SBJ/February 11-17, 2013/Facilities

Rockies upgrading Coors Field

The Colorado Rockies are consolidating 12 skyboxes at Coors Field into four super suites and turning most of the press box into a new club.

The super suites and press box retrofit top the list of several upgrades to the 18-year-old ballpark for the 2013 season. All together, the projects total several million dollars, said Greg Feasel, the Rockies’ executive vice president and chief operating officer.

The volume of park upgrades are the most extensive in many years for Coors Field, which at 50,445 seats is one of MLB’s biggest stadiums.

The Rockies are converting 12 suites in the right-field corner just inside the foul pole into larger group spaces. As four single units, each super suite can accommodate up to 60 people.

Sliding glass doors between the suites can make room for
The Colorado Rockies are converting 12 suites in right field into larger group spaces. Elsewhere, a section of the press box is being made into a club.
Images: COLORADO ROCKIES (2)
even larger groups. Ticket prices are $150 a person per game and cover a catered meal and non-alcoholic beverages.

The new super suites follow the 2007 conversion of nine long-term skyboxes down the right-field line into three party suites. Team officials continue to see a demand for a single-game suite experience for companies that prefer not to buy a suite for 81 home games, Feasel said.

For the new press box club, two-thirds of the total space on the club level behind home plate is being converted into premium seats to be sold as a season ticket. There are 84 ticketed seats with high-end movable chairs, drink rails and an island bar in a casual atmosphere, Feasel said.

The ticket price is $175 a game per person, and like the super suite, the cost covers food and drink but no alcohol.

The Rockies modeled the new club after similar press box retrofits at Minute Maid Park in Houston and U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Feasel said. The decline in the print media business overall has resulted in MLB teams finding new ways to fill that space and generate new revenue.

Elsewhere in the park, the 168-seat Coors Clubhouse, the Rockies’ version of the diamond clubs at other MLB facilities, will have new seats 23 to 24 inches wide, about 5 inches wider than the original chairs installed 10 years ago when the club was built.

For better flow and to avoid having club-seat holders walk in front of others in the section, the Rockies relocated aisles to behind the seats and reduced the number of seats in some rows, Feasel said.

The backstop is being moved six feet closer to the field to make room for the changes. The Rockies also are renovating the lounge behind those seats, replacing old booths with large high-top tables. The refresh is more in tune with a Starbucks setting, he said.

The Warning Track Party Room, a group space at event level behind a chain-link fence in right-center field, also is being remodeled with a permanent bar and a shuffleboard table. The room has 85 seats priced at $100 per person a game, which includes food and drink.

Separately, a covered group picnic area behind the batter’s eye in center field is being redone as a kids zone targeted for families with young children.

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