Dick Monfort passionately wants Coors Field to be the crown jewel of major-league ballparks.

That was evident Wednesday afternoon as the Rockies owner conducted a media tour of The Rooftop, the stunning new party deck high above right field.

"The sightlines are truly incredible, and I think the food and amenities are top of the line," said Monfort, unabashedly proud of the views, brews and food that come with the $10 million addition to the ballpark at 20th and Blake. "Our fans love the park, but we know that with all of the TV now, sometimes it's easier to just stay home and watch a game. But we want people to come to the ballpark. It's important for our competitive edge to have a lot of people here cheering."

Monfort envisions The Rooftop becoming a place where a young-adult crowd congregates.

"Looking out, during games, at lower downtown with all of those rooftops just plum full of all of those young adults, we thought, 'Is there a chance we could do something like this?' " he said. "We spent a lot of money to get this, but I think we will get more fans, maybe even some different kinds of fans. I think it will liven up the park a bit. It think it will pizazz it up."

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Monfort, however, said he is well aware there is a contingent of Rockies fans who will object to The Rooftop, and the accompanying party atmosphere, believing the owner is more passionate about the ballpark than he is about putting a winning product on the field. The Rockies have finished last in the National League West for two consecutive seasons, have never won a division title and haven't made the playoffs since 2009.

"I don't know where they get that I'm not passionate about winning," Monfort said. "I think every year we spend every dollar we can on the team. I probably spend more time with the baseball guys than anybody else in my position (as an owner). I live and die by games."

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According to Monfort, money for The Rooftop came from a surplus of capital construction funds and also from money the Rockies and the Denver Metropolitan Stadium District received from Aramark and RTD. Aramark is the company that runs the food and beverage concessions at Coors Field. Money for stadium upgrades comes out of a different fund from the Rockies' payroll.

The club's projected payroll for the 2014 season is $95.8 million, ranking 17th in the majors. In 2013, the Rockies drew nearly 2.8 million fans to Coors Field (34,492 per game), ranking 10th in the majors.

While the debate will no doubt continue to rage about how much money the Rockies should spend on players, there can be no doubt that The Rooftop is a stunning addition to Coors Field.

The Rockies removed 3,500 seats in right field to make room for The Rooftop and the accompanying Rio on the Rocks at Coors Field.
The Rockies removed 3,500 seats in right field to make room for The Rooftop and the accompanying Rio on the Rocks at Coors Field. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)

It is a 38,000-square-foot, two-tiered party deck with spectacular views of the downtown skyline and the Front Range. The Rooftop replaces 3,500 right-field seats that sat empty for most of the season, save for special games such as fireworks nights. The Tavern Ballpark and the CHUBurger Colorado Craft Casual Grill are the two featured eateries and watering holes. The Rockies describe the area has having an "urban garden setting."

The Rooftop is designed for a standing-room only crowd, but the area also is open to all Coors Field ticketed guests. General-admission tickets to The Rooftop include a $6 concession/merchandise credit with each ticket. The cost is $14 per ticket, although the price goes up for premium games. For example, tickets for Friday afternoon's home opener cost $26. The Rockies plan to begin the season selling 2,500 general-admission tickets per game.

"We are going to see how it goes," Monfort said. "Friday will be a good test to see if that's too many GA tickets or not enough."

Patrick Saunders: psaunders@denverpost.com or twitter.com/psaundersdp


What's new at Coors Field?

Some highlights of offseason construction additions at the Rockies' ballpark:

A $10 million, 38,000-square-foot party deck in the right-field upper deck called "The Rooftop." About 3,500 seats were removed, and a two-tiered, standing room-only area was added.

The purple row of seats that runs around the upper decks at Coors Field at 5,280 feet above sea level now runs through the Rooftop area as a purple-painted steel beam and "5280" sign.

The Rooftop includes a Tavern Ballpark beer bar with 52 taps and a CHUBurger stand from Oskar Blues Brewery.

A Rio on the Rocks margarita bar in center field's second deck.

New signage throughout the concourses and entrance gates.

Nick Groke, The Denver Post