Coors Field: Welcome To The Great Outdoors

For the most part, the stadiums that have been reviewed in our Stadium 411 series have been east coast stadiums. The furthest west we have gone so far for a stadium review has been St. Louis, Mo (Busch Stadium).

Well, today we are going out west. We are going to Denver, Co for a review of Coors Field.

This review was given by our first female contributor and a girl who has no love lost for Armando Benitez–Debra Herlica.

Take it away Debra…

Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies

Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies

Coors Field Critique

During my recent trip (not so recent now) to Denver, I had the pleasure of visiting the Colorado Rookies Coors Field and felt obligated (if not pressured by my friend Tom Spirakis) to give commentary on my impression of the park.

Let me first say that Denver is a beautiful small city where almost everything is located in a very condensed area.  Those of you familiar with Denver know too well of the tourist trap known as the “16th Street Mall” which is the city’s “main drag.”

All of the bars, restaurants and hotels are located here. The “mall” is actually a section of 16th street which is blocked off to general traffic and is only accessible by free electric buses and handsome cabs.

I stayed at the Sheraton Hotel which is located at one end of the “mall” and seemed to be very convenient to many attractions.  The Sheraton was also hosting the “Denver Tattoo convention” when I was there, so it made things very interesting.

The Rockies hosted the day game against my New York Mets on Thursday, September 3, 2009.  I left my hotel and jumped on the electric bus, where an observant rider, noticing my New York Met paraphernalia offered directions to the stadium.

Although my New York instincts made me suspicious, I noticed that there was a crowd walking in that general direction. The stadium is located on the edge of downtown, walking distance from everything and is surrounded by nice, clean bars that offer great drink specials.

Pros:

The first thing you will notice about this stadium is that there are vendors ALL OVER the place selling discounted water, peanuts and snacks OUTSIDE the stadium…all with the assurance that the snacks are allowed in the stadium.  Bottled water – ice cold and half frozen (on a 90 degree day) – was $1.00.  Peanuts were $1.00.  Soda –  $1.00.

Well, you get my point.  So as my first bit of advice, stock up outside because they do let you bring the snacks into the stadium. I’m not sure how many stadiums do this but it was a great idea in my opinion.

Ticket prices are very reasonable, ranging from $30 – $50 for the majority of the seats.  Our tickets were $30 for the second row of the third tier right behind home plate.  (Take note-–if walking up the stairs to get to your seats, remember that you are 5280 ft above sea level and you will have a heart attack.)

From my seat I had a great view of the stadium and the Rocky Mountains through the opening between the left field and right field seats.

The "Rockpile"

The "Rockpile"

The outfield is also home to the “Rockpile.”  This is the area right behind centerfield that is landscaped with boulders, pine trees and the “dancing water fountains.”

The Rockpile adds a bit of the great outdoors…well….outdoors.  It is very beautiful in person.  The fountains are normally not visible from most of the ballpark until a Rockies homerun causes them to erupt.

Denver is well known for being an offensive ballpark so they get a lot of action.  On this day in September, perhaps it was also due to the fact that it was a Mets vs. Rockies game, and the Mets gave up 3 homeruns.  In any event, the fountains don’t compare to the Apple, but they are nice none the less.

One of the more entertaining aspects of the stadium was the announcer.  This guy was hilarious.  When the Rockies were up to bat he announced their names with the enthusiasm of Michael Buffer yelling “Let’s get ready to rumble!!!”

When the Mets came to bat, the music was turned off, his voice became lower and he stated the player’s name in a voice that oozed of contempt and disdain.  It was not subtle.  I did, however, find it quite comical.

Once we settled into our seats, we did have the opportunity to see Josh Thole, the Mets rookie catcher, start his first major league game.  Thole picked up this first major league hit and caught an amazing game that also gave Pat Misch his first major league win.

It was a fine outing by both that helped the Mets avoid being swept in the three game series.

Cons:

As for inside the stadium, I did not have the opportunity to peruse the culinary options, but did make several observations.  The chicken sandwich (which my friend said was not bad) looked less than appetizing.  The chicken was obviously a frozen cutlet made of compressed chicken parts (and less unmentionable items) and had a grayish hue to it.

The concession stand carried the basics, but I was surprised that in this outdoorsy city, there were no vegetarian options. (At least at this one particular stand).

The field also “lacked any personality” other than the purple line that distinguished the 5,280 line (big amongst the locals).  Other than the line, the team mountain emblem was the same as the Coors’ beer emblem, so I guess commercialism beat out team identification…or did it?

I have to admit that when your team emblem is the same as the corporation that owns you its a little unsettling and confusing.

More disappointing was the attendance for the game.  I realize that it was a day game the Thursday before Labor Day…but COME ON!!!  It was a beautiful day and the Rockies were in the lead for the Wild Card!!!

Still, the stadium was less than half full.  Really disappointing.

Overall Game Day Experience:

Overall I would give it a 7.5 out of 10, with a strong thumbs up to Coors field for still allowing outside food.

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