By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– It may be the Home Opener for the Colorado Rockies, but this year is like no other at Coors Field. To begin with it is taking place on the last day of July instead of in the spring.

(credit: CBS)

This year, no fans are allowed inside to see the Rockies play the San Diego Padres. And businesses, like Ballpark Vienna Beef, right by the stadium are hurting.

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Owner Jeremy Williamson says he almost didn’t come to work, “It’s kind of depressing it should be opening day. I got tent city out here there’s like a bike theft ring going on across the street from me. It’s really hard to get customers down here right now.”

The streets normally filled with vendors are now filled with tents. Bars are open but at a fraction of their opening day business.

(credit: CBS)

Kyle Hesseltine, the manager of the Sports Column bar told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “This would normally be our busiest day of the year. We’ll do maybe a 10th of what we do on this day.”

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The Rockies are back, but signs of nearby businesses warn “Be sure to practice social distancing” and “Do not enter if you are sick,” to watch on TV. Nearly 100 years ago they played baseball during the Spanish Flu epidemic. And now they are trying to play again.

(credit: CBS)

Holly Redfearn is a ball fan with mixed emotions, “I’m glad there is baseball because it’s a distraction with everything else going on and I think it makes people happy, but it feels a little funny without fans in the stands. I would normally be there.”

Maybe eating hotdogs with other fans.

Steffen Sernstedt was at the Vienna Beef where he would sometimes pick up a pack of hot dogs to take into the ballpark, “Not today, the coronavirus thing puts a damper on everyone’s plans.”

(credit: CBS)

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They say you can’t beat fun at the old ballpark. Except this year, so far.

Rick Sallinger