Coors Field - Colorado Rockies
Photos by Matt Finnigan, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
Coors Field 2001 Blake St Denver, CO 80205
Year Opened: 1995 Capacity: 50,480
Here’s to Good Times at Coors Field
Believe it or not, the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field is the third-oldest stadium in the National League. Not nearly as old as the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field (1914) or Dodger Stadium (1962), Coors Field debuted in 1995 to rave reviews. Despite approaching its 30th birthday, Coors Field has received updates and modifications that have ensured its place among MLB’s best ballparks.
In 2014, the Rockies converted 3,500 seats in Coors Field’s upper deck in right field into The Rooftop, a 38,000-square-foot gathering area. A two-level, standing-room-only bar, ticket holders and restaurant area dominates the Rooftop, which is open to all ticketholders. The Rooftop also boasts downtown Denver’s best views of the city’s skyline looming beyond home plate and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains to the West.
The Rockies in 2021 redeveloped an adjacent parking lot into McGregor Square, a city block with a hotel, restaurants, and retail shops. Named for former Rockies executive Keli McGregor, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 47, McGregor Square’s centerpiece is a 17,000-square-foot, outdoor plaza. Fans gather there for pregame events and to watch games on a 66-foot-long20-foot-wide, 20-foot-wide LED screen.
These upgrades have enabled Coors Field to remain a top MLB stadium for fan experience. If the team’s on-field performance improves, that fan experience will improve. Until that happens, there’s still plenty to enjoy in a park that’s nearing its third decade of existence.
Food & Beverage 5
Coors Field has a wide range of food and a wide range of places to eat it. Hot dogs, brats, and fried food’s most popular pairing (chicken strips and fries) can all be found throughout the park. Burger lovers should visit either the Rooftop for Smashburgers and a view, or Helton Burgers (named for Rockies legend Todd Helton) on the concourse above the left field bleachers, under the main scoreboard.
Adventurous eaters won’t be disappointed, either. Biker Jim’s, a local hot dog store, has two locations at Coors Field; its menu includes an elk jalapeno cheddar dog and jackalope sausage. Amazingly and perhaps frighteningly, fans can sate their appetites for rocky mountain oysters at Coors Field. The Grille, located behind section 144, sells these Colorado delicacies. For the uninitiated, rocky mountain oysters are breaded and fried bull testicles. They resemble popcorn shrimp but are in no sense seafood. Stadium Journey cannot comment on their taste or what might compel someone to order them.
As one might expect, there are plenty of Coors products available around the stadium. Coors’ Blue Moon Belgian White was first brewed at Coors Field’s Sandlot Brewery, just inside the entry at 22nd and Blake Streets and behind section 113. The Sandlot has a BBQ smokehouse, where an unfairly good aroma lures unwitting fans inside for brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage, and burnt ends.
Watching a game at Coors Field has become a rite of summer for locals and vacationers in part because the atmosphere is so good. There are no bad seats; the Rockpile seems like a distant part of the park but its views are surprisingly good. The views of Denver’s downtown skyline and the mountain peaks to the west provide stellar backdrops for Instagrammers, while the Rooftop and the upper deck behind home plate give the locations to take those photos. If the feeling of being in the Colorado mountains could be supplanted into an MLB stadium, Coors Field would be the perfect manifestation of that feeling.
Coors Field View from Left Field Bleachers, Photo by Matt Finnigan, Stadium Journey
Coors Field isn’t just in the heart of Denver; it’s a critical part of the Mile High City’s summertime pulse after catalyzing the rebirth of Denver’s Lower Downtown, or “LoDo,” neighborhood. Before Coors Field opened in 1995, LoDo had few restaurants, bars, or reasons to visit. Now, more than 100 restaurants, bars, and businesses provide seemingly endless options for pre- and post-game gatherings within blocks of the stadium. A few highlights: Denver’s Cherry Cricket serves up one of the city’s best burgers catty-corner from Coors Field’s right field entrance. Or grab a drink at the 1-Up, a vintage arcade with pub food and a full bar one block south of the ballpark on Blake Street.
Other LoDo destinations are within a short walk of Coors Field, starting with McGregor Square immediately across 20th Street. Two blocks south of 20th Street on Wynkoop is Union Station, with several bars and restaurants, and the Wynkoop Brewery – a brewpub and billiards hall that’s one of LoDo’s rare businesses that opened before Coors Field.
An important yet easily overlooked attraction is almost across the street from Coors Field’s entrance at 20th and Blake. The National Ballpark Museum (1940 Blake) is the only museum dedicated specifically to baseball stadiums, with relics from 14 classic ballparks that include Crosley Field, Forbes Field, the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, Shibe Park, and Comiskey Park. The museum also displays items that tell the story of baseball in Denver. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in the history of baseball.
Rockies fans who attend are vocal, engaged, and enthusiastic. They are also comparatively few. The Rockies’ recent on-field struggles and loss of favorite players such as Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and D.J. Lemahieu have rendered Coors Field a de facto home game for visiting teams with passionate fan bases. When the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Cardinals, and Braves come to Denver, their fans drown out the Rockies’ fans. Until the franchise fields a consistent winner, this phenomenon will persist.
Coors Field’s LoDo location is easily reachable by several modes of transportation. Denver’s intermodal transit hub, the recently renovated Union Station, is three blocks south of Coors Field on Wynkoop Street. An easy walk awaits those who take light rail or bus transit to the ball game. There are also plenty of shared bikes and scooters. Driving to Coors Field can test a fan’s patience. Two official parking lots sit to the north of Coors Field but, because of the stadium’s location among Denver’s commercial center, there are several privately owned parking facilities within a few blocks.
The stadium’s most conspicuous entrances are at home plate at the corner of 20th and Blake Streets, and in right field at the corner of 22nd and Blake Streets. Larger crowds form here, particularly if the Rockies have a promotional giveaway. A better option is the first base entry (21st and Blake) or the left field entry, using the pedestrian bridge on Wynkoop. Once inside, the concourses are wide but can get crowded with fans queued up for the concession stands.
Return on Investment 4
A game at Coors Field does not typically require complex financing to attend. Ticket prices generally range from $9-$10 in the Rockpile bleachers in the center field to $55-$60 for field boxes. The Rockies also have several very good ticket specials. The Blake Street Steal prices tickets at under $20 for lower-level seats. Also, the Family Value Pack sells for $79 (lower level) and $59 (upper level), with four tickets, a parking pass, and a $40 concession credit. A subscription to the Rockies’ e-mail list is the best way to learn when the team offers these specials.
Food and drinks are reasonably priced, as well. Hot dogs ($6.99), pretzels ($6.39), and standard nachos ($6.25) all sell for prices that are within the realm of reason. At Coors Field’s concession stands, a premium draft beer in a souvenir cup sells for $11.79 and a domestic draft beer in a souvenir cup sells for $11.55. Fountain sodas retail for $8.09 (souvenir) and $5.84 (regular).
For those attending the game with younger kids, Coors Field has a concession stand just for you. Buckaroos, located on the main level concourse in left field, sells only kid-sized meals at reasonable prices. A kid's meal, which includes a small hot dog, animal crackers, apple sauce, and a prize is $5.90. Kid-sized hot dogs ($3.15), nachos ($3.15), fries ($2.90), burgers ($3.40), and pretzels ($2.90) will neither break a parent’s bat nor leave a young fan struggling with an oversized meal.
The Rockies arguably have the best of MLB’s City Connect jerseys and use that branding throughout Coors Field for City Connect games. That earns a point.
Another point goes to the Rockies for its gluten-friendly food cart, located on the main concourse near section 143. Fans will find gluten-friendly hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie quesadillas, beer, and desserts.
Again, the Rooftop merits an extra point because it remains a significant draw at Coors Field. There are pre-game parties and drink specials, promotions, and a great vibe. The Rooftop signaled a change in how fans watch live sporting events, no longer confining them to numbered seats.
A fourth extra point goes to Coors Field for incorporating Colorado’s state flower, the columbine, throughout the stadium. Hardscapes of the flower are installed just outside the park’s first and third base entrances and 55 glazed terra cotta columbines appear on pilasters throughout Coors Field.
Coors Field Columbine, Photo by Matt Finnigan, Stadium Journey
Coors Field is unlike any other stadium in MLB. For baseball fans, it has great sight lines and beautiful design. For those less inclined to pay attention to the on-field action, Coors Field provides a stellar environment for catching up with friends (or making new ones). It’s one of baseball’s great stadiums and should be for years to come.