Better late than never, here is my Coors Field review! Make sure to check out Dr. Sarah Field’s guest blog on the same game! Pictures are coming, but my wifi is spotty at the moment, so I will post them when I settle this evening or tomorrow morning! PS-I am headed to Yosemite today!
On June 17th, 2017, my mentor, Dr. Sarah Fields, and I went to Coors Field to see the Colorado Rockies play the San Francisco Giants. Sarah is the Associate Dean at the University of Colorado Denver in the College of Liberal Arts. She is also an author, sport historian and has taught sport courses at several prominent institutions in the country. In fact, I study sport in part because of her. My original post-graduate plans were to go to law school until we discussed sport graduate programs as an alternative.
I hadn’t seen Sarah since graduating from UCD in May 2016, so I was excited for her to join me at the game. Further, since this is the only game I have attended thus far with someone else, it completely altered my overall fan experience. In fact, the highlight of my time at Coors Field was not the baseball game, but instead it was spending time with my friend!
Like many seasons in the past, the Rockies have started out strong this year. Typically, there is a completely different aura and atmosphere in a stadium when a team is performing well. However, it did not feel like that at Coors. In fact, out of all the stadiums I have been to thus far, the fan energy and enthusiasm for its home team was definitely the weakest.
Please note, I have changed the format of this review from the past ones. I have broken it down into subsections, with the hope that it will be an easier read. If there is a section of no interest to you, now you can just skip it!
- GETTING TO AND IN THE GAME
Getting to the Stadium:
Unknowingly, I chose a very busy weekend to attend a game in Denver. Simultaneous to the Rockies game, the Denver Pride Festival was going on, so it made transportation around the city very challenging. With that in mind, I decided to Uber it back and forth. Since parking would have been a nightmare, I figured this would be my best option. I spent $10.15 to get there and another $10.41 to get back to my Auntie Gail’s house. On the way home, I had to wait a bit because the surge rates made pricing insane!
One of the really cool things about this game was that my tickets were free. My cousin is close friends with the Athletics Director at CU Boulder who is also an avid Rockies enthusiast. Because I was gifted with two separate seats, we found a guy on the street who was willing to trade us two seats together in a comparable section for just $20. This was and remains my first experience dealing with a ticket “scalper” thus far on this trip.
Outside Stadium Activities:
I am not certain why, but the traffic and festivities around the stadium were very minimal. Unlike St. Louis and Chicago there was no partying in the streets before or after the game, which I found curious. I was however thrilled that I could buy water outside the park for just $1 and bring it in. I believe all stadiums should allow you to bring in a sealed water, rather than rape you by charging $5 or $6 to stay hydrated in the scorching summer heat. However, I was very disappointed by the lengthy lines to enter the stadium, With just a few minutes before the opening pitch, the lines were backed up for nearly 15 minutes!
Overall, I did not feel like the facility was that welcoming and engaging. One of the things I love about baseball stadiums is their nostalgia and history. Even new stadiums and expansion teams should embrace the history of America’s favorite past time. Though no fault of their own, the Rockies do not have a very rich and lengthy history. However, in order to build that, they might consider adding some memorabilia for fans like myself. Show me some memorabilia from opening day, or a game-used Larry Walker jersey and I will most definitely feel some sense of nostalgia!
In addition to no Hall of Fame and no historic team memorabilia, there was no 50/50 raffle! One of the many things I love about sporting events is 50/50 raffles. With half the money going to one lucky winner and the other half to community charities it seems like the perfect win-win situation in my mind! What do the Rox or any other team have to lose by doing this?
The facility is overall pretty nice. They do a nice job of incorporating the beauty of Colorado and its scenic nature into the facility. Views of the Rocky Mountains and the city are breathtaking, especially during sunsets. However, in terms of baseball parks, there is nothing particularly special about this one. It feels like Coors Field’s biggest attractions are its bars, which in my mind, serves as a major distraction from the game.
The bathrooms at Coors are better than in Oakland or at Wrigley, but they could definitely use more regular cleaning. I found it disappointing that the 3rd level bathrooms were dirtier than those on the field. Regardless of what consumers pay to be at a game, they should all be entitled to the same quality of experience throughout the ballpark.
I love ballpark food, and you best believe that if a ballpark has some famous delicacy, I am going to indulge. However, Coors had nothing even remotely appealing to me. Most appealing was the Famous Dave’s BBQ stand, but only because I love BBQ and Famous Dave’s. With nothing appealing to my palate, I chose not to eat, though Sarah did have a burger and fries.
There was a far bigger variety of beers and booze options than food options, which disturbed me. Organizations need to be more in touch with all consumers needs rather than choosing to hone in on one group like alcohol drinkers. With the huge variety of liquor options, it leads to people being more concerned with socializing and drinking than actually watching baseball which is very disappointing.
Because I love Colorado—especially Denver—I was really excited to sport some new Rockies gear. However, I was utterly disappointed in not just the merchandise, but the shop overall. Not only was the shop small, but it was awkward. I grew up hating the Cardinals, but I wanted so many different things at their store. However, as a Rockies fan, I struggled finding anything I wanted. However, I settled on a grey tank top for $32.46.
III. IN-GAME EXPERIENCE
Sarah and I moved around quite a bit throughout the game and we noticed there is not a bad seat in the house. Our seats were on the lower level, where we spent a couple innings before walking around to explore. I noticed throughout the game that security was really tight, which made sneaking down very difficult. The energy of the stadium is nothing like the energy of any of the other stadiums I have been to this summer. I attribute this to either the lack of team history or the amount of people currently relocating to Colorado
As someone who enjoys smoking, I was thrilled I didn’t have to leave the stadium to indulge. The third level featured a smoking section which smelled like sweet Colorado goodness. It was here that I most engaged with the other ballpark patrons. It seemed like the people in attendance were baseball fans first and Rockies fans second. I talked to many people like myself who root for the Rockies, but still hold another team closer to the heart.
- POST-GAME EXPERIENCE
Overall, I was pretty disappointed with my experience at Coors. Although the views of the skyline and mountain are stunning, that is not what I go to a baseball game for. I am impressed with the overall field and the views of it throughout the stadium. The truth is, I want to love Coors Field and its fan experience there, just like I want to love Wrigley—but both left me feeling unsatisfied.
Part of what made my visit to Busch Stadium so special was not just its fans, but the overall engagement of the team with its consumers. This applies equally to my experiences in Seattle and Oakland which are both coming soon! Honestly, the most memorable part of my day was getting to spend time with my awesome mentor and friend, Dr. Sarah Fields. If you haven’t had a chance to read her guest blog on the same game, please check it out.
$75.02 Total Spent
CURRENT RANKINGS OF PARKS:
- Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field (coming soon) & 1A. St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium
- Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field
- Colorado Rockies, Coors Field
The Oakland Athletics ballpark is very difficult for me to rank right now because the fan experience was stellar, but the ballpark itself leaves much to be desired. Stay tuned for my review on both the Coliseum in Oakland and Seattle’s Safeco Field.