Security Service Field – Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Photos by Meg Minard , Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00
Security Service Field
4385 Tutt Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80922
Year Opened: 1988
Looking Back … Looking Ahead
Security Service Field (originally known as Sky Sox Stadium) is the highest professional baseball stadium in the U.S. at 6,531 feet above sea level (higher than Coors Field). It sits adjacent to Weidner Stadium where the USL Switchbacks play their soccer matches.
The baseball 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 and became the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Throughout their existence the team has been the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, and beginning in 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers.
The end of the 2018 season brings closure to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox as the team will be moving to San Antonio beginning the 2019 season. The Brewers rookie league team will be relocating from Helena, MT to Colorado Springs the 2019 season and the team name rebranding is currently (summer 2018) under way.
Food & Beverage 3
Enticing food and drink options, as well as all the traditional snacks and treats, are available at Security Service Field. The Sky Sox use some local concessionaires to help boost the Colorado Springs economy.
Walking in to the stadium entrance, just to the right (first base side) is Zebulon’s Grill providing cheesesteaks, hamburgers, and other grilled favorites ($5 – $9). Specialties at the two other permanent stands include: Buffalo and/chicken tenders w/fries, red hot Chicago and/or chili cheese foot long dog, Wisconsin brat, Pikes Peak nachos, the mighty Colorado nacho plate, and hot and spicy sausages. Prices range from $5.50 to $9 depending on your choice. Snacks include peanuts, candy, churros, soft pretzel, cotton candy, popcorn, kettle corn, fries, etc. and range from $3 to $6.50. Fountain soft drinks are provided by Pepsi ($7) and bottled water is $4.25.
Other refreshments include a Papa John’s pizza stand ($8 for a single serving pie), Chilly Willy’s ice cream ($5 – $7 / cash only) and a shaved ice stand.
Beer choices at the permanent concession stands are Coors, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Killian’s, Miller Lite, Alaskan Amber, and Colorado Native. A large craft brew cart is down the third base concourse and offers up to eight different brews from local Bristol Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada (a California based brewery). Beers at this stand are $9 (cash only).
A local moonshine distillery, 3 Hundred Days of Shine, provides moonshine cocktails (single $6.25 / double $12.50); cash only.
Except for sealed soft plastic bottles of water, outside food and drink are not allowed.
The concourse runs on top of the seating bowl and spreads from the first baseline to the third baseline. Seating is not available in the outfield areas. Green plastic fold down chairs with cup holders are in the lower level of the seating area (closer to the field). A small pathway separates the upper level. The upper level has metal benches with backs but no cup holders. Both sections provide excellent sights of the game. As with most ballparks nowadays, the net extends down both baselines limiting the viewing pleasure of a ‘net free’ game.
A Fun Zone with bounce houses and other kid’s attractions is down the third baseline just above a well-manicured grassy berm seating area. Visiting ballplayers walk across a short part of the concourse and down the third base side steps to get to the dugout, so there may be some autograph opportunities pre or postgame.
A set of 18 luxury/club seats are 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.
All seats (except the luxury/club seats) are in the sun (or 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. 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 PA announcer does a fine job and the music is even turned down when calling a relief pitcher and a double-switch so those keeping score can record the name properly on their scorecard. More importantly, the music isn’t played too loud and a fan can talk with their neighbor easily – an excellent thing.
The scoreboard is viewable from all seats and displays the current score by inning including hits and errors, strikes, balls, and outs. A video board provides the names and current stats of the player at bat for both teams, as well as advertisements and in-game contests.
Security Service Field is not in downtown Colorado Springs. It is located in a neighborhood in the northeastern part of the city. The neighborhood has grown vastly over the last several years with more and more shopping and dining available within walking distance of the venue. Two sports bars to check out are Cleats Bar and Grill East (plenty of TVs and bar food) and Rhino’s Sport & Spirits. Both are walking distance from the stadium with Cleats a little closer; though Rhino’s is my preference.
Countless chain restaurants are nearby including: On The Border, Egg & I, Pizza Hut, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Zen Fusion Sushi, Noodle and Company, Rock Bottom, and the list goes on. Several craft breweries have popped up near the stadium. Peaks N Pines (offering a diverse selection of their own tasty brews and a welcoming, friendly environment) is across a field from the ballpark. One can walk across the field to the ballpark during an afternoon game, but I wouldn’t recommend it at night as there are no lights. Nano 108 Brewing is about two miles down Tutt Ave and may also be a good place for a beer pre or postgame.
The closest hotel to the stadium is the Holiday Inn Express Colorado Springs – First and Main and is about one mile from the field. It is located near the Cinemark Theater and many shopping centers and restaurants. Several other hotels are near the airport.
Although slightly more than five miles away, do visit the Air Force Academy when in town and check out the Visitor’s Center and the Air Force Chapel. It 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. Note: The Air Force Chapel is expected to close late 2018 for major restoration work.
The Sky Sox have generally been in the lower half in attendance in the Pacific Coast League. However, heard amongst the conversations in the stands are statements such as, “That player was the number one pick for the Brewers in 2014,” or “He’s been to Miller Park and is trying to get back there,” or ” Will he go for a bunt or try to hit it out?” So you know the fans attending the games have baseball savvy.
Visiting fans are welcomed… it IS a minor league game and it is more about the baseball being played and other social activities than any rivalries within the minor league teams.
We’ll have to wait till the 2019 season to see how the fans engage with the new team relocating here.
This is a mixed bag. There is a bus stop right outside the stadium and it looks like Route 23 – Tutt Blvd via Powers Blvd is the one to take, though be mindful of last pick up times. Most fans drive to the game. Check the Sky Sox website for directions. The directions indicate taking Woodmen Rd off I-25 if coming from the north. I’d recommend taking Interquest Pkwy instead, as it is less congested and has fewer traffic lights.
Colorado Springs Airport is only six miles to Security Service Field. Denver International Airport is a bit farther – about an hour and 15 min drive. There are more flights to/from DIA and are probably lower in fare than Colorado Springs.
Parking is $5. Be prepared to have a lot of patience when leaving the game from the main lot. I recommend, instead of turning on Tutt 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.
Only the one gate is available for fans to enter and exit the stadium which funnels behind the home base area. Even with the smaller crowds, it can get so congested it is treacherous. My recommendation: Stay in your seat during the game or just meander on the concourse above the baseline on which you are sitting and remain in your seat for a bit after the game to avoid the mass exit and the crowds. Hopefully, there will never be the need for a quick evacuation of the stadium.
The restrooms, one for each gender, are a bit dated but serve their purpose.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets are reasonable for an AAA ball game: lower box ($15), upper level ($12), grass berm ($5). Military, seniors (60+), and kids under 12 get an additional $2 off. Add an additional $2 when purchased the day of the game.
Food prices generally range from $5 – $9. Parking is $5.
The Sky Sox organization provides a variety of promotions throughout the year:
Sunday: 50¢ hot dogs
Tuesday: Two for Tuesdays – $2 tickets; $2 parking, $2 Coors/Coors Light
Thursday: $3 Microbrew Thursday
Friday: Friday Fireworks
Saturday: Select themed nights like Star Trek Night, Harry Potter Night, and more
With all the promotions and perks, attending a Sky Sox game is well worth the investment.
A few extra items are worth noting.
Listen to Dan Karcher broadcast the Sky Sox games on AM 1300 or on their website. He calls the game without a lot of unnecessary chatter and provides just the perfect amount of passion. He calls the games with superb expertise. I hope he continues broadcasting when the new team arrives in 2019.
Jim Thome is the first Sky Sox player to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. The power hitter played with the Sky Sox during the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
A team store, called the Fox Den, offers all kinds of merchandise including clothing, hats, shot glasses, foam fingers, pennants, and just about any other collector’s item.
As part of the final hurrah and Sky Sox campaign, the organization has done a decent job at ‘looking back’ at the history of the Sky Sox with the players wearing different ‘team era’ jerseys each month.
The organization is ‘looking ahead’ to a new name and a new league in 2019.
Thanks for the memories, Colorado Springs Sky Sox.