this might be the best choice.

Atmosphere 2

Keli McGregor Field at All Star Park has some decent features and there are others that are less desirable.

First, it looks very similar to nearby Coors Field where the Colorado Rockies team resides: Intricate red brick exterior and columns, green fold-down stadium seats, a simulated out of town scoreboard in right field, the regular scoreboard has the Rockies logo and branding above the line score, and a similar clock tower architecture like the one at Coors Field’s entrance.

The playing surface is real grass and real dirt (yeah!) and with many college ballparks, the home team players help groom the field prior to the first pitch.

The seating area is comprised of three sections, six rows each of green fold-down stadium seats (without cup holders) totaling 194 chairs which are placed behind home plate and in front of the press box. Grass berms are down both baselines and fans bring blankets and their furry friends to watch the game. Six metal picnic tables (three on each side of the press box) provide a place to sit. Many fans bring lawn chairs and just watch from the concourse down both baselines.

A huge downside to the field is a black chain link fence that surrounds the entire playing surface and it really messes with the eyes when trying to see the ball and the game action. Another downside (especially if sitting in the fold-down chairs) is the music volume is just way too loud as two speakers are placed right on each side of the press box deafening those in the stadium seating area.

My recommendation is bring a lawn chair and place it where the concourse meets the grassy berm areas down either one of the baselines. This distances a fan from the extremely loud speakers and makes looking through a black chain link fence a little easier to see the game action.

Christian, country, and popular songs are played between innings and as a part of Cougars’ walk up songs. Frequently, music is blared while a player announcement is being reported (boo!) so a fan cannot hear the name of the player.

No lights are at All Star Park so only day games are played here.

At the game of this review (Easter weekend), a prayer was delivered after the national anthem and before the start of the game. My perception is this is not done at every home game.

Neighborhood 3

There’s not much to the area surrounding the ballpark, though it is only 6 – 7 miles to downtown Denver and all that city has to offer.

The park is about two miles from the CCU campus.

For places to eat, the Panaderia Rodriguez – Mexican Cuisine is a block away and is highly rated. Several other Mexican choices are nearby. Less than a mile away are common fast food joints as well as standard chain eateries like P.F. Chang’s, Ted’s Montana Grill, Olive Garden, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Craft brew lovers might enjoy the Great Frontier Brewing Company (five miles from the ballpark and offers gluten reduced beers) or CAUTION: Brewing Company (two miles from the park).

Lakewood City Commons, a shopping center which has basic retail shops and eateries, is just down the road (less than a mile). For history buffs, Lakewood Heritage Center, less than two miles from All Star Park, is worth a visit.

The closest hotel (about a mile from the ballpark) is the Hyatt House Denver/Lakewood at Belmar.

Not necessarily a vacation destination but a typical suburban area of a major city with some unique attractions of its own, Lakewood has plenty to offer for those visiting and for those living near there who forget to check out their own backyard and neighborhood.

Fans 2

Fans mainly consist of family, friends, and some students. Since most of the RMAC schools are within a couple hour’s drive, visiting fans often take up a good part of the fan base. Lots of cheers can be heard throughout the game at outstanding offense and defensive plays.

Attendance is decent but the stands are certainly not full on game day; not uncommon in RMAC baseball.

Parents of CCU athlete students sometimes greatly over react and get can get vocal at the visiting team. Hopefully, it was just at the game I attended; but I would have expected more civility from parents of a Christian college athlete towards a visiting team.

Four-legged furry friends are allowed and are welcome.

Access 3

Getting to the stadium via car is relatively easy and the concourse is flat, adequate for those in wheelchairs or parents using a stroller. The availability of handrails in the stadium seating area warrants extra recognition.

Plenty of legroom is available in the green fold-down stadium seating areas in front of the press box.

The wide concourse wraps the upper area of the ball field running between the foul poles and behind home plate. Restroom facilities are clean and suitable for the crowd at hand for a CCU Cougars baseball game.

The closest airport is Denver International Airport, about 30 miles to All Star Park. For those local, the ball field is only a few miles off Interstate 25 (6th Ave exit) not far from downtown Denver.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets are $5 and include a roster sheet. Parking is free of charge. It’s a good deal for a sunny, spring afternoon.

Extras 3

A memorial plaque and columbine art piece is located on the inner wall of the press box remembering those who got killed during the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999.

It’s nice to see a Coors Field look alike and kudos to the Colorado Rockies for continuing to sponsor the field and the Gold Crown Foundation.

Finally, for the Gold Crown Foundation and the growth and enrichment they offer children and youths in the area.

Final Thoughts

It is a decent looking ballpark. If it’s one of those warm spring days in CO, grab your lawn chair/blanket, a couple bottles of water and some snacks and head to Lakewood to watch some CCU Cougars’ plays on the diamond.


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