I know what you're thinking: "How can this be a tradition? They do a lottery a month ahead of time now."
But when Coors Field opened, a group of us from the restaurant I worked at went over at 6 am on Opening Day & waited in line for Rockpile seats. Had a blast, and went back the next year. And the next. And the...you see where this is going.
It turned into quite the party for us early 20-somethings, from '95 through 2007 or so. We started camping out the night before, passing *ahem* beverages around, listening to music & using the heat of camaraderie to stave off the early spring chill.
We used to play catch over the 22nd street overpass, and had some people come by & say "We talk about you guys. You're here every year, awesome!" When someone failed to get the ball over the bridge, there would be a smattering of boos from the line, and the weak-armed guilty party would have to go up to the street & find the ball (and hopefully not a ticked-off driver of a dented car.)
TV crews would show up and interview us die-hards, waiting for hours in the dawn for the best $4 ticket in sports.
We would always end up in the 1st or 2nd row, and welcomed baseball with open arms. It didn't hurt that those were the days of the Blake Street Bombers - what a great bunch of players to watch & root for!
Alas, all good things come to an end, as people grew up, had kids, and the team started a deja vu pattern of losing seasons. The Rockpile Lottery effectively ended what I have come to think of as the Golden Era of Rockies fandom - for me.
But I will always have those memories...what a great time to be a Rockies fan!