Coors Field is the third oldest ballpark in the National League. That’s a long time when one realizes the stadium was built in 1995. Yet, it remains brand new despite the fact it’s 19 years old.
Dick Monfort should be ostracized for his overall work as the Rockies owner, but no one can deny what he has done to maintain this jewel of a ballpark in LoDo. It’s not easy to maintain a ballpark after it ages for a long time.
Fans will continue to flock at Coors Field since it’s the place to enjoy a night out in the town during the summer. The ballpark experience is what makes fans want to go, and it’s going to get even better this year with the Rockies installing the Rooftop party deck in the upper deck in right field. The Rooftop party deck is an opportunity for fans to have a great time by drinking and eating. Think of it as a sports bar.
While Monfort has received plaudits for the Rooftop party deck idea, he also has received criticism from some frustrated Rockies fans for focusing more on the ballpark than the baseball operations. There is this idea he has used the fans’ money on building a ballpark rather than invest on his baseball team. It’s a fair assessment.
In most cities, most fans want to see a good product from the home team when they paid their hard-earned money. Fans are more into wins and losses than enjoying a game at the ballpark. In Colorado, it’s a different vibe. Fans don’t get worked up on the Rockies like other fanbases are with their teams, and that’s probably why Monfort can get away with what he is doing by selling them a gameday experience.
Still, Rockies fans can only maintain their patience forever. Monfort can only do so much in maintaining that ballpark to get fans interested. It comes down to winning ballgames. That is the only way to get fans to come to the park forever. It’s pointless to build a nice ballpark or make improvements while the team continues to stink year after year.
I can say this from experience. Living in New York, I know Mets fans are not going to Citi Field because the Mets are a terrible baseball team. They are not going to pay exorbitant amount of money to go to Citi Field even if it’s a great place to watch a ballgame. The Mets have done all they can to make Citi Field a great ballpark experience, but fans are not buying into it.
As a Mets fan, I haven’t gone to Citi Field in three years because of the product. It’s crazy to pay for a family of four just to watch a team that has constantly lose.
The Rockies are fortunate they haven’t had the same problem the Mets have in drawing people to the ballpark. Still, they can’t rely on the ballpark forever.
The causal fans are going to want to watch a team that puts on a quality product. Since the Rockies were in existence, they never had won outside of some fluke years like 1995, 2007 and 2009. It’s pointless to build a new ballpark and have a terrible team that plays in it. It’s a waste of time.
If I lived in Denver, I wouldn’t pay to go to Coors Field. Considering how everything is expensive these days, the Rockies have to give me a compelling reason for me to go to Coors Field besides the ballpark experience. I can be part of the Coors Field experience by watching it on HDTV. Only difference is I can get beer for cheap and make my own food for less of a stadium cost.
The Rockies have a forgiving fanbase, but sooner or later, there has to be a breaking point. It’s insanity to keep forking up money to watch baseball.
For the diehards, their breaking point is in. Several of my readers have told me they won’t fork up their dime to go to Coors Field. They are tired of losing.
Coors Field shouldn’t be a place to drink and be merry. It should be a home-field advantage that the team feeds off. It should be about fans enjoying the win from the home team. It should be about creating an atmosphere that is suited for big games.
Monfort doesn’t get it. His idea of a ballpark experience is having a good time despite the outcome.
In his stadium tour with the media yesterday afternoon, all the Rockies owner did was talk about Coors Field being the place to be and how it will be better for the next 10 years. It’s funny his people told the local media not to ask him baseball questions despite the fact the Rockies have been outplayed the first two games prior to their first win last night.
Monfort will get away with it since fans don’t care.
He has to realize sooner or later the con is up.
He is going to have to address his baseball operations sooner or later.
The ballpark can only be his saving grace for so long.
Contact or follow Leslie Monteiro at @LightRodWriter