Wednesday, July 10, 2013
FIELDS OF DREAMS: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
This week's post visits the home of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado.
The Rockies started play in 1993 as an expansion team, along with the Florida Marlins. Their inaugural season, and the following year, was played at Mile High Stadium which they shared with the NFL's Broncos. The new stadium was ready for business in 1995.
Since then, the Rockies have made it into the postseason three times in 1995, 2009, and when they made it into the World Series only to lose to the Red Sox in 2007. The big stars on the current team are shortstop and former Dirtbag Troy Tulowitski, first baseman Todd Helton, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, and third baseman Ty Wiggington.
In June of 2012, they're only ahead of the San Diego Padres in the western division of the National League.
Here are the stats:
Year opened: 1995
Construction cost: $300 million
Field dimensions: Left field – 347 ft.; left center – 390 ft.; Center field – 415 ft.; right center – 375 ft.; Right field – 350 ft.
Home team: Colorado Rockies (National League, MLB) 1995 –present
Events attended: one game
Coors Field, sitting a mile up in elevation, is known as a home run park because the balls travel farther through the thin air. The walls are some of the deepest in MLB, with a center field distance of 415 feet. Still, many balls find their way into the outfield stands.
A few rows from the top of the upper deck, there is one row of seats painted in the team's purple color. This marks the point where it is actually a mile above sea level.
Many dinosaur fossils were unearthed during construction. To honor this fact, the team's mascot is a dinosaur named Dinger.
The stadium's signature food is Rocky Mountain Oysters, deep fried bison testacles. We tried it...I guess you have to when you're here...and they tasted like a very bland potato wedge. Hardly any taste at all. The hot dogs were good, long, and narrow. The beer selection is good and tends to favor the brands made by the park's namesake, Coors.
Coors also runs the in-stadium microbrewery where the brand Blue Moon was invented.
Accessible seating abounds, starting with the season ticket seats in the front row behind home plate and running up through every level even into the upper deck and the outfield cheap bleachers. We sat at the top of the field level, almost directly behind the on deck circle. The view was excellent but was just slightly marred by the overhang of the second deck with cut off our view of the very top of the scoreboard. We were able to see all of the game action, however.
Tickets were no problem at all and Denver has plenty of companion seats to go with the wheelchair seating. Ticket prices run from a low of $4 to $85. Our seats were $55 each for the non-premium game against San Diego that we attended. Just call (800) 388-7625 to order tickets.
Transit is OK...light rail and bus service serve the area but the closest rail station is about a quarter mile walk away. When the current construction is finished, it will still be a three-block walk to the stadium. The light rail has a low capacity for wheelchairs on the trains. There are plenty of parking lots in the stadium area.
It's a good stadium, not great, but better than all west coast stadiums with the exception of San Francisco. Coors Field sits behind St. Louis but ahead of Cleveland on our list.
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