So, I was on my way to the SABR Analytics conference tonight when it turns out my flight to Phoenix was cancelled. So, I was no longer on my way to the conference until tomorrow morning. After an hour of driving and disembarking various metal bits to get through security, then another hour with a confused look on my face while waiting in line to get rebooked, I was awarded with my troubles with two $7 vouchers good for any food vendor open in DIA at 10pm at night. (Answer: McDonalds in Concourse A.) Since I wasn’t particularly hungry and was particularly disappointed that I’d have to wake up (read: stay up) to catch the new flight yet I couldn’t even use one of the vouchers to cover parking, I decided to reminisce on the good and bad deals that I’ve experienced attending non-playoff Rockies games at Coors Field over the years. I add the playoff disclaimer as a concession to concessions inflation since it can cost $50 just to look at a parking spot when the Rockies are on a roll.
Now, for a bit of context, I don’t drink beer because it’s against my religion i.e. I don’t believe in drinking anything I don’t like the taste of and beer is an acquired taste I never bothered to acquire. Thus, I’ll rely on external sources, using concession experts in the field who accumulated the cost of beer across the 29 Major League Stadiums and Minute Maid park while normalizing for exchanges in Canadian currency. Data for foam to water to beer ratios is, assumedly, still pending.
As of Opening Day 2013, the average cost of a small draft beer was $6.09 according to Team Marketing Report (i.e. the aforementioned beer accumulation experts). Turns out, the Rockies are in the middle of the pack at $6.00 for a beer, on par with the Brewers and the Yankees(!). Who knew I’d use the Rockies and the Yankees in the same sentence without referring to the playoffs (or some other form of interleague play) or Boone Logan?
And that’s all I have to say about beer.
I’ll also say I’ve tried the PowerTickets, which gives $10 of concession credit for free (assuming you pay the convenience charge for printing out your own ticket in the first place). Not a bad idea if you’re buying multiple tickets, but I tend to like purchasing at the window or down the block where I can actually pick my seats. Or, if I don’t want to pick my ticket, there’s usually the ever popular and usually $5 Rockpile ticket which might not be available if the game’s sold out and went for $250 during the World Series in 2007.
Yet all this talk of playoffs and beer doesn’t touch on what I usually do when I go to a game. For that, I’ll admit, I love the Dinger’s kiddie restaurant over in left field. Usually I can score two mini burgers and weather and mood permitting an ice cream cone for $8. I’ll also indulge in a Denver Cheesesteak on occasion because, well, they’re yummy and filling. Then, I’ll spend $7 and change on a Mike’s Hard Cranberry if I want to be an adult and can find one. They’ve been a little elusive in recent years, even among the aisle vendors, but can still be found once in a blue moon (though waiting in line at Blue Moon for one can be a pain).
If I’m remaining a kid, usually because I have my 9 year old daughter in tow, then I know the spoiling and splurging will happen. So I try to mitigate that a bit with a bag of peanuts and water, hopefully from outside the stadium, while wondering how my rotund body produced such a cute little kid that’s not hooked on soda. Of course, she’ll usually get a cotton candy (with some of that getting on her) and that tends to be a decent deal as far as air and sugar and her smile goes. I _AVOID_ the lemonade which looks like diluted Mountain Dew so decaffeinated that it can’t even muster up the effort to have taste and I cringe at the formidable sno-cones which tastelessly burn through a few plastic spoons without satiating any taste buds. When my daughter gets frustrated from something supposedly ice-creamish, I take note.
She likes the$30(?) engraved mini baseball bats, the $10 hats and the $1 beads (not all of these items can be procured at that price in the Dugout Store). She also likes baseball cards (and Pokemon and Magic and Bella Sara) which I loathed because the Rockies Team Set of Topps baseball cards in 2013 cost $8 but had only about 12 cards. She also likes the foam fingers which she must get from her mother’s side. As an aside, kid-wise, we’ve never met Dinger. He’s usually around too early in the game, the line is usually too long, and even she gets bored waiting when there’s more Dippin’ Dots to devour.
The best value, hands down, period, is the Rockies Fireworks games. The Rockies typically have two of them a year, one around the All-Star Break and one during the last homestand of the year. For 2014, they have 3(!) games on July 3rd, July 4th and September 19th. If you get tickets in the left field pavilion or the Rockpile (you won’t), you can go on the field(!) with your daughter(!!!) and even lay down a blanket picnic-style to watch the show. And yeah, they usually put on an awesome fireworks show. That’s one of those things worth a splurge even with a concession to the convenience fee.