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Adric posing at Coors Field. July 30, 2022.
Adric posing at Coors Field. July 30, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

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On the Road with Eli(zondo) and Adric ... in Denver

A Dodger Fan’s Guide to Going to a Game at in the Mile High City of Denver

So you’ve decided to heed the call to adventure. Good for you. If you need to refer back to what the Guide actually is or who I actually am, please refer to the included links.

Rocky Mountain High

The Guide has the following to say about going to a game at Coors Field:

I did not bring enough sunscreen or water. This oversight will likely be a problem.

When most people think of the best ballparks in the National League West, there is usually a threefold discussion about which park is best among Dodger Stadium, Oracle Park, and Petco Park. But that discussion is incomplete. Really, there should be an argument between four ballparks: those listed and Coors Field (“Coors”) in Colorado.

Coors Field sometimes feels like the forgotten ballpark of the NL West, only coming up when the Dodgers visit or when the bullpen gets taxed because when the game has offensive galore between both teams. Frankly, Coors should not be forgotten because while the city is cursed with incompetent, cheapskate ownership and front office, the ballpark is rather nice and should be visited by more traveling Dodger fans.

The following is all that you will need to know about going to a Dodgers/Rockies game at Coors Field (“Coors”).

The Five Questions of the Guide

1. Is it worth going here?

Yes, but I have a more built-in reason to visit than most.

Literally at the mile high. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Literally a mile high. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Michael Elizondo/True Blue LA

I should disclose my inherent bias before going forward.

Coors is a nice park. My experiences at Coors are greatly aided by the addition of something that the average traveling Dodger fan will likely not have: I have friends who live just outside of Denver who are long-suffering Rockies fans.

They left the Bay Area during the pandemic and the only time I get to see them now is at the ballpark. One downside to the new “balanced” schedule is that there's one less series in Denver. If the series does not land on a weekend, we cannot get our schedules to match up and have to try again another year.

As for the rest of you, watching a Dodgers game at Coors is an interesting experience that truly must be experienced in person to get its full effect. In that vein, if you visit there are a few things you have to keep in mind.

First, sunscreen is vitally important. You are at a higher elevation and as such, you will sunburn much faster than you would at sea level.

Second, you must remember to hydrate yourself appropriately by drinking more water than you would normally drink at sea level. Altitude sickness is no joke, but you will not have to deal with that condition unless you go an extra 3,000 to 4,000 feet higher than Coors itself. But even the City of Denver warns visitors that due to the elevation and low humidity, the effects of alcohol are more pronounced and visitors would be best advised to literally double their normal intake of water. I learned that lesson the hard way on my first visit where I had constant muscle cramps and I was constantly thirsty. If possible, eat foods high in potassium (like bananas) to help keep you regulated.

For the first-timer at Coors, originally I was told that you would get nothing. Upon further investigation, I found that the team did offer a First-Game Certificate, but I would have to do it myself. We have covered that situation before, which is and remains forevermore dumb, as I am not a team’s art department.

Rockies First Game Certificate
It did turn out pretty well though.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

I have yet to take a tour at Coors. This omission is not for want of effort or lack of desire but just the simple fact that I have not been able to align my schedule to allow me to wander the innards of Coors. Doing so is on my list and this entry will be updated once I am finally able to do it.

2. How should I get there?

The Lane family and me. Coors Field. July 17, 2021.
The Lane family and me. Coors Field. July 17, 2021.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

Unless you have the desire to drive 20 hours from San Francisco (by way of Las Vegas or Reno and Salt Lake City) or 15 hours from Los Angeles, if you want to go to a Dodgers/Rockies game in Denver, you will need to fly there. Fair warning, flights that go into and out of Denver tend to have fairly severe turbulence. Eventually, you get used to it but a bit of warning would have been appreciated my first time.

As to getting to the game itself, you basically have two options, which are entirely dependent on whether you stay in downtown Denver or whether you stay outside of the city. While there is public transit in Denver, it is mostly unhelpful for getting to and from Coors. Therefore, if you are staying in downtown Denver, odds are you can either walk or rideshare to and from the ballpark as the neighborhood around Coors is filled with restaurants and bars.

If you chose to stay outside of Denver, I would strongly recommend renting a car. Fair warning, traffic around Coors tends to bottleneck severely, not unlike Dodger Stadium. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is quite a bit of road construction that was occurring near or on the way to Coors. Be wary of pebbles shattering windshields, even if you parked in the Coors parking lot. I speak from personal experience on that front.

Outside Coors Field. July 30, 2022.
Not shown: the whining about the traffic and that we’re going to be late to a Kershaw Start. Outside Coors Field. July 30, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

One point about parking at Coors that I should stress strongly. Parking at Coors is not cheap, but I would pay the premium to park in premium parking if I were driving to Coors. These spots are directly across the street from the ballpark and fill up on a first-come, first-served basis. If you choose to park in general parking, be prepared to figuratively hike to and from your car, which is a nightmare if you did not properly hydrate.

The region does have a light-rail line with a terminus a few blocks from the ballpark, as the remaining distance you will likely have to walk as vehicle traffic gets hectic prior to and immediately after games at Coors.

3. Where should I stay?

Overlooking Downtown Denver from Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Overlooking Downtown Denver from Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

Coors is in the aptly named Ballpark District, which is now filled with bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. You can get a great view of the area from the walkways around the ballpark. The following map of Denver will illustrate my point about hotels.

There are A LOT of hotels near Coors.
Courtesy of Google Maps

In case, the screenshot is unclear, the blue mark is Coors. Honestly, your largest expense will likely be the hotel room rather than airfare or the game ticket. Truthfully, you can pick any of these locations and you should be able to comfortably and reasonably safely walk from your hotel to the ballpark and back.

Zoomed in view of Union Station and Coors Field, Denver, CO
Rule of thumb: follow the crowds to get you to and from the ballpark from Union Station
Courtesy of Google Maps

If you are staying outside of Denver, just pick a hotel with easy access to the region’s light rail line, the RTD. I have never used the system but the fares seemed reasonable, albeit for the slow service and infrequent stops.

At the end of the day, how you get to and from Coors while in Denver and where you stay comes down to a single choice: do you want to walk to and from the ballpark but pay more for a hotel or do you want to stay further away but likely have to rent a car? The choice is yours.

4. Where should I sit?

From above the Dodgers’ bullpen. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
From above the Dodgers’ bullpen. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

Seating at Coors is not too complicated. But before getting into that, here is the best bit of advice I have about going to a game at Coors: get to the ballpark two hours early. Not only will you have a better chance to get premium parking, if needed, you can walk around and enjoy the sights of the ballpark.

Coors itself is not very architecturally interesting, but the views of the surroundings and within the ballpark are quite underrated. That said, the broad strokes of where to sit are pretty easy. The cheapest seats are in Centerfield, The Rock Pile, which will not give you the best view of the game. And the tickets overall will not be that painful on your wallet unless you sit behind the plate or by the Dodgers’ dugout, which is not terribly helpful advice.

Adric at the Lookout. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Adric at the Lookout. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

Moreover, if you get to the ballpark early enough, you can visit The Rooftop, a 38,000-square-foot area in the upper-right field deck, with views, seating, and bars to mingle prior to the game. One thing of note are the purple seats in the upper deck as they are literally a mile high above sea level. It is worth visiting this height prior to the game, but by no means should you actually sit here.

View from Mile High Seats, Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Bring binoculars if you wish to watch a game from a mile high. Coors Field. July 31, 2023
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

As for the food, it’s fine, nothing really spectacular or dreadful. The more adventurous eaters among you can partake of the noted Rocky Mountain Oysters, which are deep-fried bull testicles. Apparently, their taste reminds people of chicken tenders. The joke you can come up with on your own time.

Unlike other entries of the Guide, there is one section of seating that I would recommend for going to a game at Coors. I would not sit in the upper deck or in the outfield, even above the bullpens. Frankly, you are too far away from the action in these areas.

With the bullpen, even in the front row, you would be quite high above the bullpen, limiting interactions. Therefore, you will have likely spent a good deal of money to come to Denver, so there is no reason to skimp on tickets when they are generally quite reasonable.

There is nothing wrong with sitting a field level at Coors, but for my money regardless of budget, regardless of wanting to have fun, regardless of value, there is one section of seating I constantly find myself returning to.

Coors Field recommendations
Here’s where you should sit at Coors Field.
Courtesy of the Colorado Rockies / Illustration by Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

The Club Level, Infield seats are a nice blend of being close to the action while having access to air-conditioned, sequestered vendors. Plus the seats are rather affordable even when the Dodgers are in town. I would focus on sitting within the first six rows of this section but it is quite hard to screw up sitting here, even if you are with small children. As you can see, you get the best of both worlds by watching a game from this vantage point.

Section 222, Club Infield, Coors Field. July 17, 2021.
Section 222, Club Infield, Coors Field. July 17, 2021.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

5. After your trip, is it worth going back?

Hey, that was fun. I can hardly wait to go back!

From directly above the visiting bullpen. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
From directly above the visiting bullpen. Coors Field. July 31, 2022.
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

I have attended four games at Coors in 2021 and 2022. The Dodgers won the sole game I went to in 2021 and split the two I went to in 2022. Coors is a nice park. This Guide entry should serve as an argument that Coors is an underrated park. The main critiques of going to a game at Coors are factors outside the parks’ control: the cost of hotels in downtown and elevation issues.

If you can budget accordingly and you can acclimate yourself to the elevation, there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a Dodgers/Rockies game at Coors Field. As for the pitchers at Coors...well, you’re them, so you might as well enjoy the offense that is often not present at other ballparks.

Adric: See you next time!
Michael Elizondo / True Blue LA

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