A rendering shows the new bar on the club level at Coors Field in Denver, one of several improvements for the coming baseball season. (Courtesy Colorado Rockies)
Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies have created a new indoor bar on the club level at Coors Field with a sustainable twist — wood-burned signs featuring the team’s mountain logo are made from trees destroyed by pine beetles.
The redeveloped space, on the Wells Fargo Club Level, midlevel down the third base line, converts an outdoor balcony into an indoor destination with a glass wall enclosure.
Beetle kill pine, the term describing the material used on the club level, is prevalent among decorative finishes in the space, said Michael Ray, an associate principal and senior architect with Populous. The wood was first used last year for initial concessions upgrades on the club level, and evidence of the beetle infestations can be seen on the signs, Ray said.
Over the past 20 years, pine beetles have destroyed 3.5 million acres of Colorado’s forests, representing close to 15 percent of the state’s pine tree population, according to local reports. The damaged wood, though, can still be used for building purposes, such as framing and paneling structures.
“It’s a great story to tell for the Rockies, one of reconnecting to the environment,” Ray said.
At Coors Field, the retrofit provides a facelift to a portion of the ballpark that had remained untouched since the stadium opened in April 1995. The new destination doubles the space of the old concessions setup. It still provides great views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown Denver without fans being exposed to the summer sun, which became an issue with the balcony, Ray said.
At Coors Field, the 2,700-square-foot bar is equipped with 16 beer taps and 13 new televisions. There is seating for 110 people with a mix of high-top bar stools, four-top tables and bigger tables for larger groups. All told, the space can fit 315 people, Ray said.
The Rockies drew inspiration for the bar retrofit after touring FirstEnergy Stadium, where the NFL’s Cleveland Browns expanded a club space enclosed in glass, said Greg Feasel, the Rockies’ executive vice president and chief operating officer. The Rockies are looking at building a similar bar down the first base line for the 2019 season, but nothing has been determined, Feasel said.
Separately, behind home plate on the club level, the control room for the videoboard was rebuilt to accommodate the new Daktronics board in left-center field. The room now features a window through which premium seat holders can observe the crews inside running the board’s electronics. SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves’ ballpark, which opened last year, has a similar setup on a public concourse.
“Now, you can see into the brain trust of the control room,” Ray said. “It’s a dynamic, high-tech space and a neat amenity, and you can actually see all the way through to the field.”
Elsewhere at Coors Field, a portion of the Rooftop, the popular general admission space in the upper deck copied by multiple MLB teams, has been rebranded as the Silver Bullet Bar. As part of the new agreement, MillerCoors gave up its sponsorship of the Coors Clubhouse, the 168-seat premium lounge behind home plate. Infiniti now holds naming rights to that club, Feasel said.
Feasel would not disclose renovation costs other than to say the new videoboard cost more than $10 million.