Located on Blake Street near the I-70 at one end of Denver's Lower Downtown. Coors Field
was opened in 1995 to serve as the permanent home of the Colorado Rockies. Like so many
baseball only facilities constructed in the past decade, this venue was constructed to look
like many of the older, classic baseball parks that existed in an earlier era.

Outside the Venue
Like most newer parks, the exterior of this venue boasts of brick facades and wrought iron
fencing at many of the gates. Atop the home plate entrance is where the signature marquee
sign "COORS FIELD" overlooks the populace congregating about the surrounding
neighborhood. Here at the homeplate plaza area we found an abundance of entrepreneurs
selling the basic concessions such as popcorn, peanuts, water, etc. etc. and below stadium
prices. An unusual scene, as many of today?s ballparks do not allow such vendors to
congregate on stadium grounds.

A public plaza with cobblestone brick pavement and a grand gateway sits at the third base
side. Like many other places we have seen, many of the bricks are inscribed with the names
of entities and individuals who consider themselves supporters of Rockies baseball.

There is plenty of available parking to be found within a short walk of Coors Field and can
be had for 5-10$ in most lots.

The element which adds so much to the ambience of Coors Field is the LODO entertainment
district immediately adjacent to the ballpark. There are a wide variety of bars, restaurants,
loft apartments, condos and souvenir shops to be found, all set in beautifully restored
buildings and warehouses from the turn of the century. Some of these establishments offer
rooftop seating which offer a striking view of the exterior of Coors Field.  We even
wandered into Union Station for a comparison to what we saw at the similarly named facility
in Kansas City?. No contest here as KC won and Denver's was'?t even worthy of a
snapshot.

The Concourses

Wide, easy to navigate and filled with all types of stands designed to see to that fools like
us and our money are soon parted. Like many recently opened venues the lower concourse
offers a view of the field from all areas. The main souvenir store "The Drygoods Stor"? is at
the first base side and there are plenty interactive games to be found behind the right field
seating area. Go ahead and try to fire a 90 MPH fastball like Mike Hampton, or smash a
grand slam on a video game.

Also at the right field pavilion is the Sandlot Brewery, a brew pub with a view of the field
and tables out in the pavilion along with a patio on the exterior of the stadium. A beautiful
mural depicting the role of the construction worker in the building of Coors Field along with
scenes of cattle ranchers on the prairie is found at center field. A covered picnic area, the
Platte River Rendezvous with tables for plenty is located behind this mural. On the opposite
wall are plaques commemorating those who helped to make Coors Field a reality. An
open-air pavilion sits beyond the left field seats and has a smaller children's area
playground near a merchandise store (Buckaroos) geared towards the young ones.

The upper concourse is open air, plenty wide and provides breathtaking views of the
Denver skyline.

At homeplate, in the shadow of the Coors Field marquee is an extensive food court offering
a wide variety of selections.

Premium seating

On our visit we did have club seating for one of the games here we walked up a grand
concrete and brick staircase to enter a fully enclosed, climate controlled and completely
carpeted pavilion. The club level here is exquisite and done up very nicely. Like the lower
concourse, there is a view of the field from wherever you stand and here the view is from
behind the glass as one enters the seating area through glass doors. Bars, plenty of lounge
seating and even a carving station serving ham croissants and pasta, all you can eat style.
This and an upscale, membership only restaurant aptly named the Mountain Ranch Club
overlooking the right field foul pole.

In the corridor behind the press area were photos of numerous sandlots rehabilitated by
the Rockies and turned into first class youth ball fields. Peter's favorite obviously the one
named after former Rockies catcher and fellow Horseheads, NY High School alumnus Kirt
Manwaring.

Concessions

Aside from the usual cholesterol meter blowing items, Coors Field offers some unique
delicacies hard to find elsewhere. Buffalo beef (the animal, not the city) bratwurst can be
found here across from the daiquiri stand. In a couple of places we found "Tornadough"
stands for pretzel twists, grilled to order in many different flavors. A new style of popcorn
called kettle corn is sweeping the country and there was a stand to be found here. Sorry
Denver, but the ones in Seattle and Kansas City were much better. However at least here in
Denver this item could be bought inside the park.

The Seating Area

What a stunning surprise!  Kelly green colored seating is divided into three major levels
surrounding the playing surface from the left field corner around to right center field.
Lower level seating also exists in behind the left field fence and there is one level of suites
between the upper and club levels. And don't forget the Rockpile bleachers high above
the center field fence to boot for those of us who just want to get in the building, as the
roadtrippers would say.

Also of note is the private seating at field level behind the right field fence where fans get
a view of the action at ground level.

The view from the seating area at Coors Field offers some spectacular scenery, some of it
natural and some it artificially created. While an upper level seat may not provide the fans
with the best view of the game, on a clear day it is a super vantage point in which to see the
Rocky Mountains off in the distance. Majestic fountains spring from behind the center field
fence, nestled among pleasantly landscaped vegetation native to the state of Colorado.
Here they even have plantings and rock formations in the bullpens - what a terrific concept!

Again as in most ballparks, there is a giant scoreboard and here it is located behind the left
field plaza. This one features a large dot matrix board beneath a much smaller video board,
all beneath a clock and a purple neon "Rockies" marquee. Andrew and Peter thought this
setup would be improved if the sizes of the videoboard and dot-matrix board were
reversed.

The out of town scoreboard is on the right field wall, which is much taller than the rest of
the outfield fences here. Another dot matrix board on the third base side rotates the out of
town scores and gives occasional stats from those games. The Rockies also run an ongoing
pitch count board showing balls and strikes thrown by the pitcher on the hill.

Banners and Retired Numbers

The Rockies came into the National League as an expansion franchise in 1993 and earned
their first and only postseason berth in 1995 by earning the wild-card. Here at Coors the
Rockies celebrate that moment with the words "1995 Wild Card Champ" on the left field
wall near the foul pole. While the roadtrippers give the Rockies the OK to celebrate this
achievement, we have a problem with a franchise that declares itself a champion for
finishing in second place. Perhaps the phrase "National League Playoffs 1995" would be a
better fit for such an accomplishment.

Extra Points

There is one row high in the upper deck with purple seats rather than the standard kelly
green. These seats are located at exactly one mile above sea level and for fools like us who
are visiting (OK, just Peter) the high altitude left us a bit short of breath at times.

Barry Bonds and the Giants were in town for the two games that we saw. While Bonds did
not hit a homer while we were there, we did see two entertaining games nonetheless.

The Rockies rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win on a Larry Walker home
run. While in the second game, Rockies pitcher Pedro Astacio brought Peter close to
seeing his lifelong dream of witnessing a no-hitter, making into the seventh before the
Giants got their first hit.

Bison watch - Former Bisons pitchers Kane Davis, Justin Speier and Ron Villone all wear
Rockies purple. And appearing in his first game since being traded from Cleveland, former
Bison Jacob Cruz started in left field. His Rockies debut was a forgettable one. Lastly, on
our visit at Mile High on Saturday night, Andrew did point out the area of home plate, and
recalled the most hideous call against the Bisons in the 90s - when Greg Edge was tagged
out at home plate in the 9th inning in a playoff game against the AAA Zephyrs in 1991. Video
replays showed he beat the tag, which would have tied the score at 9-9. Like our mantra
"No Goal", we Buffalo fans can say "Hey Denver - He was SAFE!"

The Rockies do a great job mixing in music with the goings on at the ballpark. The theme
from "Law & Order" is played when the umpires walk out onto the field and another track
from the show is used when a visiting batter is fanned. Like many other places we have
been to there is a between innings cap, ball, or puck shuffling game in which a fan guesses
which of three similar items is hiding something. But how many places do it to the theme
from "Mission Impossible"???

Special Thanks -

We want to acknowledge and thank Matt Sugar of the Metropolitan Football Stadium
District. This is the agency responsible for the construction of the Broncos new stadium -
Invesco Field at Mile High. Matt took time from his busy schedule to give us an interview
and the VIP tour of the stadium. We can't wait to come back when it's all finished!! Also
thanks to Media Services at the MLS Colorado Rapids, who furnished us with field
credentials at their game Saturday night. We got to take some great shots of the old Mile
High Stadium, hallowed grounds which will soon see the wrecking ball.

Summary

Another spectacular, wonderful, fan-friendly, new facility that evokes memories of an era of
baseball long since passed. But we think we have seen one too many of these places. Were
we just at Coors Field, or was that Safeco Field? Or maybe Jacobs Field or Camden
Yards? It is a scary thought, but for a moment there we looked in to a crystal ball and saw
a day in which ballparks like this will seem as ordinary and "plain-jane" as the cookie cutter
stadiums in Philadelphia, Montreal, and Cincinnati. A great venue, albeit one that is too
large. We have reached a point in our travels where many of the bells and whistles found
here no longer impress us the way they had in some of our earlier stops.

SCORING:
Architecture 7
Food and team store 7
Scoreboard and electronics 4
Ushers 6
Fan support 4
Location and neighborhood 9
Banners and history 5
In game entertainment 7.5
Concourses/fan comfort 7.5
Bonus: One row of purple seats 2; LODO 2;
TOTAL: 61
Coors Field
#82   



Coors
Field   




Denver
Colorado     




June 2
and
June 3,
2001




San Francisco
Giants
at
Colorado
Rockies