Unique Opening Day Attracts High Parking Prices (And Weddings)

By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands made their way to downtown Denver Friday to celebrate the first home game of the season for the Colorado Rockies.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies stand on the field before the opening day game at Coors Field. (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

For hours, leading up to first pitch, many tailgated outside the stadium in parking lots. Some of those lots had fees surpassing $80.

“Last year we paid $50 for our parking spot,” said Leonard Salazar, a tailgater.

Salazar and his family paid the fee to park. Salazar said the tradition of making carne asada at a tailgate near the stadium couldn’t end, just because of prices.

“I definitely wouldn’t pay $80 if it wasn’t opening day,” Salazar said. “It should be regulated. They shouldn’t allow (lot owners) to charge whatever they want.”

For one couple, the $80 payment for a spot was cheaper than booking a ballroom.

colorado rockies home opener 1 Unique Opening Day Attracts High Parking Prices (And Weddings)

CBS4’s Dillon Thomas interviews Shalene and Selena. (credit: CBS)

“We got married at 9 a.m. this morning,” said Shalene Quintero.

Shalene and her new wife Selena scheduled their wedding around the game.

“Why not get married on your favorite day of the year?” Quintero said.

colorado rockies home opener 4 Unique Opening Day Attracts High Parking Prices (And Weddings)

(credit: CBS)

Parking spaces weren’t the only items with increased prices on resale. Approaching first pitch, tickets were being scalped for more then $100 a seat. Some elected to watch the game from nearby restaurants, with hopes the prices would drop as the game continued.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rockies Home Opener

Those too young to hand over money to attend opening day said they paid their own price.

“I told my teacher I was going to miss school,” Drae, an elementary school student said.

Drae told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas both he and his cousin only missed one home opener in 10 years. They always attend with their grandpa.

Their grandpa said the event continues to get more expensive. However, the memories made outweigh the cost.

“This is something we can do together,” Drae said.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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