After many years and several failed attempts, Colorado was picked in 1991 as one of two locations to receive expansion teams in the West Division of the National League. They were scheduled to begin play in 1993; however from the beginning the Colorado Rockies suffered from scandals that almost lost the state their newly won team before it ever took the field.
Embezzlement scandals centered on the two leaders of the advisory committee and buyers could not be found to take their shares of the new franchise. Finally, a buyer was found who took over the ownership group and saved the team shortly before they would have been forced to give up the franchise to Tampa, Florida.
Beginning in 1995, Coors Field became home to the Colorado Rockies who played at Mile High Stadium for their first two years. The venue has seating for more than 50,000 fans with 63 luxury suites and 4,526 club seats. When it opened, Coors Field was the first baseball only park to join the National League since 1962, and was the first park to feature an underground heating system.
The park also has a reputation as a hitter friendly park, giving up more homeruns than any other park despite unusually far outfield fences. It was found that the balls, being stored in dry air, were drying out and were therefore bouncing harder off the bat, flying further. The stadium installed a humidor to keep the balls in, lowering the number of homeruns nearly to the average of other fields.
Off the field, the Colorado Rockies are active in their community, visiting hospitals and schools and giving less fortunate children a shot at a brighter future. The team donates their time as well as tickets and memorabilia to children who are at risk, ill, or in state programs such as foster care. They are also involved in green initiatives, working with environmental agencies and the entire league to keep their emissions down and increase their recycling efforts.
Joining the team in their community efforts and cheering them on at every home game is Dinger, the team’s mascot. Dinger is a dinosaur who came to life in an unusual way. During construction of Coors Field, workers found several dinosaur fossils, including the skull of a triceratops. This discovery lead to the selection of the dinosaur as the mascot that fans love today.
For the last twenty years, the Colorado Rockies have worked hard to become a team their fans can be proud of. They may not win every game, but their efforts on the field and off have made this team one to love – entertaining, exciting, and helping the citizens of Denver and its surrounding areas all year long.