Located at the heart of Denver, Coors Field is home to the Colorado Rockies, one of the youngest MLB franchises. The baseball stadium is the second largest in the major league by capacity. An open-air, natural grass “old-time ballpark,” Coors Field showcases the Rocky Mountain landscape and the region’s history. The ballpark’s lower, upper, and club levels hold 50,000 spectators, and 60 private suites provide exclusive views of games and activities. The baseball stadium is named after the Golden, Colorado-based Coors Brewing Company, which bought the naming rights to the site. At 5,200 feet above sea level, Coors Field is the highest-located MLB ballpark. Chase Field in Phoenix is the second at 1,100 feet.
Coors Field was the first of three major Denver sports arenas – the other two are multipurpose Ball Arena and football stadium Empower Field – to open in 1995. Since Dodger Stadium was constructed in 1962, it was also the first baseball-only park in the National League. The MLB announced a two-team expansion plan in 1991 and this led to the establishment of the Colorado Rockies. With the new team came the plan to build a new baseball-only sports venue in Denver. The construction began on October 16, 1992.
The Rockies started playing in 1993 at Mile High Stadium, as the new stadium was under construction. Coors Field was inaugurated on April 26, 1995, with a game between the Rockies and the New York Mets. The total cost was $300 million. It had 50,200 seats, including 63 suites and 4,526 club seats. In 2017, the Rockies had an estimated need of $200 million to renovate Coors Field in the coming decade. The franchise began developing the land adjacent to the ballpark to garner funds for the Denver baseball stadium’s improvement.
Several dinosaur fossils were found on the grounds during renovation. These included a 7-feet-long,1,000-pound triceratops skull. This encouraged many to demand to name the baseball stadium “Jurassic Park.” Dinger, a triceratops, was chosen as the Rockies’ mascot later on to remember the archeological findings. However, the naming rights had by then been sold to Coors Brewing for $30 million. In 2017, the brewing major extended the deal to have the naming rights until 2047.
The Design and Features
Coors Field is the second modern baseball stadium after Oriole Park at Camden Yards to exhibit a retro-classic style. The design focused on usability and it is located next to Interstate 25, with easy access to 20th Street and Park Avenue. Light rail and commuter rail are available nearby at Union Station of Denver.
The original plan was to make Coors Field smaller with 43,800 seats. But the Rockies attracted almost 4.5 million fans in their first season and it was a baseball record. This led to a change in plans and the right-field upper deck was enlarged with more seats.
“The Rockpile” is the name of the center-field bleacher area. It is modeled after a similarly named place at Mile High Stadium, where the Rockies played for two seasons. Like its earlier location, the one at Coors Field is located in a deep center field with an elevation.
Coors Field is hitter-friendly. This character of the ballpark stems from Denver’s high elevation and climate. Though the baseball is put in humidors for a few hours before the game to counter this, the ballpark continues to support hitters.
Coors Field becomes the first major league stadium to have an underground heating system. While the majority of the seats in Coors Field are dark green, the seats in the upper deck’s 20th row are purple to remind that these are 5,280 feet above sea level.
Concessions and Facilities
The Sandlot’s Blue Moon Brewery is a microbrewery-cum-restaurant located behind Coors Field’s right-field stands. It has entrances from both Coors Field and Blake Street. The Coors Brewing Company runs the brewery, which does small-scale experiments with specialty beers. In different categories, the Brewery has won several awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Blue Moon, a popular Belgian-style wheat beer, was created in Colorado and is now mass-produced by Coors. The restaurant building is connected to the stadium. Coors Field offers a wide range of food options. Rockie dogs, Denver dogs, vegetarian dogs, and burgers. The traditional gastronomic ballpark fare entices fans to visit Denver.
There is a replica of Rocky Mountain at Coors Field. Behind the center-field wall, it has a stream, fountains, and pine trees in this landscaped area. The fountains blast up into the clouds when a home-team player scores a home run or the Rockies win a game.
The outfield had two huge Daktronics scoreboards. Underneath the “Rockies” logo, the top display measures 27 by 47 feet. The second monitor, which measures 33 by 73 feet and serves as a scoreboard and lineup display, measures 33 by 73 feet. Coors Field also has a ribbon display. An outdoor picnic area is positioned next to the bullpens. The baseball stadium also has a lounge area suitable for young children and an arcade with video games.
Purely Baseball Things To Know
- The Rockies won the 2007 NL pennant at Denver’s Coors Field. The team won 14 out of 15 final games.
- The inaugural game on April 26, 1995, went on for 14 innings and the Colorado Rockies clinched an 11-9 victory over the New York Mets.
- Since moving to the ballpark, the Rockies have been into postseason playoffs five times after getting the Wild Card.
- On October 1, 2007, the baseball stadium witnessed the historic “Game 163.” The Rockies and the San Diego Padres finished jointly at the top of the NL West Division with 89 wins and 73 losses. This led to the Wild Card tie-breaker game that the Rockies won 9-8. However, the game was tied until the 13th inning and the home team won following a controversial decision by the home plate umpire on Jamey Carroll’s sacrifice fly.
- The ballpark was the venue for MLB All-Star Games in 1998 and 2021.
- During the 1998 All-Star Game, there were a total of 31 hits.
- In the first three years, despite being more hitter-friendly, Coors Field saw one no-hitter and 14 shutouts.
- Calculations show that the ball travels 9% faster at Coors Field.
- The ballpark was the place where the record for the highest home runs in one MLB season was surpassed twice in 1996 and 1999.
- Between 2012 and 2015, the Colorado Rockies hit the maximum at-home runs in the league but was last on the away runs.
- Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter enabling the Dodgers to rout the Rockies 9-0.
- The Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on April 23, 2013. The game played at 23 °F continues to be the coldest MLB game ever played.
- Coors Field witnessed 10 games that ended 1-0 during 2018.
- Hockey: Coors Field regularly hosts ice hockey exhibitions and NHL games.
- Concerts: Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll and Hyde Tour performance on July 3, 2015, was the first important concert at the ballpark. Jimmy Buffett and Billy Joel also had their concerts at this Denver stadium.