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A couple of weeks ago I took my annual, “Well shit I have to use up some vacation time” vacation. I’m a big baseball fan and I took the opportunity to add another MLB stadium to my “visited” list. I’ve been to 16 current MLB stadiums along with 5 or 6 former major league stadiums, and plan to see them all eventually. One of the stadiums I hadn’t visited before was Coors Field in Denver.
It was time to remedy that.
I’m sure many of you have been through the Denver airport since it’s a fairly major hub but did you know that the Denver light rail line goes directly into the Denver airport?
That’s how you do public transportation L.A!
I took the light rail from the airport to downtown Denver’s Union Station. Nine bucks each way. Union Station sits right behind left field at Coors Field. As you navigate around the stadium you find this.
This was my first time spending quality time in Denver. Back in 1995 the former mrs. right and my daughters and I took a two week road trip and visited these stadiums in order: Texas Rangers Stadium in Arlington, Old Busch Stadium in St. Louis, old County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wrigley Field, Comiskey and finally Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. We drove through Denver on the way home, even stayed overnight in Denver but the Rockies were on their longest road trip of the year so we missed them.
That was a fantastic road trip.
Coors Field is in “LODO” or Lower Downtown Denver. I stayed just North of the stadium but within walking distance.
There was another reason I came to Denver, non-baseball related, that I will share in Part 2. This part is Denver and Coors Field-centric.
As I walked from my room to the stadium I crossed a big ass bridge that went over a river and a bunch of train tracks,
at the base of the bridge was the center field entrance seen above.
Here’s a better angle.
I entered at the 3rd base entrance since I had third base, field level seats. The Rockies were hosting the goddamn Cardinals – the arch rival of my Cubbies – and that made it REALLY easy to root for the home team.
Holy shit did the Cardinals fans represent though.
They were everywhere! Easily comprising 40% or so of the total attendance.
I have an app on my phone that is an MLB sponsored app called “Ballpark” and it’s fucking great if you’ve never been to a specific stadium before. It gives you seating charts, beer and food locations and general info. Quick aside: they had a game on the app where you pick three Rockies players before the game who you think are going to play the best offensively. If you guess the three players correctly you can win “Fabulous prizes!” I guessed correctly and unlocked such fabulous prizes as 50 dollars off my next brake job at a local Denver brake shop.
Fucking awesome! Next time I need brakes I’ll drive from L.A. to Denver to redeem! Oh shit! It’s expired already.
According to various stadium guides one of the specialty food items Coors Field is known for is from this place.
Biker Jim’s! They have specialty sausages and I’ve seen them featured on the Food Network. Here’s the menu.
This is the only location for Biker Jim’s inside the stadium. Upper deck directly behind home plate. I had to schlep my ass up some stairs because I was on a quest to try this place.
The views from the upper deck behind home plate are pretty goddamn spectacular.
If you blow that photo up you will see a restaurant/bar called the ViewHouse that sits right across the street from the stadium. That place was packed with pre-gamers.
Was the sausage worth the trip upstairs and the accompanying walk?
That’s the elk, jalapeno, cheddar brat and a damn cold “namesake” beverage. It was delicious.
After inhaling the brat and a couple of beers I headed back downstairs to my seat.
Row 9 third base side.
This place is really fucking nice. The sight lines are clean, the seats are angled towards the action, access, concessions etc are all well thought out. All in all it’s easily in my top oh, 7? stadiums I’ve been to.
Let’s look at some views since I took a shitload of pictures.
The seating area to the right of the scoreboard is called “the Rock Pile” and it features really cheap tickets but a goddamn climb up a bunch of stairs. Out in the upper deck of right field there is the “Rooftop” bar.
This place has drink specials and is basically a party zone.
Let’s take a look at the field view from my seating location.
One of the first things I do when a game starts is locate the pitch speed display, it varies location depending on the stadium. Coors Field does this shit right.
It displays not only pitch speed but pitch type. Very cool. PNC in Pittsburgh does this as well and I think it’s a great feature. As the game progressed the crowd really filled in.
As seen here.
The “Rock Pile” filled up. The amount of red you see is due to the damn Cardinals fans every fucking where you look.
This was a really great game with the score remaining tied at 1 until the 8th inning. In the bottom of the 8th, Matt Holiday, former and once again current member of the Rockies pinch hit. It was his first AB since returning to the Rockies. Motherfucker hit a home run and the place went ape shit. After that the flood gates opened and the Rockies ended up scoring 7 more runs in the inning. Kick ass. This led to a mass exodus of the Cardinal fans. Sweet. I decided to head back to my room after the 8 runs scored but decided to take the scenic route back.
One of the things I like to do when visiting a new stadium is take in the action from as many angles as I can.
That’s from Left Field.
And that’s from right field.
Exiting the stadium I made my way back across the big ass bridge and back to my room.
As someone who does these random trips to random places I find it’s important to stock your room with the “necessities” of life as soon as you get to your room.
There’s my “in room survival kit.” There was a 7-11 right next to my room, a liquor store across the street and a “dispensary” right next to the liquor store. Convenient! There was also a bar/restaurant next to the liquor store and a breakfast place in the parking lot of the hotel.
I had pre-purchased my ticket for the aforementioned game but hadn’t decided if I was going to the Sunday game the next day.
On Sunday morning I said “Fuck yes! Let’s go!”
Obviously much different seats. Way the fuck up and down the 1st base line in the upper deck.
Let’s look at the views from the new seat.
You can see the Rocky Mountains from here! Fuck, I thought I could see my house from there. It was goddamn elevated.
There’s the Rooftop bar again.
As the game was getting ready to start it began to be apparent that my seat was going to be in the sun.
Uh, fuck that. I talked to the usher and she said she had no issues with me moving up into the shade.
A cool feature of Coors Field, in the upper deck there is a row of purple seats that are exactly 1 mile above sea level. The “Mile High” seats. Did I sit in them?
Bet your ass I did. I have to admit I have a slight case of vertigo that shows up at random times and motherfucker were these seats high in elevation. I think I white-knuckled my arm rests the entire game.
At one point in the game I looked down and saw this wonderful mirage of beauty! A beer vendor! Poor bastard climbed up almost 40 rows selling beer. I figured the very least I could do to show my appreciation was to sample his wares.
I think it’s law that you must drink a Coors original (Banquet!) while seeing a game at Coors Field. I wasn’t going to tempt fate so I had 3.
Today’s game was markedly different than the previous game as the hated Cardinals just went the fuck off! Final score of 12-3. I think Matt Carpenter had something stupid like 4 fucking doubles in this game.
I did get one of my favorite photos of the trip from this game.
Hey look Hippo! Yadi’s up!
There was a random storm cloud that kept circling the stadium complete with lightning and shit and there were 3-4 cloud bursts. They never stopped the game but it did produce the first rain drops I had felt in about 6 goddamn months.
I ended up leaving in the 8th to get out of the rain.
Look another shot of downtown!
Heading back towards my room I decided to stop at the restaurant/bar next door, The Roo Bar. Of course it turns out the place is a goddamn Packers bar!
Fuck my luck!
I was sitting casually at a fairly uncrowded bar when a couple sat down next to me in full St. Louis Cardinals regalia. They were from Wyoming and guess how long it took for the MAGA shit to start issuing forth? About 2 beers. What did I do to deserve this? I’ve lived a good life!
Anyway one of the things I told myself I was going to do was to document food and drink from this trip. The Roo Bar produced this.
This was called “The Slayer” and motherfucker was it tasty. That should be evident by the fact that I fucking annihilated it before taking the photo. It had ham, sausage, bacon and jalapeno.
After many more drinks I went back to the room.
The following day I had another adventure planned – details in Part 2 – but the day after that I had the entire day to wander/explore Denver proper.
What did I have planned?
Breweries! That is a “brut” from this place in downtown LoDo.
Falling Rock Tap House. Fun place, cool vibe and they had Pliny the Elder on tap! Get the fuck out of here. The brut was hop forward, very much an IPA but with a super clean and dry finish. Nice! Perfect for day drinking.
After a couple of day beers I got in the beer consumption frame of mind and ventured on.
Let’s see what they had on tap.
I selected this bit of deliciousness.
That’s the “Flanderosa” a foudre aged sour red. When I first got into the craft beer scene I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the sours. This thing was clean, malty and redolent of cherries. Very good.
I didn’t order the “Warning Label” IPA for a good reason.
Holy shit! Thirty proof! God. Damn. While I was enjoying my sour red the bartender gave me a sample of something similar to it. This beauty.
This is called “Kvassup” and is a cherry kvass. I had never been exposed to the world of kvass beer/beverage before. It’s actually a beer like beverage that is Slavic in origin and is brewed using dark rye bread in the brewing process. I don’t know the full alchemy of it but it may be the most delicious beer-like beverage I’ve ever had. Just fucking awesome. Clean, clear, super drinkable and damn near perfect in execution.
I must have more!
After a couple more it was time to consider food before heading back to the room for my final night.
I had seen a restaurant featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel that claims it had one of the best burgers anywhere and that sounded right about up my goddamn alley at the time. The place is called the Cherry Cricket. There was a location right across the street from Coors Field that I had walked by earlier. Let’s sample!
Some green pork chili. Denver is renowned for it’s green chili. The little breakfast place near my hotel had a breakfast burrito with potatoes, bacon, eggs that was covered in green chili and cheese. Holy shit was that good.
While waiting for my burger I saw this place across the street and had to have a photo.
Look it’s the world famous “Mexican Restaurant.” That was the only sign I saw on the building and it made me chuckle.
There’s my waiter!
A Cherry Cricket burger with white cheddar, bacon, green chili strips and a sunnyside up egg.
It could be in the discussion of one of the best burgers I’ve had. Could.
Although Father’s Office holds a special place in my burger consuming heart for that title.
In summary: great ballpark, great food, delicious, delicious beers and a fun town.
Visit! Often. Can’t recommend it enough.
I will have Part 2 of my Denver adventure soon.
Thanks for following along.