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What would you rename Coors Field?

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, October 23, 2020

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With half the state of Colorado on fire and a whole, long offseason ahead of us to talk about Rockies mistakes and misfortunes, I thought I would make this Rockpile a little more lighthearted today.

On Thursday, the 21-year-old Pepsi Center, the home of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, got a new name, Ball Area, a nod to the Broomfield company first known for its jars, and now self-described as “the world’s largest provider of innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government.” In other words, Ball makes 50 percent of the aluminum cans in North America.

Even though Coors Field will be the name of the home field for the Rockies likely until at least 2047 and maybe beyond (due to a 30-year deal between the Rockies and the Denver Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District, who runs the publicly-owned facility, in 2017 that “granted the naming rights in perpetuity to Coors Brewing Co. and its successors”), I thought it might be fun to think of other region- or team-appropriate names for the structure at 20th and Blake. This debate came up briefly last October, when Molson Coors decided to move the headquarters of the company from Denver to Chicago, causing discontent from some fans about the name on the bricks packing up and leaving town.

Just imagining that “in perpetuity” part didn’t exist, because it’s 2020 and we all need to imagine things that stray from reality, what are some good new names for the house of baseball in LoDo?

Here are five that came to my mind, almost all with Colorado roots:

1. Lockheed Martin Field (The Launch Pad for short)

Just imagine the play naming rights and all of the space terminology. Based off of exit velocity, distance, landing spot, and game circumstances, each type of homer could have a different name. Orion for moon shots with runners on base. Jupiter-orbiting Juno could be donned to homers that also travel ridiculous distances, maybe anything that goes over 470 feet. Osiris-Rex could be when Nolan Arenado makes plays that seem as other-worldly as being able to touch an asteroid to take samples. The possibilities are endless.

2. Frontier Field

This just fits nicely geographically and would play a great host to Sunday’s when they sing “America the Beautiful.” Outside of that, the airline company has often fallen upon hard times and more recently came under fire for not granting refunds when vouchers couldn’t be used due to COVID-19 shutdowns. There are parallels here to Jeff Bridich’s attitude toward his bad deals being shrugged off as the “it always comes down to the men in uniform” and the Nolan-disrespected-trade saga resulting in a demoralized clubhouse as “we can put this to bed” by never really addressing it at all. It might just be nice to have the field match the front office mismanagement.

3. Mrs. Fields Field

Instead of Cracker Jacks, sunflower seeds, and peanuts, the go-to snack for fans would become cookies, which should also be handed out for free at the gates upon entry, to pay homage to the Broomfield company. Mostly, this would just be great because the name is so ridiculous.

4. Blockbuster Field

This could be very fitting, despite no Colorado connection. Blockbuster was a great business for a while, but it was passed up by new technologies and didn’t adapt. Sound familiar? The Rays are in the World Series thanks in no small part to, as the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders says, their “strict adherence to analytics” that is apparent in the front office and guides in-game decisions. That’s not really the Rockies style, so an outdated name could be just right.

5. The Rio at Todd Helton Field

This is just any excuse to try to bring back Rio margaritas to Coors Field, courtesy of the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. I am not a fan of the Captain’s Deck. I miss the Rio on the Rocks. It was a pure delight to drink the best margarita in the world at a game. No matter where my seats were, I would make my way over to the Mezzanine Level in center to get a Rio marg. It was great from 2014-2017. If it was attached to a beloved player’s name, maybe it could come back and there could be many Rio on the Rocks scattered around the stadium.

Other notes

The lease between the stadium district and the Rockies addresses stadium naming rights, but it doesn’t sound too optimistic, according to the Denver Post: “The lease goes on to say that ‘if’ the stadium naming rights ‘should’ become available during the lease term, the district would be entitled to 50% of the revenue generated by the deal, but that ‘in perpetuity’ part indicates the private deal ownership struck with Coors Brewing a quarter-century ago means it will always be Coors Field.”

Back in 1995, the Rockies made a deal to give Coors the stadium naming rights, a limited partnership in the team, and some marketing deals. All of that for $30 million.

The complete terms of the deal with Kroenke Sports Entertainment, the owner of the Avs and Nuggets, where not announced, but Forbes estimates Ball is paying about $6 million a year in the new deal. Pepsi paid $68 million for a 20-year deal back in 1999. Forbes also estimates that MLB stadium rights averages are around $5.2 million a year, adding that “according to data Sports Business Journal’s Resource Guide LIVE, existing naming rights deals average 22 years in length and $107.9 million in total value.”

So just by some quick calculations, Coors paid the Rockies $30 million, and after 25 years, that’s down to $1.2 million a year. By 2047, that will be $576,923.08 per year. If it really is in perpetuity, then the name will outlast the structure and the Rockies will have missed out on more than one hundred million dollars of possible income. That seems like a bad investment. Speaking of which, is it too late to rule out Enron Field? Like Bridich, its leaders were also referred to as the smartest guys in the room. Maybe something more recent to vy for naming rights, like JCPenny or Chuck E. Cheese.

Any other ideas? What would you rename Coors Field? Please share in the comments!

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Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard named NL Comeback Player of the Year; Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon nominated for Gold Gloves | Roxpile

According to the MLB Player’s Association, Daniel Bard is the NL Comeback Players of the Year. In another no-brainer, Nolan Arenado was nominated for his eighth Golden Glove. That’s just Nolan being Nolan, even in 2020, and even with a hurt shoulder. Four-time All-Star Charlie Blackmon hasn’t won a Gold Glove before. Trevor Story didn’t make the cut, and while he made his fair share of outstanding plays in 2020, he also made 10 errors in 57 games, compared to his average of 10.5 errors per full non-60-day season the last four years.

Here’s why Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon was named a Gold Glove finalist | Mile High Sports

Bryan Kilpatrick addresses the shock value of a 34-year-old outfielder being named as a Gold Glove finalist after finished the season with a -1 mark in defensive runs saved, as opposed to Nolan Arenado’s 15. The answer is in a combination of advanced defensive metrics like Ultimate Zone Rating, where Charlie comes in at 3.8, which is third best in the NL. One of those ahead of him is Mookie Betts, so he’s likely to take home the trophy.

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies made a plan to end the Coors Field Curse. Did it work? | The Athletic ($)

In 2019, Charlie Blackmon was tired of the big change in ball movement after the Rockies left Coors Field for away games. He instituted a plan of more batting practice before batting practice in the new locations, in order to better adjust.

However, the new plan didn’t work this year. The Rockies didn’t hit any better on the road in 2020, but it was also 2020 with an extended camp in the Mile High City and it was also a shortened season. The Blackmon plan is still in the works, but the results aren’t clear yet.

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