Coors Field – Colorado Rockies
Twentieth & Blake
Coors Field is the home of the Colorado Rockies of the National League West division of MLB (Major League Baseball). Coors Field celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. Still a new stadium, yes? Even so, it is the third oldest National League ballpark in MLB only being built after Wrigley Field (1914) and Dodgers Stadium (1962) and before all the other current National League baseball parks. The stadium is of a similar architecture of Camden Yards, with the red brick and the green seats. Coors Field was the first stadium where outfield seats were placed facing towards the infield (it was an innovative idea at the time). Recent renovations include The Rooftop (a party/socializing deck in the upper right field area), all seats in the stadium were replaced in the last several years (2010’s), and drink rails were installed in 2013.
The Colorado Rockies began play as part of the 1993 expansion, along with the Florida Marlins. Coors Field hosted the 1998 All Star Game and in 2016 hosted the outdoor NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings. The sole visit to the World Series for the Rockies was in 2007 where they magically won 21 of their last 22 games to get to the postseason and the city of Denver may just have changed its colors from Broncos orange to Rockies purple for those few weeks.
Even though it is ‘old,’ it is a great ballpark to visit, as is the city of Denver. For those ballpark chasers, beginning the 2016 season, a light rail train now travels from DIA Airport to downtown making it a bit easier to visit Coors Field.
Food & Beverage 5
A wide variety of food and beverage are available at Coors Field; the better offerings are on the first level. As expected, prices have increased over the years. Except for the Rocky Mountain Oysters (which I wouldn’t recommend – look it up) there is no signature food item. Plenty of specialty items are available such as carnitas, Denver cheesesteaks, Famous Dave’s BBQ, sausage on a stick, foot long bratwurst, Extreme Dogs ($6.50) and more. Wazee Market near section 137 offers Italian specialties like pizza and gelato. Traditional fare is also available: nachos, hot dogs, burgers, bratwurst and range from $4.75 – $7.50 with combos (fries) from $9.50 – $11.50.
#17 Helton Burger Shack (named after the Rockies long time first baseman) located on the left field concourse behind section 153 provides a Helton burger, fries, onion rings, shakes ($5.25 – $7.25) and a combo that includes a burger, shake, fries/onion rings, and drink for $14. Healthy food offerings are mostly on the first level and include salads, wraps, veggie burgers and pizza, and gluten free items ($7 – $9.50). 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 and drinks run $4.50 – $6.25. Plenty of alcohol choices are available in the stadium with regular domestic draft beers (more than just Coors) at $7.25 and a souvenir draft at $8.50. Bombers (24 oz) are $10 – $12.50. A venue near section 137 on the first level, has more craft type beers such as Killians, Fat Tire, Dales Pale Ale, Mojo IPA, and Right Field Red.
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 Colorado based bar and food establishments Tavern Ballpark and CHUBurger, and a Jack Daniels Terrace (not Colorado based). The Mountain Ranch Bar & Grille located on the second level in the right field corner is open to all fans; reservations are recommended.
Outside food and beverages are allowed inside Coors Field; there are plenty of vendors offering their fares as you walk to the stadium. I recommend stopping by Joel’s hot dog / sausage cart at the corner of Wyncoop St and 19th St. He offers mouth-watering hot dogs (beef and turkey – $1.50), sausages (spicy Italian, bratwurst, polish – $3) as well as chips, peanuts, water, and soda. All items he sells can be brought in to the stadium and at a much more affordable price than inside.
There are three seating levels inside Coors Field plus the Rockpile and the Rooftop. The second level is the club level and entrance to that is only available to those with tickets to the 200 level. A superb feature of Coors Field is the ability to walk around all concourse areas (except the club level). Plenty of drink rails surround the first level where fans can stand and watch the game. The Rockpile is the bleacher section of Coors Field and sits way beyond center field. If you want to get into the stadium for cheap ($4), these are the tickets to get (though you won’t get a close up view of the game). Those who are 55+ can get a ticket to the Rockpile for $1.
Beginning the 2014 season, reconstruction was done in the upper-level, right field seating area and a new Rootop area was built. If attending a game with friends is more for the socializing than watching the game, this is the perfect place. This has been the biggest renovation success in Coors Field as the area is always populated and crowded. It is a standing room only area though fans with Rooftop tickets can sit in sections U310-U314 on a first come, first served basis.
The upper level first base side seats and the Rooftop get the best view of the Rocky Mountains. During the spring and in the fall, the first base side gets the warm sun; when summer is in its prime in June, July and August you may want to choose the third base side as that gets the shade first.
During your visit be sure to head up to the 20th row of the third level and sit in the purple seats which are exactly one mile above sea level.
Every Sunday is autograph day so fans can line up near the first base area pregame to get the John Hancock of select players.
The scoreboard / video board is sometimes difficult to read (words are too small). For those who keep score, they do provide pitch count and pitch speed on the ribbon boards but it’s hard to keep track of as it is constantly being flipped between the two and immediately goes away once the inning ends to display a sponsor’s advertisement.
A fence was erected above the bullpens in right-center field in 2016 to help prevent so many homeruns. It looks silly and a fan cannot easily identify who is warming up anymore.
The volume level of the music has decreased making it a bit easier to converse with friends. The PA announcer still calls player changes when music is blaring so you can’t hear what is being said.
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 a fan a multitude of things to see and do when visiting. It is a safe area in which to walk but like any major city be cautious. If you’re a hop head, several breweries are within walking distance of the park: Wynkoops, 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 dizzying array of bottled beer.
The National Ballpark Museum is recognized as one of the finest ballpark collections in the world, is a block from Coors Field on Blake St and is a recommended stop for those visiting the ballpark. Check their site for hours of operation as it is not always open.
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) recently underwent an extensive renovation and now hosts the historic terminal building, bars, restaurants, retail shops, and the upscale Crawford Hotel and of course the light rail, Amtrak, and is a bus depot.
Denver is definitely a football town and all other sports in the area seem to fall short of the Broncos (champions of 2016 Super Bowl 50). Though Rockies fans are plentiful and there is a solid season ticket fan base, most fans at the game are there for the entertainment and not so much the ball game. They applaud and boo when appropriate. They ‘make noise’ when the video board tells them to. Kudo’s to the fans in 2016 as they provided a well-deserved standing ovation when former shortstop Troy Tulowitzki stepped up to the plate as a visiting Toronto Blue Jay.
Visiting fans can feel comfortable and safe wearing their team’s gear and cheering on their team at a Rockies game.
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. It stops at Union Station just a few blocks from the venue. Be aware, it can get crowded after the game and there may be some wait time.
New in 2016 is an A Line train from DIA (Denver International Airport) direct to Union Station. So fans who want to visit Coors Field and downtown Denver won’t necessarily require a car rental anymore. Gate E (left field) offers a claim check/tent area in case luggage needs to be stored.
For those who prefer to drive, there are two main parking lots off of Park Ave for $15 – $17. Other offsite parking is available throughout the downtown area and can range from $10 and up depending on the game and the opponent.
Getting through security is generally painless. Re-entry is allowed; be sure to get your hand and ticket stamped before exiting.
Return on Investment 5
Attending a Rockies game is an exceptional value. There are all kinds of ticket offers: Rockpile (bleacher) tickets are $4 and for those over 55, $1 tickets can be purchased game day for the Rockpile
The Rooftop area tickets start at $14 (includes a $6 credit for merchandise/food)
When purchasing more than $25 in groceries, King Soopers (local grocery store chain) offers up to four tickets at $17 each in select areas of the stadium. Check your receipt.
A Coca-Cola value pack is available for certain games, is $59 (upper level) or $79 (lower level) and includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, a parking pass and a magazine
Check here for more Rockies ticket specials. Taking the light rail and being able to bring in your own food and beverage certainly helps reduce the expense of a ball game at Coors Field.
The Rockies have three retired ‘numbers’: Todd Helton (17), Jackie Robinson (42), Kellie McGregor (KSM) located on the panel in center field above the bullpen. Other banners of famed Rockies and notable references adorn the concourses. Stadium tours are available year round and are definitely recommended. Check the Rockies website for days and times.
There is a beautiful batter’s eye area with water fountains, a pond and landscaping.
Exceptionally fast, free wi-fi is available.
Though the product on the field hasn’t had a whole lot to cheer about the last few seasons, the ballpark is still a remarkable venue to visit. If you haven’t been in a while, it may be time for a return visit, especially with the new airport RTD access.
Latest Crowd Reviews
Coors Field is one of the top ballpark experiences in MLB.
This is still a great venue in which to watch a baseball game. Expected improvements for the 2018 season include a new scoreboard, upgraded control room technology (to better operate equipment for the scoreboard, music, and in-game entertainment), speaker enhancements, and all kinds of celebrations for the 25th anniversary season of Coors Field.