• Andrei Ojeda

Coors Field - Colorado Rockies


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

Coors Field 2001 Blake St Denver, CO 80205

Colorado Rockies website Coors Field website

Year Opened: 1995 Capacity: 50,480

 

Rocky Mountain Baseball

Open for business in 1995, Coors Field was among several yards that opened during the post Camden retro era. Now in its 24th season, Coors Field currently is the 3rd oldest National League yard in the senior circuit behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium.

Since its opening, Coors Field has been known as a homer friendly yard. The great Vin Scully once described Coors as “The only yard in the Majors where one can hit a homer on a check swing.”

Aside from the many home runs, Coors has also had its share of other memorable moments, highlighted by the team’s first World Series appearance in 2007. During their magical “Rocktober’ run of ’07, the Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games to reach the postseason, including an epic one-game playoff to determine the NL Wild Card.

Coors Field has recently produced back to back playoff teams, with the home nine advancing to last years NLDS, knocking off the Cubs in another epic Wild Card game.

Food & Beverage 4

A wide variety of food and beverage are available at Coors Field; the better offerings are on the first level. Except for the Rocky Mountain Oysters there is no signature food item. If you should be so daring the Rocky Mountain Oysters are available behind section 144 along the left field concourse. (FYI, Rocky Mountain Oysters are not creatures of the sea, I’ll say that much).

Coors Field – Rocky Mountain Oysters, Photo by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey

If you want to play it safe, #17 Helton Burger Shack (named after Rockies long time first baseman Todd Helton) located along the outfield pavilion concourse behind section 153 provides a Helton burger, fries, onion rings, shakes and a combo that includes a burger, shake, fries/onion rings, and a Coke product drink at a reasonable price for ballpark fare. Plenty of specialty items are available such as carnitas, Denver cheesesteaks, Famous Dave’s BBQ, sausage on a stick, foot long bratwurst, Extreme Dogs and more. Wazee Market near section 137 offers Italian specialties like pizza and gelato. Traditional fare is also available throughout the stadium: nachos, hot dogs, burgers and bratwurst.

Healthy food offerings are mostly on the first level and include salads, wraps, veggie burgers and pizza, and gluten free items. Chicken sandwiches are offered at concessions on all three levels.

Buckaroos (a concession stand on the lower level concourse in left field) offers a kids meal for just $5 and is worth checking out when visiting with children. A small kid’s play area is near the Buckaroos stand.

Coca-Cola is the soda provider at Coors Field. Plenty of alcohol choices are available in the stadium with regular domestic draft beers (more than just Coors) at $7.

Coors may be the number one adult beverage inside the yard’s namesake, but the options go beyond with craft beers available at many concession stands. The Sandlot Brewery, which first brewed the now popular Blue Moon beer, is across from sections 114 and 115 down the first base concourse. Even better, it brews and offers a variety of specialty beers. The Rooftop (upper right field deck) features bar and food establishments. The Mountain Ranch Bar & Grille located on the second level in the right field corner is open to all fans; reservations are recommended.

Though the variety inside the yard is abundant, if you have the time you may want to explore the many establishments around the yard.

Atmosphere 4

Coors Field provides three seating levels plus the Rockpile and the Rooftop. For the budget minded fan, the Rockpile is the bleacher section of Coors Field and sits way beyond center field with prices as low as $4. Though Rockpile seats are a good distance from the field, you are not restricted only to that particular seating area as fans are free to explore other areas of the ballpark. Those 12 and under or 55+ can get a ticket to the Rockpile for $1 on game day.

Prior to the 2018 season a new one of a kind video/scoreboard that mimics the Rockies logo was installed, providing video replays, displays and stats that are vivid, crisp and clear.

Coors Field – Pregame Intro Featuring Charlie Blackmon, Photo by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey

The Rooftop, located in the upper reaches of right field was constructed in 2014, replacing a section of the yard that was underused. The two-tiered social space is replete with three premium bars/eateries, VIP cabanas, and numerous flat screen televisions and drink rails with wood table tops that overlook the field. Social spaces have become integral throughout sports venues in many shapes and forms. Though the view of the field is distant. the Rooftop has become one of the most popular social scenes in LoDo and thus possibly setting the benchmark for other teams throughout the league looking into other stadium enhancements.

On the way to the Rooftop, if you’re not seated in the upper level’s 20th row, if you have a chance. do pay a visit to row 20. That is the purple row, the row of purple seats that indicates that you are exactly one mile above sea level. Go ahead, you know you want to “Do it for the ‘gram…”

Neighborhood 5

Coors Field sits in the LoDo (lower downtown) area of Denver. It was the catalyst behind the revamping of the rundown warehousing area of Denver in the early 1990’s. Now, restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, and train stations pepper the area surrounding the stadium giving fans a multitude of things to see and do when visiting.

If you’re a hop head, several breweries are within walking distance of the park: Great Divide, Breckenridge, Jagged Mountain (if you like IPAs, this is the place to visit). The Falling Rock Tap House (a block from the stadium) is known for having over 75 beers on tap and a mammoth array of bottled beer.

For the adventurous, Wynkoop is open late and among its daily brew list is a Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. If you’ve been paying attention or have done your research, by now you know that Rocky Mountain Oyster’s are NOT creatures of the sea. Rocky Mountain Oysters are a staple in this part of the country. As for yours truly you can find out here how my battle turned out against this Mile High brew and delicacy…

If you’re not so daring I recommend the Chile Beer Patty’s, brewed with Anaheim, serrano and ancho peppers. While the presence of peppers is evident, don’t expect a burning feeling in your mouth.

The National Ballpark Museum, recognized as one of the finest ballpark collections in the world, is a block from Coors Field on Blake St and is a must for all baseball fans visiting the ballpark. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday: 11 AM – 5 PM, closed Sunday, Monday and Holidays but open until first pitch for all night games and open three hours before first pitch until 3 PM for day games.

Take a stroll or a free bus ride just a few blocks away on the 16th Street Mall. The Mall is a pedestrian shopping/eating area four blocks from Coors Field. It has locally owned shops and over 50 restaurants along its 1.2 mile strip.

Union Station, Denver’s transportation hub serves as a transportation hub for Amtrak, local and light rail transit riders, recently underwent an extensive renovation and now hosts the historic terminal building, bars, restaurants, retail shops, and the upscale Crawford Hotel.

Fans 4

The Rockies are on pace again to break the 3 million mark. The Rockies hold the MLB single season attendance record, drawing 4,483,350 in their inaugural 1993 season. Over the years Coors Field has featured some of baseball’s busiest turnstiles. With another team expected to contend for a third straight playoff spot, expect crowds to be close to capacity on a nightly basis.

Though crowds at Coors can be at near capacity, don’t expect an overly raucous crowd. Visiting team fans can cheer on their favorite team without having to worry much about being heckled by the home fans.

Access 5

There are five gates to enter the stadium. Gates A (Rockpile/bleachers) and E (left field) open two hours before game time. The other gates open one and a half hours before the first pitch, so there is plenty of time to check out the stadium. Except for the club level, a fan can visit all areas of the venue including the Rooftop (on the third level) and walk the entire first level concourse.

Taking the light rail to the stadium is an excellent option. The A Line offers light rail service from Denver International Airport to Union Station just a few blocks from the venue.

If choosing to drive there are several off-site parking spots within walking distance of Coors Field for as little as $5. You can pay for your parking spot ahead of time online through ParkingPanda. Most of these parking options allow you to choose how long you decide to use your parking spot, a great option to use if you plan to arrive early or stay late to explore the neighborhood for its pre and post-game dining and entertainment scene.

Return on Investment 5

Day of game tickets start at $4 and provide you a seat in the Rockpile, the bleacher seats in above the center field water display. Tickets for most games start at $15. Single game Rooftop General Admission tickets start at $16 that include $6 in concession and/or merchandise credit. For certain games sections 310-314 may be available for general admission seating.

With baseballs always flying out of Coors Field’s fences, no game is ever a sure thing until the 27th out. If visiting Coors for the first time, the experience may be unique compared to other yards.

Extras 3

The Rockies have three retired ‘numbers’: Todd Helton (17), Jackie Robinson (42), Keli McGregor (KSM) located on the panel in center field above the bullpen. Keli McGregor was the President of the Rockies who passed away at a very young age. Other banners of famed Rockies and memorable moments adorn the concourses.

Beyond center field is a water feature that has seven fountains shooting water almost 40 feet in the air prior to all home games, after a Rockies home run, during the seventh inning stretch and after a Rockies win. Along with three 10 foot waterfalls, the water feature is surrounded by other natural scenery with rocks and plant materials native to Colorado.

Along the concourse behind the batter’s backdrop is a mural that depicts a timeline with from cattle, coal miners, construction planners and engineers to finally a Rockies batter with the number “95,” the year Coors opened.

While you’re out strolling the outfield concourse, if you got little ones or you’re just a big kid, you may want to be on the lookout for some Jurassic life. Dinger is a purple triceratops that was hatched on April 16, 1994. During the construction of Coors Field, a dinosaur fossil was unearthed on stadium grounds.


Final Thoughts

Coors Field was among several yards that opened during the so-called “retro parks” era. The recent enhancements to Coors Field, most notably the new video/scoreboard and The Rooftop, have only helped improve the game day atmosphere. Coors Field trails only Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field in the National League senior circuit for years of service. Though only in its 24th season, that is still no small feat as Coors Field has aged well, unlike Turner or Chase Field, two yards that opened after Coors, one no longer operating for baseball and the other up in limbo. While it can be debated what makes for a “retro” yard, Coors Field blends in nicely with the Lower Denver’s surroundings, dotted with old brick warehouses turned entertainment district.

In spring 2018, the Colorado Rockies secured a 99-year lease for a parking lot space at 19th and Wazee Streets (left field entrance to the ballpark).

The plans are to construct a mixed-used outdoor plaza entertainment complex and include a Rockies hall of fame, restaurants, a hotel, offices, and residences all focused on baseball. This mixed-use development will be named after former Rockies President Keli McGregor. This will be comparable to the Baseball Village near the Busch Stadium (St Louis Cardinals) and The Battery at SunTrust Park (Atlanta Braves).

Coors Field – Mixed-Use Construction, Photo by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey

After two consecutive post-season runs, fans are excited about this season’s team. After a slow start, the Rockies are back in the middle of another post-season run, which should make for more exciting moments on Blake and 20th.

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