Cue up the Iggy! I’ve been to countless Rockies games, and sat all over the ballpark; from the very back row of the Rockpile, to behind the plate, to our familiar perch in Section 118. Recently though while toiling away at work, I received an instant message which would prove fortuitous:
"Hey man, you a big Rockies fan?"
"Ha … I cut myself just this morning and it came out purple and black."
"Ha ha … good, listen I got tickets from a vendor to sit in a suite, you wanna go?"
Uh … DUH! Much like the scene in Ghostbusters -- "Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a God…you say YES!" -- if someone asks you to sit in a suite, you say "YES!" The following is a review of my experience.
I arrived to the ball park a little later than usual (I didn’t want to seem desperate). I met another buddy from work, whom I was responsible for finding the last remaining ticket. Since it was last minute, I had to make a few calls before I found someone who could go that very night. But good old Matt was in (he’s hardcore!). So I happened upon him while there and headed to suite No. 9. Let me tell you: fancy!
To go in, you have to arrive at the home plate entrance to where the fancy-pants elevators are. Show ticket, time No. 1. The elevator ascends to the Wells Fargo Club Level. Fancy right there, if you consider ya know a Yugo fancy (I do!). But alas, that was not our final destination; we were instructed to walk over to section 220 and then ascend further. We got to a little partial staircase where we had to show ticket, time No. 2. Not good enough I guess, because we got a hand stamp that says "suite" (not sweet).
So we climbed up and into Suite 9.
It’s just as described in your dreams! Flat screen TVs, (two of ‘em, neither of which was showing the game), nice décor, a lounge to sit and chat, ambiance, amenities and … what am I forgetting ... oh yeah, FOOD! The best thing about the suite was the food – it’s AYCE (All You Can Eat), and here’s the spread that was awaiting us:
Brats, Rockie Dogs, chicken wings, peanuts, a bowl of popcorn, condiments, sodas, hot dogs and salad. Our suite attendant (I know right) also informed us that the he would bring out the pizzas once the game started. Suite!
The food was certainly the main attraction. Matt and I were the only ones in our party there, so we weren’t sure if we should wait for our hosts to arrive or what. Eventually, the sheer tempatation prevailed and we couldn’t resist – we each ladled up some chicken wings and a brat, just to whet our appetites. We ate our first round of brats and wings while we watched the players warm up.
Eventually we were joined by our hosts and they confirmed that it was indeed cool that we already ate (whew) but we didn’t want to feel socially awkward (yeah, that's the reason!) so we decided to eat again with these guys. Indeed, that would be the theme of the night: eating. All in all I had 4 brats, 2 dogs, and at least 20 chicken wings. I tried all 3 types of the pizza, a steady stream of peanuts, and for good measure, ate some popcorn. It was FREE!! The bad news though, was by the fifth inning I was stuffed full. Except I did find room to eat 4-5 cookies. Soft ones. With macadamia nuts.
From a baseball perspective though, I DO NOT recommend the Suites. Yeah the food is cool but you can’t see the game very well. Indeed, you have to go outside the suite, descend a little staircase, and even then you have to lean over to really see. Here’s a view from the seats:
You can see my normal perch in section 118 from here (easy to see as it’s two rows from the field). I found this interesting. Matt and I were the only ones who made the trip down to the front row of our seats to watch the game. The others remained suite and chatted about less important things like "work" and "mining" and stuff.
Another criticism of the suite life is that it seems designed to do everything in its power to distract you from watching the game; it’s like they don't want you to watch the baseball below. Like I said, they had TVs playing other things and the ascended nature of the box did not make it easy to see the game. The food was facing away from the game, and the design of the box makes it ideal for chit-chatting, not batting. It was hard to see the field. I would imagine this would appease most people since, who cares about the game anyway right?
So if that’s you -- if you’re the beer-drinking, party deck-attending, casual half-fan -- then I highly recommend the suite life. However, I (as always) wanted to watch the game. So I went and sat in that front row, and even brought an act of defiance with me:
Everytime I would get discouraged about not being able to see the plate, I would go get another brat. Or slice of pizza. Or chicken wing. Swell consolation prizes, I suppose!
As the game went on it turned out it was a close one. Corey "Dickmania" Dickerson had already hit a home run but hit another in the eighth to tie up the game. Going into the ninth, everyone had realized that we had a very entertaining game on our hands, and we managed to fill up the two rows designated for "watching the game."
So here we are in the ninth inning with the game tied up and the bases loaded. Up struts Michael Cudd--oh wait, that's Daniel Descalso. Great! I was so worked up about Descalso hitting that I hadn’t noticed the Padres brought in their right fielder into the infield, giving them a super-shift of five infielders. Sound strategy after all, because there’s no way Descalso hits it out of the infield, which of course he did, for a walk-off hit. The perfect end to a suite game. I would've rather been sitting down by the field so I could see the Rockies jump around in front of me.
Oh well, guess I’ll get a brat for the road!
I wrote this to show that there will be brighter times! The sun will come up tomorrow (maybe; who knows with all the rain and snow lately).
Things will be alright. Baseball is still fun. The Rockies are still our team. We have the same record we did at this point in 2009 so don't fret!
Just relax and enjoy the suite life!