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Coors Field Is the New Wrigley Field

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COMMENTARY | You could picture Dick Monfort beaming during a recent interview, utterly pleased with his vision of the future for the Colorado Rockies.

The team's owner, chairman and CEO wasn't discussing a meaningful signing, an intriguing prospect ready for the big leagues, or a dogged pursuit of offseason pitching help. Monfort was describing the plans for the new bar he's adding in the right-field bleachers.

Mind you, it promises to be an especially cool bar. It will boast 38,000 square feet of room for rooftop drinking, complete with a specialty burger chain, plenty of Coloradans' favorite craft brews, and a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains.

But, essentially, the ownership's primary focus this offseason is putting in new beer taps at Coors Field.

Who can blame him?

The stadium on Blake is starting to look a lot like the one on West Addison.

Fans continue to waddle into the stadium in droves to watch a last-place team bumble its way through 81 home games.

Like Wrigley Field, Coors is a place where losing baseball is not only tolerated; it's celebrated. Exactly 2,793,828 souls filed through the turnstiles in 2013, according to Baseball-Reference.com, to watch the Rockies finish in the cellar of NL West.

Those same attendance totals show that the Rockies and Cubs finished 10th and 12th in attendance, respectively, out of the league's 30 clubs. Both were well ahead of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Tampa Bay -- all playoff teams. That's despite the Rockies and Cubs having a combined record of 140-184.

You could argue that Colorado and Chicago have more devoted fans, people willing to stick with the team despite its failings. More likely, though, Coors and Wrigley offer nice venues where people can enjoy a few beers and casually catch a few innings on sunny summer days.

If that's the case, there's not much point in the owner worrying about the quality of the on-field product. Ticket sales won't be affected if the team continues to rot on the vine, so why not make Coors the newest rooftop tavern in LoDo? Instead of darts and pool, this one will have real major league players.

After all, building a new bar is easier than building a winning team.

Chris Cobb is a journalist and freelance writer, and a Colorado native. He has previously written for The Herald-Zeitung and The Brownsville Herald, and has twice been named as Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

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