Infinity Park – Glendale Raptors
Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00
Infinity Park at Glendale 4400 E. Kentucky Ave Glendale, CO 80246
Year Opened: 2007
Editors Note: Colorado Raptors Rugby, a founding member of the Major League Rugby, announced on April 9, 2020, that it would withdraw from the league, effective May 2, 2020.
Opened in 2007, Infinity Park is the first rugby-specific stadium built in the US and is located in what is known as RugbyTown USA (Glendale, CO); just on the outskirts of Denver. It is a fabulous facility in which to watch a rugby match.
The well-known Glendale Raptors Rugby Football Club transitioned to the newly formed Major League Rugby beginning the 2018 season.
The park also hosts movie nights, corporate events, rugby club matches, 7s, beerfests, and more. It is a very active event center / stadium just a hop, skip, and jump from Denver.
Food & Beverage 4
Infinity Park provides an exceptional variety of refreshments during a Raptors match.
The Fan Zone (adjacent to, but outside the seating area of the park) provides local food trucks and an adult beverage tent with local craft beers and other alcoholic beverages. Craft beers are $6, wine and mixed drinks $7, soda (Coke products) and water are $2. Food trucks can vary and include Lazo Empanadas (recommended), Frozen Yogurt, Crescent City Connection (New Orleans), and more. The Fan Zone generally opens two hour prior to the start of the match.
Inside the venue, for the general public, three areas are available to purchase nourishment and drinks: Grubber Grille, Lil’ Henry’s, and the Club House. Lil’ Henry’s offers burgers, brats, dogs, sausages and chicken sandwiches ($7.50 – $8). Grubber Grille has burritos, popcorn, other snacks, cocktails and beer. The Club House is open to fans and offers beers and cocktails.
All stands take credit and cash.
Recommendation: Get an empanada from the food truck in the Fan Zone ($4 individual / 4 for $15) and grab a local craft beer at the Fan Zone beer tent and relax, eat, and drink looking over the pitch.
Infinity Park provides a tremendous evening of rugby entertainment.
To start, a Fan Zone event is held up to two hours before each match. The Fan Zone includes local brews, a bounce house, rugby practice skills games for kids (and adults), several food trucks, face painting, a DJ, and more. It’s a pregame party adjacent to the park available to all fans who have tickets.
The venue seating area and concourse is U-shaped; seating is on concrete steps so be sure to bring a cushion. Watching the match is better from the sidelines vs the end zone. Seats are mostly general admission with some tickets considered ‘covered seating’ which is a canopy over several sections. The field is pristine and green; kudo’s to the grounds crew. A Rugby 101 section is available where individuals are handy to answer any questions regarding the game of rugby, a nice touch for a new sport to the states.
Infinity Park Covered Seats, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
The music selection and volume is suitable however often times music is played when the public address announcer is speaking so fans have no clue hearing what he is stating. This is a major annoyance and something that needs to be addressed in future seasons (especially since the sport is so new in the US).
An extremely crisp and clear video board shows player interviews and bio, rugby news, and lineups pregame, while showing replays during the match and entertainment at the half. Halftime entertainment comprises familiar promos such as bongo cam and t-shirt tosses. And the team reaches out to the community and often invites youth teams to play a scrimmage pregame or at the half.
Infinity Park is located in the bustling city of Glendale, CO (an enclave of Denver). The entire complex comprises four city blocks. The stadium anchors the larger Infinity Park complex, consisting of an event center, a sports center, and plenty of open space for walking the dog or just taking a stroll. Apartment dwellings, residential areas and businesses surround the venue. It is an extremely safe neighborhood in which to visit.
Places to eat nearby are the Bush and Bull Brewery (two blocks) a local brewery and pub (it’s dark inside), Las Delicias (Mexican) also two blocks, Next Door | Glendale (Farm-to-Table) about a 15-min walk, as well as many fast food and chain restaurants.
Recommended places to stay for the night within walking distance are the Hampton Inn & Suites Denver/Cherry Creek, Hyatt Place Denver/Cherry Creek and a tad further away (about ½ mile) is the Hilton Garden In Denver/Cherry Creek.
Things to do while visiting Glendale include the Cherry Creek Shopping Center with over 160 stores and restaurants, Four Mile Historic Park (a historic 12-acre stage stop from 1860 to 1864). The Denver Zoo is four miles away, Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is 3 ½ miles, and downtown Denver is only a little over six miles from Infinity Park.
Other sports teams to see in the area during major league rugby season are the Colorado Rockies, Colorado Mammoth, and the Denver Outlaws. Also, check the schedules and see if the Nuggets or the Avalanche make the post season.
Raptors fans (and MLR fans in general) are quite passionate. They cheer, applaud, oooh and ahhh, and question/discuss why a kick vs running the ball. At the game of this review, no unhappy calls against the referees were heard.
Many types of fans are seen at a Raptors game: the novice, families with kids, couples on a date, groups of men who look like they may have played the game in their earlier years, groups of young men and groups of young women on a night out. It’s a delightful mix.
It’s hard to find statistics on game attendance probably since it’s a new league. On the game of this review, I’d say the stands were 90% full making for a good turnout at Infinity Park.
Glendale Raptors Fans Fill the Stands, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey
Located a block off the extremely busy Colorado Blvd, Infinity Park is not the easiest and quickest to get to. Traversing the interior (especially up and down the steps in the seating area) is not a treat either.
The good news is once you get through the Colorado Blvd madness, there’s free parking in lot P1 (corner of S Cherry St and E Kentucky Ave), a block from the venue. Overflow parking can be found in lot P4 (corner of S Birch St and E Ohio Ave), just two blocks from Infinity Park.
Fans can take the RTD Light Rail to the Colorado Station and ride the Route 46 bus to the park (Cherry and Kentucky stop), however the last bus to leave on a Sat evening is 6:20pm so that won’t work for most Raptors matches.
Once inside, some areas of the concourse are wide open and spacious with plenty of room, while other areas like the concourse area behind the goal with the concessions can get quite congested. For the most part, fans will have to walk up moderately steep steps to get to the seating area; a few hand banisters are provided.
Handicapped access and seating are provided, though I can’t imagine a wheelchair (or those on crutches) easily getting through the congestion on the concourse behind the goal.
Restrooms are kept clean; lines can form at the half. Security bag check is very thorough.
Return on Investment 5
Tickets for a Raptors game range from general admission $25, covered seating $35, up to VIP seats $169. Military general admission tickets are $15. And, of course, season tickets and group rates (20 or more fans) provide a discount.
Is it worth it? Yes, it is. There’s only five home matches per season (not including playoffs). A fan can go to all five games and pay less than a ticket for one Broncos game (and rugby is a better sport to watch – this is author’s opinion; not necessarily Stadium Journey’s).
From the pregame Fan Zone to the Raptors organization making all fans feel welcome to encouraging and educating fans on the game make this a worthwhile sports entertainment investment.
Infinity Park is the first rugby-specific venue constructed in the US.
Having not only MLR (major league rugby) but all sorts of rugby clubs, youth organizations, internationals, rugby camps, college tournaments, and more deserves an extra mention for Infinity Park.
The pregame Fan Zone utilizes local businesses and organizations which not only provides a fun experience but also enhances community involvement of the Raptors organization.
Rugby is a fascinating, engaging, strength and speed game that the US is just beginning to appreciate. It is a full-contact sport yet players wear little-or no protective gear which is one of the aspects that makes it so appealing for a sports fan. And there’s much comradery among the rugby players and community (at least so far in the new USMLR). This especially is witnessed at Infinity Park in Glendale CO.