Standing on the second floor of The Rally Hotel inside McGregor Square, Colorado Rockies owner/chairman and chief executive officer Dick Monfort knows the eyes of the baseball world are focused on Denver this week. He also believes he and his franchise are ready for the bright lights and fanfare of the All-Star Game.
Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort talks to us about the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, McGregor Square, and more.
As the Midsummer Classic and everything that comes with it descends upon Denver, I caught up with Monfort as he stood outside the just-opened Hall of Legends inside The Rally Hotel, adjacent to Coors Field. It’s another part of the vision Monfort has to make the area around 20th and Blake a destination for Rockies (and all baseball) fans.
Of course, downtown Denver is a different place than it was in 1998 when the All-Star Game last visited Coors Field. Monfort has been a part of LoDo’s recent transformation, with McGregor Square rising where a parking lot used to be. He’s also been a part of ensuring that Major League Baseball’s quick shift of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver has been a smooth process.
The Rockies owner knows that he will be in the spotlight for much of the month of July, with the All-Star Game taking place at Coors Field and the MLB trade deadline just over two weeks later. His franchise is expected to be a seller at the trade deadline, and players such as Trevor Story, Jon Gray, C.J. Cron, Mychal Givens, and others could be in the final days in purple pinstripes. However, exactly which players could be on the block and what direction the Rockies are heading as July churns ahead is a mystery to anyone outside Monfort’s inner circle.
Those decisions will come but, for this weekend, Monfort will walk the area around McGregor Square, Coors Field, and LoDo watching the energy within the environment continue to grow until Tuesday night’s All-Star Game is complete.
And Monfort will be among the fans watching the game, and he plans to watch it as a fan.
“I was telling somebody the other day it will be the first time since the last All-Star Game (1998 in Denver) that I’ll be able to go into that stadium (Coors Field) and not care who wins or loses,” Monfort smiled during an exclusive interview with Rox Pile.
With Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in early April, this week is a chance for not only Denver to be in the spotlight, but the Rockies franchise as well.
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Monfort says the Rockies, before COVID-19, were “in the queue” to have the All-Star Game in 2022 and believed that, with the construction of McGregor Square, that would have been “a sweet spot for us.” However, with the pandemic cancelling the All-Star Game in 2020, MLB shuffled its plans and Colorado looked to be in line for the 2024 Midsummer Classic. However, the Rockies were ready when MLB switched its plans for 2021.
“I think we pretty much have delivered,” Monfort said. “It’s been a lot of hard work and our people have been working two jobs basically over the last two and a half months. It’s a credit to the state, the city, and everyone that’s been involved. It’s been fun to watch come together.”
Part of that “fun” has been watching the finishing touches be put on The Rally Hotel, the Hall of Legends inside the hotel, and the McGregor Square area overall.
“This building right here, I think we finished about 10 days ago,” Monfort said, pointing to the second-floor area where we stood.
One of the things that energizes Monfort most about this weekend is that it is a chance to showcase Coors Field to the world as one of the best ballparks in all of Major League Baseball.
“Because we sit in Denver in our own time zone (sharing it with Arizona for some, but not all of the year), we’re not the nationally prominent team,” Monfort said. “But I think what we have in Coors Field is the gem of all stadiums. For us to be able to showcase what a gem it is, I’m excited for the nation to be able to see what a wonderful place this is.”