April 2010


I’m high: Elevation 5,280 Feet

Sign at visiting team entrance.

My decision to visit my family in the mile high city of Denver was a rather spur of the moment decision—taking advantage of the long Easter weekend (and neatly avoiding Closed Germany).

Coming with such short notice I didn’t really have a chance to develop a to-do list. If anything I mistimed the trip by a week because the baseball season doesn’t start until next week.

Guess where I am!

Instead I suggested to my Father and Sister that we go on a tour of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, the best team in baseball. By my reckoning, the other teams exist only to provide opponents; who could seriously cheer for the Yankees or Twins? Heck, those teams run scared and don’t let their pitchers bat.

So after parting with a few bucks, we found ourselves at the home plate entrance for the 2pm tour. Our tour guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Most of what she said jived with my memory—after all I grew up in Denver and I worked at Coors Field in food service its first season.

Impressive from here.

About the only fact I disagreed with was her comment about baseball expansion. She claimed that prior to the Rockies establishment, all major league teams were on the coasts. I wondered idly aloud to my sister about Kansas City. One could also wonder about the Cubs, White Sox, Twins, Indians, Reds, and Cardinals. It is true that prior to the Rockies there were no Major League teams in the Mountain time zone and none in any of the states that border Colorado (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming).

Beyond that the rest of the tour was flawless—she even correctly answered the question that I’d been fed from a friend about what existed in the center field waterfall feature before it was installed. (Answer: a turf farm; although she also claims that players grew “vegetables” like garlic and tomatoes.)

The tour started on the main concourse, went all the way up to the top deck, then down through the Suites, around a bit of the club level (where I worked), down to the Press Box, and then into the tunnel under the stadium where we saw the outside of the Rockies locker room and the inside of the guest locker room, before heading out through the guest dugout and onto the warning track.

An odd slogan to have.

There’s not much to say about the seating—she pointed out that tickets were affordable in the Rockpile (Center field bleachers–$4 for adults, $1 for kids) and very expensive at field level behind home plate (sold as season tickets, minimum commitment of 3 years, and I think a minimum of four tickets). She noted that if you sat in the suites you couldn’t bring picnics, it was catered; she noted that journalists pay $10 for their press-box seats with unlimited food and drink (but no alcohol because the journalists are working).

Now that I think about it, alcohol came up quite a bit in the tour – in some places it was included, in others not, and it is never available in the locker rooms.

Visitors get American Crew products.

After passing through the layers of seating, we headed under the stadium where we toured the guest locker room – which was spacious, but not as spacious as the Rockies’ locker room. This part was actually fascinating: lots of lockers, but only four sinks, four urinals, and four stalls. I didn’t go into the showers—but the number of toilets and sinks seemed incredibly small to me. Maybe it’s to make guests feel toilet anxiety?

From there we then went down the guest tunnel, through the dugout, and onto the warning track—but not onto the grass—although I got on my knees and took a close-up photo of the grass.

Nothing artificial here.

Next stop: Bloomington.

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