Colorado Rockies: Raising a glass to Coors Field on its 25th birthday

DENVER - JUNE 30: Fans leave the front entrance of Coors Field as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Colorado Rockies into the evening in the National League game at Coors Field on June 30, 2003 in Denver, Colorado. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 8-7 in 12 innings. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - JUNE 30: Fans leave the front entrance of Coors Field as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Colorado Rockies into the evening in the National League game at Coors Field on June 30, 2003 in Denver, Colorado. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 8-7 in 12 innings. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Raise a glass, Colorado Rockies fans. Coors Field is officially 25 years old and has never looked better.

On April 26, 1995, the Colorado Rockies hosted the New York Mets in the first game at Coors Field. The move to 20th and Blake came after the Rockies spent the first two years of their existence at Mile High Stadium, establishing eye-popping attendance marks. In 52 out of 135 games over the 1993 campaign and the strike-shortened 1994 season at Mile High, the Rockies drew more than 60,000 fans. In 21 of those games, more than 70,000 fans were in attendance.

But let’s go back to that very first game at Coors Field, which cost $215 million to build. Playing against the Mets (the same franchise which hosted the Rockies in the Colorado franchise’s first-ever game on April 5, 1993), the Rockies quickly jumped on the scoreboard on a 42-degree night. Larry Walker‘s double in the bottom of the first plated Walt Weiss and, two batters later, Dante Bichette would hit a sacrifice fly to give Colorado a 2-0 edge.

Thirteen innings later, Bichette would hit another fly ball. This one, however, would sail into the left field seats for a three-run homer to give the Rockies an 11-9 win and welcome the new park into the league in style.

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Today, on the 25th anniversary of Coors Field’s opening and Bichette’s heroics, let’s take a moment to truly appreciate how the park has transformed LoDo and the Denver sports scene. This article from The Denver Post has a tremendous breakdown of how Coors Field has impacted Denver through the years. There’s also no question that McGregor Square will continue that transformation when it is scheduled to open next year.

Comprised of 1.4 million bricks and 8,975 tons of steel, Coors Field is now the third-oldest ballpark in the National League, behind Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. There have been plenty of upgrades to the stadium to keep it looking young, including the new scoreboard in 2018 that is 258 percent larger than the former Coors Field scoreboard. Though Rockies fans haven’t seen it yet, the stadium’s playing surface has been completely rebuilt and is just waiting the start of the 2020 campaign, just like the rest of us.

From the Rockpile to the Rooftop and all points in between, Coors Field continues to represent one of the most scenic ballparks in Major League Baseball. For 25 years, there have been spectacular sunsets and moments on the field, including Matt Holliday touching home plate in Game 163 and Nolan Arenado breaking San Francisco’s heart with a walkoff home run for the cycle.

Next. Arguing over which game was the best-pitched in Rockies history. dark

Here’s to Coors Field and everything it represents for Rockies fans and downtown Denver. Happy 25th birthday and here’s to many more years of memories.

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