Today is the Rockies home opener and for the first time since 2019 fans will be in the stands for a game.
ALAN GIONET: Opening day for the Rockies takes on new significance during the pandemic. I'm Alan Gionet.
KAREN LEIGH: And I'm Karen Leigh. Thanks so much for being with us tonight. It is a big day-- first time fans have been back in Coors Field in 550 days. Shawn Chitnis joins us in LoDo tonight. Shawn, businesses and fans of course couldn't be happier.
SHAWN CHITNIS: Alan and Karen, a lot of people out here having a great time. If you take a look behind me, you can see the block that is just south of Coors Field along Blake Street. Plenty of people on both sides clearly eager to get back into this neighborhood, get back outside, enjoy the weather, and of course support the Rockies. The sounds, the smells--
- Our tacos asada.
SHAWN CHITNIS: --all part of the scene in LoDo for opening day.
- It feels great, finally. We've been waiting so long.
SHAWN CHITNIS: A familiar sight so many have gone without for more than a year, especially hard for the most loyal fans.
- 20,000 fans is better than none, you know. And I've come to every opening day since '93.
SHAWN CHITNIS: Vendors grateful for the chance to build up their businesses again.
- Amazing. We love it. We needed this. We need to get out here and work, serve Denver some of our best tacos we have out here.
SHAWN CHITNIS: Not just those who depend on downtown, but others who are looking to start something new.
- On a day like today, I figured, why not get the party started on the street?
SHAWN CHITNIS: And bar after bar with a line to get in and enjoy the festivities before and after the game.
- Feels good to be around and just see people. We can't see their smiles yet, but at least we can see their eyes.
SHAWN CHITNIS: While it looked and felt different for fans, the people who rely on baseball for business say it was just what they needed.
- The people have really been turning out. Everything has been great since early in the morning.
SHAWN CHITNIS: And even in a pandemic, some traditions remain.
- It's going to be a, you know, day thing. Haven't been out much to do anything other than shopping.
SHAWN CHITNIS: While additions along Blake Street may become something more to look forward to all season.
- It's a beautiful day, and I'm just glad that we can start coming back out, living our lives.
SHAWN CHITNIS: And so you can see plenty of people still willing to wait outside, enjoy the weather, and take their time to get inside to the different restaurants and bars that are here along Blake Street. If you are going to be heading into the area, keep in mind that some streets have been closed off. Denver Police monitoring the situation, trying to control traffic, but clearly a lot of activity, and a lot of celebrating that's going to continue into the evening. Live tonight in Downtown Denver, Shawn Chitnis, covering Colorado First.
- It's just a--