With the first Colorado Rockies home game of the year now just a few days away, anticipation has set in for baseball in 2012. The die hard fans are looking forward to another year of games downtown, and hoping for a team that will be competitive well into late summer and fall. “Opening Day” is basically an unofficial holiday across the country. Many folks schedule this day off well in advance, or instead seem to come down with a brutal virus that causes them to miss work, but is amazingly gone by the following day…:)…With this year being the 20th edition of “Opening Day” in Lodo, lets take a look at what makes this annual “holiday” so festive for all of us Coloradoans. In no particular order, the 7 best things about Rockies Opening Day are…..
1 – People Watching - Although this list has no particular order, if it did, this would be #1. You wanna see every kind of person this planet has to offer? Hit up Lodo on Opening Day. Good looking people, Not so good looking people, old people, young people, thin people, not so thin people….you get the idea….Tens of thousands of folks slam into about a 4 mile radius, with many treating this as Denver’s version of Mardi Gras. Purple beads, skimpy clothing (it’s gonna be 71 degrees Monday!), and a whole lotta drinkin…..anywhere around The Sports Column or The Tavern should produce a few impromptu Jerry Springer episodes as well, with random drunks yelling at eachother as they stumble off the curb into oncoming traffic. When the game is over and people start heading home, there is so much trash on the ground everywhere in Lodo, that it looks like Waste Management went on strike for two weeks.
2 – Free Stuff - Whether its outside the stadium for hours before the game, or inside Coors Field during the game, free junk can be had by all. Opening Day is a great opportunity for local businesses to spread their word…..Tents on every corner, giving away stuff like energy drinks, lip balm, pens, and all sorts of other crap is the name of the game. Half of this stuff just ends up littering the streets, as people grab something that is free, only to realize it is now taking up valuable space in their hands where a cold beer could be instead.
3 – Patio cocktails - From experience, if you are planning on hitting downtown late morning and expecting to get into a bar that has a nice outdoor patio, you are screwed. The die hards know what I am talking about. The hot spots in Lodo tend to open up at 9am or earlier, with lines that have been forming for quite some time. The Tavern, Sports Column, and Lodo’s are just a few that will have packed houses all day long. If you are fortunate enough to get in, and get upstairs, patio cocktails on a nice day is a great way to soak up the Opening Day atmosphere. Don’t plan on texting anyone though, as last year the entire messaging system for every provider shut down for hours because of too many people trying to text in a given area. Nice.
4 – Potential 3 Day Weekend - Opening Day seems to always be on a Monday or a Friday…perfect for anyone who wants to make a 3 day weekend out of the whole thing. With this year it being on a Monday, it provides a nice cap to the weekend if ya have a few cocktails on Saturday, sober up and rest on Sunday, then have a few more cocktails on Monday with thousands of your closest friends. Very wise scheduling on the part of Major League Baseball….:)
5 – Baseball Season Begins - The Denver area is full of Rockies fans, who come out of hibernation each April to root on their team. Baseball season beginning signifies hope for all teams, freshly cut grass, expensive stadium beer, and summer being right around the corner. How did this city survive without a Major League team until 1993???
6 – Great Food - If you wanna chow down on Opening Day, Lodo is the place to be. Food carts galore, snacks being prepared out of the backs of trucks, and the typical restaurants and bar food is everywhere there. If you simply choose to have a liquid breakfast and lunch, then find you are staggering and in need of some grub before you enter Coors Field, snag some “Nancy’s Burritos” outside the stadium near the home plate entrance. A couple of those should soak up the patio margaritas you have been slammin since 10am.
7 – Our Great Downtown Area, Lodo - Don’t know how many of you all have been to other downtowns in the U.S., but ours is pretty damn great. The entire area of Lodo has it all, from great restaurants and bars, to awesome shops and architecture. This area of Denver was ugly and dead in the early 90′s, but the addition of the Colorado Rockies and Coors Field brought it to life. Enjoy it and soak it in Opening Day, Rockies fans, because Lodo didn’t used to look anything like it does today.
What do ya think, Rockies fans? Is this the definitive 7 Best Things About Rockies Opening Day? Feel free to add your comments, and any additions that should be made to this list. Any personal stories from past Opening Day’s are absolutely welcome…..just keep in mind….kids may be reading this….:) GO ROX!!!