2001 Blake Street
For ticket information call: (303)
Tenant: Colorado Rockies (NL)
Opened: April 26, 1995
Surface: 120,000 sq feet of sod that covers the
field is grown at Graff Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, Colo. It's a mixture of
four bluegrass and two ryegrass strains. The playing field has 45 miles of
wire that provides an underground heating system which enables
groundskeepers to quickly melt any snow accumulation.
Capacity: 50,200 (1995); 50,381 (1999)
Architect: HOK Sport (Kansas City)
Construction: Mortenson and Barton Malow (Southfield, MI)
Owner: Denver Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District
Cost: $215 million
Public financing: $168 million ( 78 %) from a
one-tenth-of-a-percent sales tax in a six-county region
Private financing: $47 million (22%), from Rockies owners
This $215 million park was originally
designed to seat 43,800 but after Mile High Stadium had experienced record
numbers in 1993-1994, Rockies ownership paid to increase the capacity to
50,200. This was the first new stadium in the National League since
Montrealís Stade Olympique opened in 1977, and it was the NL's first new
park built exclusively for baseball since Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The Rockies spent their first two seasons in the
Denver Broncos' Mile High Stadium, where they set 12 attendance records. Built
two blocks from Union Station in Denver's Lower Downtown, Coors offers
some unique qualities like the old-time ballparks while using all the
modern technologies available. The hand-laid brick construction and
old-fashioned clock tower atop its main entrance, plus the asymmetrical
walls give the ballpark a traditional flair. The two bullpens, elevated
next to the scoreboard in right-center, are a nice touch.
But the park also has some modern
touches. The natural grass field can drain 5 inches of water per hour, and
there is a heating system under the field that melts snow the moment it
hits the ground. Concession stands in the concourse are laid out so that a
fan can walk 360 degrees around the stadium and never lose sight of the
Official Game - April 26, 1995(Colorado beat Mets,
Pitch - Bill Swift to Brett Butler at 5:38 P.M
Batter - Brett
Hit - Brett Butler
Homerun - Rico Brogna
Grandslam - Todd
Stolen Base - Eric Young
Complete Game - Tom
Extra-Inning Game - April 26, 1995 vs New York Mets (Bichette
hit a 3-run homer in the 14th)
The altitude of
Coors distorts baseball in ways that could not have been foreseen. For
example, a home run ball that flies 400 feet at sea level would travel 430
feet in this ballpark. In 1999, Coors became
the most prolific offensive ballpark ever created. The Rockies and their
opponents combined for 303 homeruns, the most ever in a season at
one stadium with one or more tenants. The longest homerun ever in
Coors field was a 496 ft bomb by Mike Piazza.
The park factor
in 1996 still ranks as the highest of all time for a ballpark in a single
season, while the park factors in 1995, 1999, and 1998 rank third, fourth,
and fifth all time. (Only the 1877 season of the Louisville Baseball Park
breaks Coors' dominance).
Why exactly is
Coors so prolific? There are five principal reasons:
1) The ball travels as much as 10 percent
farther in the thin air;
2) Curve balls break as much as 25
percent less in the thin air;
3) The ball travels to the outfield more
quickly, leaving fielders less time to react (the range of an outfielder
may be reduced by 8 feet, while the range of infielders is reduced by 8-12
4) Coors has a hard infield and hard,
straight, quirky walls, so balls skip through the infield as if they were
hit on cement.
The outfield is one of the biggest in the majors, so that routine pop-ups
fall for singles and line singles roll for doubles or triples.
More than just home runs, the park also
yields more triples than any other ballpark. In part, this is due to the
thin air, but the long distance to the right field corner (350 feet) gives
runners an extra two seconds to get to third base compared to a park with
a 325-foot right field wall. The quirky walls and extensive right-field
foul territory means that the ball doesn't bounce straight back to the
outfielder; the ball caroms off the hard walls at odd angles.
There is also a
little nook in the right field wall, about ten feet from the corner, where
two sections of the fence come together. At that point, the wall takes a
sharp turn; if the ball hits to the left of that nook, it can bounce back
towards the infield, but if it hits to the right of thae nook it will
carom towards center field. Right fielders tracking baseballs into that
nook face a dilemma as to how play the ricochet - more than one has run
all-out to the corner, only to have the ball come back past them at
Coors places a premium on speed because of it's spacious
dimensions. The infield is so hard, and the grass so short, that
the infielders feel like they're playing on artificial turf.
team has been planning to grow the grass a little longer and give
the pitchers an element of support.
benefits: Anyone with a bat. The Rockies hit 77 points higher here
than on the road, and belted 144 of 223 team homers here in 1999; the park
has turned great players like Larry Walker into MVPs and mediocre players
like Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla into All-Stars.
No one benefits more than Jeff Cirillo, whose gap power is perfectly suited to the large outfield.
In 2000, he hit .403 at home and .299 on the road; last season, he hit
.362 at home and just .266 on the road. Larry Walker has also been a
major major beneficiary - last season he hit .406 at home and just .293 on
the road; in 2000 he hit .359 at home and .259 on the road.
Helton has also been a - last season, he hit 98 points higher at home and
hit 27 of his 49 HR here; in 2000, he hit 38 points better and clocked 27
of 42 homers at home. Larry Walker
season, Neifi Perez (.323 vs.
Overall, the Rockies had a home-road differential of +178 in runs
scored. The next highest in the National League was Arizona, in
lively Bank One Ballpark, with a +58.
Who gets hurt: Anyone who has to eventually throw to anyone
with a bat. In 1999, the Rockie's ERA
was 2.27 runs higher at home than on the road. They yielded 159 of the 237
opponent home runs at home.
The park seems to ruin good pitchers in their road performances as
well. Mike Hampton and had trouble adjusting in his first season in
the thin air, after signing a $121 million, 8-year contract; after
starting the season by going 9-2, with a 2.98 ERA, he faded in the second
half and gave up a career high 31 HR. Oddly, hust 8 of those 31 were
at home, and he hada 5.10 ERA outside of Coors. Denny Neagle also
struggled, posting a 5.11 ERA on the road and a 5.70 ERA in Denver.
Brian Bohanon and Scott Elarton (a 17 game winner with Houston) both had
ERAs of over 7 at home and around 5 on the road.
2001 STATS, Inc.
The main entrance is on 20th and Blake Streets. The third base side, to the
SW, is on 20th St.; first base (SE) borders on Blake Street. Left field, to the
NW, borders on the Union Pacific RR tracks and I-25. Right field, to the NE, is
on Park Avenue.
field: 347 ft.
field: 415 ft.
field: 350 ft.
territory: A little below average.
- Highest run, average, hit, LHB avg, RHB
avg factor in NL in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 in NL
- Highest HR, LHR, and RHR factor in NL in 1998, 1999, and in 2000
- Second highest HR, RHR factor in NL in
2001 (behind Arizona's BOB)
- Lowest strikeout factor in 1998,
1999 and 2000
- Second-highest error and infield
error factor in NL in 2000
- Third-highest doubles and triples
factor in NL in 2000
- Second-highest doubles and triples
factor in NL in 1999
- Highest error factor in NL in 1998
- Located approximately two miles from
Mile High Stadium, home of the Rockies in 1993 and 1994.
- Originally designed to include 43,800
seats, record crowds in 1993 convinced Rockies ownership to expand the
original plans. The updated park holds 50,000 fans, including 63
luxury boxes and 4,500 club-level seats.
- A row of purple seats ring the park to
mark a spot that it is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
- Financed by the taxpayers of the
Denver Metropolitan Major League Baseball District and leased to the
Rockies. The District will own the stadium and all operating and
maintenance costs will be paid by the Rockies.