Friday morning I made my final trip out west to Denver to visit Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies. My Auntie Re generously sponsored my flight and we used Expedia to book the flight after looking at Southwest and United. I arrived in Denver in late afternoon and took the AF bus into the city. It was an hour long trip, but $11 and friendly conversation with a fellow traveler is better to me than a $60 cab ride. Once in the city, I hit the 16th Street Mall and the state buildings before heading over to the LoDo District where the ballpark is located. I found the downtown to be compact and easy to navigate. There was a free bus along the mall that you can hop on and off if you don’t feel like walking. While in the LoDo district I grabbed lunch at Marco’s Pizzeria and watched as people got the street ready for Octoberfest. An encore of Sam Adams? I’ll take it! I did want to try some local brews since I heard this area was a large craft brewery hub, so I made my way to the Great Divide Brewery. The Baby Herc was pretty good and I wished I could taste more, but I try to keep my wits about me when visiting parks (need to remember what I see!).
After I finished my beer I headed over to the ballpark and will say Coors Field lives up to the hype. I had read and been told by countless baseball fans that this park was one of the best and walking up to it, I agreed. The size and way the park is situated reminded me of Rangers Ballpark and Citi Field, but the façade is far more intricate with the rectangular brick windows and green steel arches. The brick from afar looks simple, but up close there is a diamond pattern and at the top, the brick turns tan to showcase a small flowerish ornament. The building is very striking and I spent about an hour just walking around enjoying the architecture. You can’t go all the way around the park, they cut you off near center field, but it’s worth the walk down the steps to buy Rockpile tickets from Gate A. These seats are one of the best deals in baseball and go on sale 2.5 hours before the game. They’re $4 and the earlier you buy the closer to the field you sit. I walked back up to street level passing The Sandlot, an attached Blue Moon Brewery and patio to the ballpark. The brewery looks older since the brick is different and more worn out, but it adds nicely to the overall ambiance. Continuing on to the home plate entrance I found the heralded clock tower and near left field, I came across a bridge and some beautiful ballpark art. The bridge goes over the highway and connects Coors to a parking lot (parking is super expensive, saw signs for $20-$40) and a strip of bars and restaurants. I really liked this arch with all the different types of balls– very cute and creative! I could have spent even more time oohing and awwing at Coor’s outside, but game time was nearing and I figured I should probably go inside.
I entered the park at the First Base Gate and immediately went down to the field to take in the park as a whole. There’s a yellow line a couple of rows you can’t cross without tickets, but a couple of feet isn’t a big deal. The ballpark is very pretty, especially the nature activity going on in the batters eye. The Rockpile sits atop this and is curved kind of like a mini mountain. The scoreboard is impressive with the large logo standing out on top and it sits towards center field to provide a view of the Rockies in left field. Unfortunately, due to the recent wildfires, I couldn’t see the mountains in the distance. This was disappointing since I had heard the view from first base and right field was quite beautiful. Another trip I suppose. With the anthem about to start, I made my way back up to the main concourse to secure a standing room spot behind home plate.
Coors Field is incredibly fan friendly. A Rockies fan told me the owner liked being able to walk around ballparks when he was a kid, so when the field was built, made plenty of standing room so fans could enjoy the same liberty. The view behind home plate was fantastic and I watched almost two innings before my friends, Mallory and Allen showed up. I met them at the first base gate and we watched some of the game from the standing room there before grabbing a beer and heading to the outfield area. Walking through the concourse, we passed the Sandlot which has concourse seating in addition to inside and on the patio. To enter the patio you leave the park, but Coors Field is fairly unique with allowing fans to re-enter the park with a ticket stub and hand stamp. A fan said this was a good way to get cheap drinks- in between innings run to a local bar, get a beer, drink it quickly, and run back. That seems like a lot of work, but I admire his frugalness. Right field’s standing room has a nice view of the field and some bar tables to lean on or set down food and drink. Across from this area are some batting cages and a little booth to try your skills at play-by-play (thought about updating my resume tape!). As you move closer to center field you wind up above the most aesthetically pleasing bullpens in baseball. The center field nature scene carries right on into the bullpens- wonder if the pitchers find that soothing when they warm up! To pass into left field you need to have bleacher ticket (we did), but no one was checking. The tunnel behind the batters eye has a lovely mural and connects to a large concourse with plenty of food options and there are some good places to stand behind the seats. We hung out in center field enjoying the view for a few innings before I demanded we go up to the “mile high” seats in the 300 section.
On our way up to the purple seats, we passed the kid’s area in the corner of left field and a just for kid’s concession stand. Perfect way for families to save on ballpark food! We walked up the steps passing the club and suite level which is closed off to non-ticket holders before making it to the 300 level concourse. We smelled some not cigarette smoke in the smoking section and Mallory told me weed was decriminalized in Denver, so a word of caution to families and those not fond of weed smoking (me, but I’ll let them live). We walked through the concourse which was lit up with some purple lights since the sun was already setting. The view of the skyline is really pretty from the picnic area along this level. When I was strolling around the city, I didn’t think there was much of a skyline, but this view proved me wrong. There is a Clocktower bar that is open to all fans, though sometimes it’s closed off for groups. We decided to sit behind home plate and made our way up to some empty purple seats in time for the D-Backs offensive explosion. The seats in Coors Field are green except for the single line of purple seats that serve as the one mile above sea level mark. We joined the mile high club of the baseball nature, though watching baseball from a mile high looks the exact same (good thing ;)!). The view from this level isn’t bad and from here I noticed the manual scoreboard in left field. I did some quick score checking and gave a cheer for my Yanks when I saw they beat the A’s and groaned to see that the Orioles had won too (come on Boston, help a rival out!). This game was moving quickly so I suggested we make our way to our actual seats and finish out in the Rockpile.
We walked all the way around the 300 level concourse to the center field steps and began our decent, stopping at the 200 level once we realized the Camarena Tequila Loft was open to all fans. We stopped in, but it was super crowded and the view from the bar was obstructed by the lower tables and fan’s heads. Our tickets in the Rockpile were for row 2, but people were in our seats, so we sat in some empty front row seats. The view is a little far away, but you can’t complain for $4 and the fans were lively adding to the atmosphere. Once the game ended (D-Backs 15-5), we were shepherded onto the field for the post-game fireworks show. My third on-field experience this season and while walking, I discovered a cool picnic area directly under the Rockpile and a viewing area at field level directly behind right field. That would be a cool experience! The fireworks show was fantastic and a superb way to end my visit to Coors Field. For this trip my flight was sponsored by my Auntie Re ($292), I spent $11 on transportation, $23 on food and drink, $4 on my ticket ($38 in all). One of my cheaper trips out west, and I am definitely grateful for that! I thought Coors Field was a great baseball venue and am excited to go back when the Yankees are in town. The LoDo District around the park adds greatly to the experience. It’s always nice to visit ballparks that are in the city and have a fun area around them to enjoy pre and post-game!