Just as there have been many changes to make improvements in positions on and off the field for the Colorado Rapids in the past six months, there has also been a behind-the-scenes focus on improving the fan experience at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“We’ve worked extremely hard to elevate ourselves as a club this off-season,” said Rapids Senior Vice President Wayne Brant. “While a lot of the public focus over the past few months has been on the overhaul we’ve undergone on the technical side, we’ve also made some great strides in improving the overall fan experience as DICK’ Sporting Goods Park as well. Some things, like new LED boards, will be more visible than others, but for fans familiar with the in-stadium experience, there will be a ton of new, noticeable upgrades. It’s a part of what makes this year’s home opener so exciting.”
This guide describes the changes that have been put in place, as well as a few other things that will be new on Saturday that you’ll want to plan for.
Increased Security Measures (aka come a little earlier to account for these changes): Metal detectors, security dogs (THAT YOU CAN PET), and bags must be smaller than 14”x14”x6” to be allowed through the gates.
Rapids Tailgate Live: A new digital pre-game show set to be broadcast by the Colorado Rapids ahead of every home game and hosted by Connor Cape and Jordan Angeli. It will be filmed outside of Eighteen76 on the south end of the stadium and will start about an hour and 15 minutes before kick-off. Rapids Tailgate Live will feature exclusive content, lineup announcements, player & guest appearances, fan interaction, giveaways, and more. (Eighteen76 will also offer $3 Budweiser and Bud Lights for anyone in Rapids gear, starting two hours before kick-off.)
C38 Tailgate: They’ve reworked the tailgate space for safety, and there will be a guest (usually a player) for the podcast before every game.
RTD: Get a local day pass and jump on the A-Line commuter rail at Union Station in Denver, heading eastbound. Get off at the Central Park Station and transfer to the RTD Rt. 62 bus. Take the bus all the way to the DSGP stop on the northwest side of the stadium. It should take about 30 minutes from Union Station to arriving at Dick’s.
New Food: GB Fish & Chips has moved into DSGP in/next to Eighteen76, and Marco’s Pizza is adding cheesy bread and cinnamon square to their menu. “Extreme” hotdogs will also be served up near Section 108. (The Mile High Dog: green chili, shredded cheese and jalapeños. The California Dog: sliced avocado and jicama slaw. The Chicago Dog: sport peppers, tomato, cucumber, diced onions, pickle spear, spicy brown mustard and celery salt.)
New Murals: Check out the new artwork near Gate E (hint: it’s the mural in the feature photo).
Stadium Upgrades: Sideline LED boards! Enhanced pyrotechnics! Giant flags! A new rigging system so we can see C38’s tifo better!
Mountain Roads: The lyrics will be displayed on the big screen. Check them out here before the game:
Music: Jen Jones is the Rapids in-house DJ this year, so she’ll be at every home game.
Poster Series: There will be posters for sale again that are unique to the game for six home games. Each poster is $10 and proceeds benefit Kroenke Sports Charities. Proceeds from the first poster will go directly to help Kortne Ford’s mom, Laurie, in her fight against cancer.
Man of the Match: Fans will vote on the MOTM and C38 will deliver his oar on the field in front of Section 117. The MOTM will also visit the Summit Club after every game.
Player Appearance: A predetermined player will also visit Eighteen76 after every home match.
Locker Room Upgrades: The Rapids have updated the locker rooms, which includes the MLS Cup in the hallway so that players see it every day and are reminded of the end goal.
There has also been a new mural added to the visiting team locker room: