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Can we save Lower Downtown before it’s too late?

Colorado Rockies news and links for Tuesday, December 8, 2020

If you passed by 20th and Market Street after a ballgame, there is a good chance you heard music from El Chapultepec spilling onto the sidewalks. The revered jazz venue opened in 1933—the day after Prohibition—and saw performers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett take to the stage.

2020 did a number on the ‘Pec. It is permanently closing.

It is time to relish our pregame and postgame staples before we lose another one. We can’t relish them right now like we normally would on game days, of course—but how can we help them make it to another Opening Day with fans?

The coveted atmosphere at Coors Field is only furthered by the timeless surroundings of Lower Downtown in which the ballpark calls home. The streets of LoDo are not infiltrated by global chains, but rather a collection of local businesses that feature names like Jackson’s, the Blake Street Tavern, the Sports Column, Lodo’s, the Sandlot Brewery and more. Other staples line Wynkoop Street toward the left field ballpark gate. These businesses thrive on traffic brought about by the big league club, and each venue doubles as a baseball gathering place during the season. Within many of these classic brick buildings are destinations that further embody how special a Rockies game can be.

As fans, we are spoiled by the accommodations. Some MLB venues are surrounded by nothing but parking lots, while others lie directly adjacent to major highways. You might have to search for parking a little longer in Colorado than you would at a different ballpark, but with so much going on around Coors Field, you may as well show up two hours (or more) before first pitch anyways.

El Chapultepec’s neon sign was seen by countless Rockies fans along their preferred route to the ballpark. The venue’s closing serves as a reminder for just how fragile the small business fabric of Lower Downtown can be. The distinct landscape can be easily celebrated when foot traffic is high, but after Coors Field had a collective zero attendance for the entire season, the businesses themselves are forced to rely on a limited revenue stream to stay afloat.

So many people can make a Rockies game special, and many of those people work outside of the ballpark. Some are waitresses or waiters, bartenders or chefs inside the restaurants and bars. Some are street vendors selling one-dollar water or two-dollar sunflower seeds. Some are parking attendants with signs that gradually increase in dollar amounts as you drive closer toward the baseball epicenter. Far too many of those people have also taken an economic hit without standard baseball crowds. We can’t possibly match a full MLB season of revenue for these LoDo businesses and hard-working people, but hopefully we can find a means to support them during this season of giving—even if it just be a simple conversation with the game day icons we know by name.

Perhaps just a few gift card sales will give Lower Downtown businesses some breathing room they desperately need. When life returns to normal, there will be Rockies fans in LoDo once again. Here’s to the good times to come.

To El Chapultepec: congratulations on 87 iconic years.

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MLB Winter Meetings: 12 questions about virtual version of hot stove’s biggest week | CBS Sports

CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry addresses how face-to-face meetings aren’t quite as necessary in the baseball world like they were before the internet. “Some would surely argue that [the MLB Winter Meetings have] an outdated format.”

The event is being held virtually this week from Monday-Thursday, and perhaps the online format is a sign of future changes to come. The 2020 event was originally scheduled for Dallas, Texas before COVID-19 forced it into a remote configuration.

MLB Rule 5 Draft 2020: 17 names to know, including former top-five pick, pair of Yankees prospects | CBS Sports

The 2020 Rule 5 Draft will commence on Thursday, the final day of the Winter Meetings. Included in this link are 17 names that are potential selections in the draft.

Two such names are Rockies: left-hander Ever Moya and right-hander Riley Pint. The 23-year-old Pint has yet to pitch above Double-A after being selected fourth overall in the 2016 draft. Moya won’t turn 22 until next May, and he has yet to pitch above rookie-level Grand Junction.

Milwaukee Brewers Free Agent Targets: David Dahl | Brew Crew Ball (SB Nation, Milwaukee Brewers)

David Gibson of SB Nation’s Brew Crew Ball says that David Dahl “might just prove to be the most productive player over the next 3-5 seasons of anyone in this free agent class.”

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