Recently we had a visitor to the site drop a FanPost looking for recommendations for a first time visitor to Coors Field. User 916jetsfan is coming to Denver in June and the community responded. But this got us thinking that it would serve us well to have a “sticky” post for anyone coming to Purple Row in the future looking for recommendations. And, since it’s been a while since we had one of these, we figured it was time to update it. Thus, this week’s FanPost Friday has a far more practical flair.
We’ll break this up into a few pertinent sections but also leave the comments for folks to make any pertinent additions. Thanks especially to Tropical Chrome and purplesocks for offering a lengthy list of reccos.
It’s getting harder and harder to find good deals for tickets these days as teams get smarter about the marketplace. You can always try the secondary market (i.e., StubHub) but, as TC said, if you really want a deal you’re going to have to wait “and it becomes a game of chicken.” I’d also personally recommend SeatGeek, which pulls from several secondary markets and shows you visually what the best deal is.
If you want to go the more traditional route you have a few options. The famous Rockpile (which, until quite recently, went as cheap as $4 each) is usually under $10. The Rooftop also provides a great deal. If you want to be able to see the field it’s standing room only but otherwise it’s a great place to hang out with friends, especially before the game. Great beer and food selection draws a lot of people (as does the $6 concession voucher that comes included with the ticket) so prepare for crowds.
If you’re looking for deals of the traditional variety, TropicalChrome has a good recommendation:
Join the Rockies’ email list and/or check their home page. They have frequent Blake Street Steals or other specials (like $2.50 tickets in the upper deck to celebrate Todd Helton’s 2500th hit) – the deals often sell out , so check early.
Generally speaking, there is not a bad seat in the house. If you’re anywhere in the right field stands it’s often difficult to see deep right field wall but that’s as close as Coors Field gets to an obstructed view. Tropical Chrome, purplesocks, and I all share the same favorite spot: the lower third deck, a.k.a., Lower Reserved Infield. This provides you with a great view of the game and, if you sit on the first base side, there’s a good chance you’ll catch a Rocky Mountain sunset.
Oh, and if you’re going to a day game, those seats on the third base side are hard to come by for a reason. Tropical Chrome warns that, if you sit on the first base side, get ready to soak up some sun. If you’re not from Colorado, bring lots of (non-aerosol) sunscreen and water. You’ve been warned.
Parking and Transportation
A necessary caveat from Tropical Chrome: “This is Colorado: expect weather. It can be sunny and 72F when the game starts and 35F when it ends. Or it could rain. Or snow. Or hail. Or none of the above. It never hurts to pack a hoodie and a folding umbrella if there's any question at all.”
Also, for the uninitiated, Denver sits on a grid, like most cities, but instead of streets that go north-south and east-west, they go northwest-southeast and northeast-southwest.
Parking has become quite the challenge in LoDo with all the population growth in and around Denver. If you’d rather use public transportation, LightRail goes to Union Station, just a couple blocks southeast of the stadium and there are places to hop on that all over the city and into the suburbs.
If you do choose to drive, the official Coors Field lot on the northeast of the stadium is well-lit, paved, and offers a shuttle service right to Gate A. It costs $15-17, which you can beat if you go a few blocks south of the stadium at various downtown parking garages, but these are subject to price jacks for premier games.
Before the game
Coors Field allows you to bring food into the stadium, so save the various restaurants and bars until after. I want to add my voice to purplesocks’ on a certain hot dog vendor between Union Station and the stadium.
I like to hit up Joel the hotdog guy...who has a street cart setup at 19th and Wazee. For $5 you get a brat [or jumbo dog, or Polish sausage, or two regular hot dogs], a bag of chips, and a drink, all of which you can carry into the game (just don’t open the drink until you get in the stadium). Inside that would run you like $20.
Joel is one of the nicest people you’ve ever met and he’s even been recognized by the city for his devotion to the hot dog stand. If you see him, tell him Adam Peterson says hi.
If you’re an autograph hound, first base side is the place to be. If you’re only in town for a short while, splurging for those lower deck (aka Box) seats is worth it. The security guards will provide a sharpie to players who are signing, so if you want a different pen, bring it.
If you get there early enough, you can watch batting practice and truly take in all that Coors Field has to offer. “Coors Field was designed with a traditional, "old-timey" feel, and it's fun just to soak that up for awhile,” says Tropical Chrome. And if you’re not sitting in the upper deck, it’s worth venturing up there to “enjoy the spectacular view of Denver from the upper level concourse,” as well as the sunsets, which “are often jaw-droppingly beautiful.” You can also visit our namesake!
During the game
We’ve already mentioned the various sections, so we’ll focus on food and drink. If you’re a beer snob/enthusiast, there are plenty of options but you might have to hunt for the right stand (right near the first base side on the upper and lower decks is the place to look). You can also brave the Party Deck for the most selection.
I’m partial to the Monster Nachos, which can be found in booths behind home plate on both levels. Here are Tropical Chrome’s recommendations:
The Sandlot brewery brews beer right there at Coors Field. I'm not sure what all they're pouring this year, but in the past they've had a very nice red ale.
The food at The Sandlot is also pretty good – they do a loaded nachos with pulled pork and many other good toppings other than the usual canned cheez sauce and pickled jalapeños. The onion rings at the Helton Burger Shack are good, but I find the burgers lacking. On the upper deck is Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs – if I recall correctly they have only a subset of their regular menu, but they do have some of the interesting sausages and the cream cheese and onion topping. (I've since been informed they now also have a cart on the main concourse.)
If you’re looking for dessert, purplesocks says, “I will give a shout out to the Tornados. They're these soft pretzel things covered in cinnamon and sugar that are delicious.” Tropical Chrome prefers “the chocolate berries and brownie bites on a stick (sold at carts on the concourse and sometimes via vendors in the stands) and the cinnamon roasted nuts (on the concourse, third base side).”
After the game
LoDo is packed with bars right near the stadium, most of which feature some sort of outdoor area or rooftop bar. I’ll leave it to the comments section to pull out the best and worst of them. If that’s not your scene, Larimer Square and 16th Street Mall have some mellower options if you’re willing to go a bit more to the southwest (Tropical Chrome has the reccos here). The LightRail goes through there, too, if that was your mode of transportation.
If you want to get really hip, head northwest of Union Station, cross the pedestrian bridge over the train tracks, through Commons Park, over the I-25 pedestrian bridge, into the Highlands. It’s a trek but if you love ironic moustaches with your crafted cocktails, this is the place for you.
Thanks again to everyone who participated! Be sure to check out this week’s FanPost Friday prompt and celebrate Mother’s Day by telling us all about your favorite baseball-related memories with your mom.