With the U.S. Open Cup handed out last night to the visiting D.C. United there were two things that came to mind. I've never been jealous and sad of an opposing fan base as much as D.C. fans celebrating in Rio Tinto Stadium. On one hand they got to see a trophy presentation away from home but then they go back to their hotels after the hour long wait in the supporter section with a police escort and have literally only one bar to go too. And that bar is only open on weekends. Celebrating anything is hard in Utah. The best they can do is order some Big Daddy's pizza or hope In-N-Out is still open. Secondly, how would opposing fans celebrate in Denver and how is the experience going to change in Denver due to development?
Nowadays the closest hotel I would recommend to the stadium would be a few miles away that was used in days gone by for weary travelers from Stapleton Airport. That particular hotel overlooks the largest Planned Parenthood west of the Mississippi river. At least its safe because of the police presence for the protesters. Which I've driven by multiple times and let's just say that there signs don't foster a warm presence for visitors. But don't worry, there is a hotel going up at Central Park Blvd and I-70. Which should have shuttle service to the DSGP. So the Northfield development could benefit in multiple ways from visiting MLS supporters. It's with-in walking distance. Has multiple food establishments. There is a few late-night establishments. Northfield is missing breakfast places and a soccer bar. Most importantly the Light-Rail line from the airport to downtown will have a stop within walking distance of Northfield.
Mass transportation is now essential for a big city and this will be the only time I will compliment Salt Lake City. The Queen City of the Rocky Mountains has better mass transportation than Denver. Salt Lake City is a step ahead and will be for the foreseeable future. There is a walking distance stop for Rio Tinto Stadium (aka The Dirty River). I've ridden on TRAX in Utah and went from the Utah Jazz stadium in downtown Salt Lake to In-N-Out with a return trip to Trader Joe's. All- around a good experience. And their airport is connected to the light rail line. Something that Denver is still working on. The extension to Denver's rail should be done in time for the Rapids 2015 opener. But it would be nice to walk to the Light Rail station near my house and maybe get a shuttle from the Central Park station to the DGSP. Then either have a drink in Northfield or downtown Denver. As soon as the Northfield hotels open giving a boost to tourism in the area, the lonely signs in the fields around the parking lots at the Dick should begin to populate with businesses. Hopefully a soccer bar.
With the neighborhood south of Dick's Park being developed and mass transportation on the way it should be a boon for visitors and home supporters alike in the not to distant future.