Rockies Loosen Purse Strings…


Aug 12, 2013 Denver, CO, USA; General view of a sunset over the Rocky Mountains at Coors Field during the game between the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies have done it, again. They have loosened up the purse strings and are making an investment…in the stadium…..again. Again. For the third year in a row the Rockies organization has announced renovations to the beautiful Coors Field all in the name of enhancing the “fan experience”. Yay. I mean, who doesn’t want to go jam out to a live band before the game up on The Rooftop?

Let’s focus on the build out before I go all soap-box crazy, again. The Rockies announced yesterday (another announcement article here…) that they would be making some major enhancements to the right field upper deck for next season. The face lift will be in the vein of classic LoDo architecture; they are basically installing a rooftop area named — I wasn’t joking about this — The Rooftop. In all honesty the pending improvements to sections 301-310 are nothing short of impressive, featuring two levels and covering 38,000 square feet with a craft bar and restaurant. It sounds like the perfect place to grab a beer, sit back, and enjoy a classic Colorado sunset over the spectacular Rocky Mountains. BECAUSE THAT’S WHY WE GO TO GAMES, RIGHT!?

Warning: The soap-box is out. These kind of things really get under my skin. Owner Dick Monfort stated in his announcement that he “wants to win at everything, even checkers”. Do you? Because I don’t see that. I don’t see a front office that wants to win, I see a bunch of guys that love seeing 2.75 MILLION people (average since 2007) walk through the gates and continue to line the coffers.  That is an average of 33,950 fans per home game. For the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays 33,000 fans per game would be equivalent to every, single home game being a sellout!!!  Fun fact: the Rays and A’s have not had more than 1.9 million people attend their 81 home games each year for the last 6 years, the Rockies have not had under 2.5 million people attend their home games over then same span. By the way, those two teams made the 2013 playoffs.
Monfort went on to say that he doesn’t think either of the Rockies’ fearless GM’s have “done a poor job”. Apparently we aren’t watching the same mediocre talent come through the farm system, over-hyped and under-performing. Mr Monfort: Do you know what would improve my experience, as a fan?? Winning. Hearing news of the Rockies investing in the team, in order to win. That would make my experience a whole lot better. I do not really care that we signed two (oft injured) super stars to major contracts. In fact, I would rather trade one of them at high value to receive some key pieces that we desperately need. Monfort says that a realistic goal would be getting the team to the playoffs 2 out of every 5 years. Well, sir, the last time we made the playoffs was… yeah that’s right. 2009. 4 whole, completed seasons ago. No playoffs since, and to be honest I don’t see playoffs in our next-year future. Actually in 20 years of baseball the Rox have only made the playoffs 3 times!

I step down. I hate to rag on the Rockies. I love the Rockies, and I love going to Coors Field. It is by far my favorite stadium to watch a game at; there is literally not a bad seat in the house. But forgive me as I am fed up with the lip-service. I don’t really care that a construction fund (which the Rockies contribute to), Aramark, and RTD are paying for a large portion of this project, the fact that the Rockies are chipping in to fund the project — before spending any money on improving the on-field experience — is bothersome. And after making a VIP seating area behind home plate (a la Dodger Stadium) last year, and the major upgrades to the right field corner restaurant two years ago.. I’d love to see more efforts focused on talent.

I won’t deny it, the renovations to Coors Field will be very enjoyable over the next twenty years. Here’s to hoping that the updates do something to improve the on-field performance as well.
RoxPile nation: What are your thoughts on the planned updates to Coors Field?