THE BLOG

Budget Woes Meet the Blake Street Boys -- Rocktober Here We Come!

12/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Every year the mayor of Denver presents his annual budget to the city council in October. This year, Mayor Hickenlooper had to deliver a budget that served up some especially depressing numbers to work with. But thanks to our Blake Street boys in purple and black, this October is turning into a Rocktober that will be good for all of Denver -- even if you aren't a baseball fan.

Aside from the obvious good sporting news that the Rockies are going to the playoffs and have a great shot at being division champions, there is no question that the Rockies have energized the city and lower downtown. My office is within lengthy walking distance from the stadium and I was actually happy yesterday when I found myself stuck in the pedestrian, bike and car traffic leaving the game in which the Rocks sent the Brewers home after beating them three games in a row.

Visit Denver tells me that the last time the Rockies were in the playoffs in 2007, every home game generated a jump in revenues of about $2.5 million dollars. So aside from enjoying great plays on the field like an 11th inning walk-off home run by catcher Chris Iannetta or a Clint Barmes acrobatic dance away from being tagged between first and second, you should also be enjoying the fact that the Rockies' success is great for our economy. The bump in revenue generated from home playoff games will go to Denver and the five other counties in the Denver Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District at the end of the year.

I have to shout out a big thanks to the voters that decided to build Coors Field because LoDo's vibrancy is testament to the economic impact that the stadium has on our city. When the Rockies are packing Coors Field, they are also packing the restaurants, shops and venues downtown and the entire city benefits.

The Rockies success couldn't come at a better time because our restaurants and night clubs have been feeling the sting of this economy as much as anyone, so it's a real blessing to have such an exciting draw to bring people from all around the region -- and perhaps the country -- into Lower Downtown.

I think there is also something to be said for the inspiration the Rockies give Denver and the whole state. This has been a tough year. I think the benefit goes beyond the economic stimulation. Not many people gave the Rockies much of a chance this year. Many of us enjoy the fact that despite being down on their luck, the Rockies stuck with it and worked hard to turn things around. It's great to see that these days.

I think that we all can recognize that the Rockies' stadium has been an immeasurable asset to Denver's lower downtown area. Since Coors Field opened in 1995, taxable sales have increased by about $40 million dollars and housing in the LoDo, Ballpark and Central Platte Valley has increased by nearly 4,800 units. Even during the year prior to the opening of Coors Field, sales tax in Lodo spiked up 86% according to the Downtown Development Partnership's Economic Impact Study on Downtown Denver Sports.

Thankfully, those of you that participated in deciding on where to locate the stadium nearly twenty years ago were thoughtful enough to give serious consideration to how to use the new stadium to highlight some of the best features Denver has to offer -- including our gorgeous Colorado mountain views.

Now that we're in the playoffs, the Rockies games will be seen on national television across the entire country instead of just in Colorado and the visiting team's state. I'm so thankful that my colleagues joined me a couple months ago in memorializing the iconic view plane from the stadium to the Rocky Mountains. I'm glad that we could support the Stadium District with the view plane and am especially thrilled that the Rockies are now supporting our economy with their success. Happy Rocktober everyone!