Archive for August 2015

Ballpark Review: Coors Field

August 25, 2015

Franchise: Colorado Rockies

Year Opened: 1995

Capacity: 50,398

Game Attended: August 20th v Washington Nationals

Sec 119, Row 1, Seat 6

Although you won’t see it at the top of any ballpark rankings, I may have been more geeked up to visit Coors Field than any other park so far. Despite a stadium that has too many seats and has seen too many losing seasons, there still seems to be a special something about the place that gives it a good vibe and charm. And Coors definitely lived up to my expectations.

1) Aesthetics- 21.5/25

Exterior- 5/5

The outer design of this ballpark is beautiful- up there with Globe Life and Yankee Stadium. It is composed of red brick and the best part is the home plate entrance, which gives off an Ebbets Field vibe. What separates it from a lot of other brick clad exteriors is the clock built into the top of the entrance. It’s a small touch, but it works.

Interior- 8.5/10

Coors Field might be one of the most underrated ballparks in baseball, based on beauty alone. But from the giant video board in left to the “woods” in the bullpen and beautiful views of the Rockies from the right field seats, there are a lot of unique style points that few other parks have. The ballpark reminded me a lot of Citizens Bank. The video board in left with seats that extended to center, the fence in right field with an out-of-town scoreboard, and the multiple decks in right.

Backdrop- 7/10

This rating is hurt slightly from the fact that while this is an “open” stadium, the video board, center field seats, and decks in right block any type of super scenic view. Moreover, the Denver skyline is located behind the home plate section of the park. However, on a clear night with the sun setting, there is no better view in baseball than the Rocky Mountains.

2) Seats & View- 16/20

Sight lines- 9/10

I sat down the first base line, about the first section into the outfield. Usually at this angle, it’s tough to read what the pitcher is throwing and you lose some angles on balls to the outfield. That wasn’t the case here. I could differentiate between different pitches and had a good read on balls hit to all parts of the field. Moreover, seats down the line across all levels angle in towards the infield so you have a better view and don’t need to twist your neck all night. Something like this would have been helpful at Minute Maid.

Proximity- 3.5/5

Sitting in the first row, we were close. I had a very similar first row seat at Philly once and it was not this close. However, the upper deck is far away. This is a mega 50k seat stadium with huge dimensions. So while the view of the mountains is cool and you can track the movement of all players on the field, you will be farther away than most other parks in the higher levels.

Comfort- 3.5/5

I felt fine here. Seats are kind of skinny, but you have leg room. However, the left and center field seats are all bleachers. These are actually pretty good outfield seats so that hurts, but at least they back support- something some stadium bleachers don’t have (i.e. Yankee Stadium).

3) Atmosphere- 10/15

Fan Participation- 3/5

So the Rockies suck and it was a week night game, so attendance wasn’t the best. The participation was okay, but once it got late in the game and it seemed like the Rockies were going to win, the stadium got loud. They were standing and cheering despite every level but the first level being empty, you couldn’t really tell from the volume.

Attendance- 3/5

Again, the night I went there was maybe around 20,000. But they draw over 30,000 on average and that’s despite a team that has sucked for most of two decades.

Fan Knowledge- 4/5

The fans that were here are a pretty good bunch. I could hear fans talk amongst themselves and spoke to those around me. I don’t think the city lives and breathes with the team, but they have fans and the fans understand the game.

4) Attractions- 10/20

Museum & Team History- 2/10

I heard they just built a team museum, but didn’t see it or see any signs for it. As for honoring team history, the Rockies have very little of it. There are no statues, plaques, or anything like that- or at least that I saw.

Things to See & Do- 8/10

So one things Coors Field will make sure of is that you don’t run out of things to do. You can stop in early and watch a great round of BP (because it’s Coors and there will be souvenirs hit). You can go to the Sandlot Bar where you can get fresh Blue Moon among other beers. You can call half an inning of the game and go home with a DVD of it. You can watch the sun set over the Rockies in right field. You can check out the “Purple Seats” in the upper deck, which indicate that you are now one mile above sea level. I had a big check list to cross off for Coors and that’s always a good thing.

5) Food & Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 4/5

The Rockie Dog is about a foot long dog that typically comes topped with peppers and onions. It was damn good and one of the best stadium dogs I have had so far.

Best of the Rest- 4/5

I didn’t get everything on the menu, but I would have loved to. They had foot long brats which I heard were really good, loaded potatoes, fajitas, BBQ, and even salads for those who like to eat clean. In the end though, I went for the bonus point signature dish- rocky mountain oysters. Which were good. As for beer- stick to Coors and/or Blue Moon. Prices weren’t anything to write home about, but it wasn’t terrible.

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 3/5

The entertainment was as standard as it gets- find the ball when it’s mixed up, video board race, mascot race, and some fan cams. The Rockies seem like a team that would benefit with a better entertainment package, but the baseball lifers such as myself don’t care.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

The park is clean, as expected. But I wasn’t a fan of the bathrooms- they were all pretty small with small sink spaces.

8) Local Scene & Location- 4.5/5

The park is located downtown and as in most cases, that is a good thing. There are lots of bars and restaurants within a block or two of the park, so finding food and drinks before/after the game is easy- and there will be a good atmosphere to boot. One place I would recommend is Jackson’s, located right across from the home plate entrance. And if you are spending the day in Denver, the stadium is just a block or two away from the 16th Street Mall, so the neighborhood Coors is located is about as good as one can hope for.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

Coors Field is both accessible and cost-friendly. You can drive there as it’s right off the highway. But you can also take the bus or light rail for really cheap and it drops off a couple blocks from the stadium. As for cost, the team isn’t very good and there are 50,000 seats. So good tickets are easy to get. And if you really want to be frugal- grab seats in The Rock Pile. It’s the second level outfield bleachers in center and they go for $4-$5.

10) Misc- 4

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

Coors Field had the kind I like! Non digital, showed every game at once, had inning, score, runners on base, and pitchers.

Signature Dish- 1

Stats & Info- 1

Had all pertinent stats and was easy to find.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

As mentioned at the top, Coors Field lived up to expectations. It wasn’t the best park in the world, but it certainly is a good park and should be in the top half of anyone’s rankings. Unique parks are a favorite of mine and Coors is certainly a unique park. It’s clean, aesthetic, has quirks, and is functional. Bravo, Coors.

Overall Score- 84/115

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