DENVER -- Denver geared up for Opening Day, Rockies style. And the Rockies didn't disappoint. They beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 1995. Colorado was all alone in first place in the National League West Division Friday night.
Crews inside and outside the ballpark spent all day Thursday prepping lower downtown for the influx of fans it received Friday afternoon. Up to 100,000 filtered into the area for the opening day atmosphere at restaurants and bars or to pack Coors Field for the game itself.
New this year, all ticket holders will be required to go through metal detectors. Lines were long and some fans said it took them an hour to get in the park. There were glitches reported and word from the stadium that some of the metal detectors didn't work and had to be shut down. Fans were warned ahead of time the added security would slow the lines at the gates.
The advice is to get to the stadium early if you're planning to attend the games Saturday and Sunday as the Rockies play the Chicago Cubs all weekend.
Pregame festivities began about 1:30 p.m. Friday and included a military jet flyover and were capped with Denver police officer John Adsit being honored and his son throwing out the first pitch.
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With such large crowds, Denver is stepping up safety and security. Thursday, a team of bicycle paramedics from Denver Health did a dry run of the area.
Two mobile paramedics were stationed inside the stadium during the game. They keep basic lifesaving and first aid materials on them. The bicycles allow the first responders to navigate more easily and quickly through the crowds.
Local businesses such as Blake Street Sports said they are looking forward to a bigger-than-usual Opening Day crowd. The Rockies fan store said it spent a month getting its stock ready.
“(Friday) is our biggest day of the year,” the store's owner said. “It’s going to be a zoo. Especially since the Rockies are playing the Cubs, (Friday) there are going to be even more people than in previous years.”
It also didn't hurt that the Rockies went on the road to start the season in Milwaukee by winning all three games.