The Colorado Rapids have had a pretty amazing season so far en route to leading the race for Supporters Shield and look good to make the playoffs. The Rapids front office has done a great job in getting quality players to help to improve the squad and it has paid dividends for the team.
The Rapids play at a pretty amazing facility in Dick's Sporting Goods Park with views of the Mountains and the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge but the staff at Burgundy Wave got to thinking:
What could make the park even better?
So here are some thoughts from the staff here at the Wave on how we might make the park that much better:
From Rapids Rabbi, Assistant Managing Editor of Burgundy Wave
I'd change the food. Aramark is pretty old school: dogs, burgers, pizza, pretzels, nachos. None of it is good, or healthy. Vegetarian options are pretty scant. In the sports landscape of the 1980s and 90s, you could offer junk food bathed in sodium and folks would be fine with it. But in 21st Century America, when other local stadiums have multiple restaurants on premises, lots of healthy options, innovative menus, and the overall belief that a sporting event is a full entertainment experience, $8 for crappy pizza doesn't really cut it.
One fix is having DSGP expand the menu options. Another is to bring in a rotating cast of food trucks to offer things in the DSGP parking lot before games; maybe even during, and start allowing stamped re-entry. A last option is to bring a rotating cast of food trucks onto the North Terrace, since those stands are collapsible.
From Rapids South Stands:
Two things I'd change. First, the scoreboard (or whatever you call it). The Rapids and KSE should invest in a bigger board comparable to other venues. I already enjoy what they put on display, but a bigger board would just enhance an already good thing and add needed atmosphere and electricity to the crowd.
Secondly, development around DSGP. So much land, so much potential. Spend the money and make DSGP the place to be hours before the game. Eateries, shopping, places to hang out--let's do this!
From Mile High Soap Box:
The one thing I'd change is the food. It is so stadium like. There isn't really much of a selection. The other MLS stadiums that I have been to have had more selection and opportunities for different, local flavor of food. The bbq in Kansas City and the food trucks in San Jose are two good examples. Provide some good choices for fans, with good service and they will take advantage of it.
Now if I had two more votes... Get some better benches for the players, it is a joke to play international matches at Dick's and they are sitting on metal benches. The electronic boards around the stadium pitch will be a good addition also.
Seats would be nicer than benches. For spectators, but also for teams, like when international games come to DSGP ;)
I think ticket prices are kind of expensive for families/the casual fan/lower income. I don't mind paying it, but $29 for the cheapest ticket is a lot for families or fans in a lower income bracket, which is the Commerce City demographic. I've also actually heard people say it's expensive when they could pay $6 for a ticket to the Rockies (though I know it's more complicated across sports/stadium size/etc.). The 7-11 deal was great, but they discontinued it this year, which was kind of a bummer.
From John Rosch, Managing Editor of Burgundy Wave
I guess I look at this as what is the overall experience at Dick's? What are we trying to achieve? Do we want to be known as a place that sells typical stadium food? Do we want to be a place where players sit on metal benches rather than actual seats on the field?
If I could change these things, I would. I think the overall experience at DSGP is good, but a better food selection, seating for players, and a better pre-stadium atmosphere can go a long way to increasing attendance and continue enforcing the idea that Dick's is a fortress and a place that you do not want to be a visiting team at.