Venue Review – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colorado (Denver)

Are you a Phish fans?  Have you heard of the F*ck Your Face, Most Shows Spell Something, Lushington, or Thank You shows?

Dick's Sporting Goods Park

Venue Street

600 Victory Way

Commerce City, CO 80022

http://www.dickssportinggoodspark.com/

Capacity: 27,000

If you have, then you might have heard of the Dick's Sporting Goods Park Park, or just "Dick's." If you are a fan of Phish, then there has been no doubt that you have heard people mention "Dick's." Built in 2007 this soccer stadium also plays host to some memorable events and concerts. Phish first started playing at this venue in 2011 and has become a regular summer tour closer for the band.

Amongst the Phish faithful, there are many venues which have a revered phistory such as Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, Hampton Coliseum, The Gorge Amphitheater, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and Madison Square Garden. These venues have hosted concerts of legend which are vividly recalled and stories from within are shared like schoolyard baseball cards.

Since 2011, Dick's Sporting Goods Park both earned and cemented its reputation with other historic venues as a "must go to" or "it's on my list of venues to go to." Each Labor Day Weekend since 2011, Phish has played host to a three-day concert run at this venue marking the end of the band's summer tour.

DC Music Review staff have spoken with members of Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and they hope to have other bands perform at this venue since it has proven itself over and over again to be an exceptional venue with top-notch facilities and accommodations. We look forward to attending more concerts in the future at this venue.

The staff at DC Music Review is proud to share with you our venue review including many pro-tips to make your trip to Dicks extra special.

Amongst the Phish faithful, there are many venues which have a revered phistory such as , , , , and . These venues have hosted concerts of legend which are vividly recalled and stories are shared like school yard baseball cards.

Outside the Venue

Parking

Parking is $15 for each night and paid in cash when you enter the complex.  

Being Dropped Off at the Venue

You can be dropped off at the venue by entering the complex on Valencia Street from East 56th Avenue. Have the person dropping you off to tell the parking attendant that they are dropping off. The car will be instructed to make a U-turn. You can get out of the vehicle, and your ride can turn around without being charged.

Taxi / Shuttle Options

For taxi rates, please see hotel options below for some approximate taxi rates.

Dropping Off:

If you are using a conventional taxi, you should try to get dropped off on East 56th Avenue and walk into the venue. The lines are long and slow getting into the complex and waiting to get in will cost you significantly more.

Pick Up:

All Taxi services pick up from outside Gate H.  The venue has partnered with Lyft.

Lyft: You MUST be picked up from the designated spot outside of Gate H.  In fact, the Lyft program will not allow you to be picked up anywhere besides Gate H. We found that the Lyft rates were double what other taxi services were from Dick's.

Uber & Other Services (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER POST CONCERT) You can be picked up anywhere.  We found it was easiest to be picked up on Valentia Street between Trenton Street and East 59th Place.  In particular, it was easy to drop a pin next to where the road was blocked and then a taxi would simply perform a U-Turn to leave the venue.  It worked for us and so many others, it will work for you too!

Shakedown Street / Lot

None other than Phish Lyricist Tom Marshall sitting in with a local band at the Dick's Shakedown.None other than Phish Lyricist Tom Marshall sitting in with a local band at the Dick's Shakedown.

Would you like one Super Heady Taco or two?

We have rarely ever witnessed a "Shakedown Street" as large, diverse and energetic as the one you will find at Dick's. You will see many familiar vendor faces and will not run out of choices between food, drinks, and hard goods (such as t-shirts, posters, pins). Seriously, give yourself time to check out the lot scene at Dick's both before and after the show.

It is wild beyond belief. This lot scene, in particular, has not only the expected vendors but also several tents set up with live bands. In 2017 none other than Tom Marshall was found sitting in and singing with a local band.

Tailgating

The parking lot opens at 3:00PM

We do not think we have been to a venue with as incredible of a tailgate as the one that occurs each day at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.  People definitely bring their A-Game.  You can expect people to have tables filled with delicious food and drinks.  You should expect to see many barbecue pits going and the smell of delicious grilled food amongst other things wafting through the air.  In addition to nearby supermarkets, you may want to go to Stanley's Marketplace or Denver Central Market, amongst other places, to pick up delicious food for your tailgate. 

One anecdote, on the last night of the 2017 Phish run, one tailgater was yelling "we got fresh bratwurst for sale here!"  When people asked how much it was to which the grill master would respond with a wry smile "The bratwursts are free, I only charge you for your time.  You just have to be patient and wait for these to be finished grilling!"

Camping

There is camping at Dick's Sporting Goods Park where you can be minutes away by foot from the venue. This camping is relatively inexpensive, clean, with showers, water, ATM's, and has their own general store. Most importantly, the venue is very secure (when you purchase camping, you will receive a camping wristband. There is a security checkpoint and only those with Camping wristbands are permitted in the camping area).

Both RV and car camping is available at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. In 2017, camping costs $90 per person for the three-day event. At an additional cost, RV's were required to have a $60 parking pass, while those coming in with cars parked their car separately from their campground in Section R.

Please read more about camping at Dick's Sporting Goods Park at the venue's website here .(Because the link is only around a few months before and after event we preserved it as a PDF in March of 2018). It is quite comprehensive and useful.

The Venue

First and foremost let's familiarize you with the configuration of the venue. Although this venue is not very large, it still hosts 27,000 people for a concert so becoming familiar with the venue, and our recommendations are key.

The venue has two seating options, Floor General Admission and Stands General Admission. We found that in general people in the stands would hold your seats or space for you and were kind and respectful individuals. People would keep your seat during a bathroom break. We found that the back part of the floor was the same way, however as you move closer to the stage, jockeying for position can be a little more aggressive, In fact, in 2017 a fight broke out near the stage and was on display during the Phish Webcast intermission for all to see. You might be surprised to find that many people you sit next to in the stands have come up from the floor to have a more relaxing concert experience.

Dick's Sporting Goods Park Map

Best Entrance

If you want to come into the venue after exploring "Shakedown" / The Lot scene, we recommend coming in through gates F & G.  In particular, Gate G seems to be the fastest to enter through personal experience.

Official Vendors

We list this section so high only because the first thing many people are interested in is "Where are the posters?" Official event merchandise is available outside Sections 121 and 114.  

Special Note:  There are two lines, one for posters (and sometimes coins) and another one for all other merchandise. Please choose the appropriate line.

Navigating Inside The Venue

The venue layout is relatively straightforward. However, because there are so many food & drink services available it makes navigating the venue a little tricky. Here are a few pointers tips:

The south end of the venue, furthest from the stage between  Section C through F are exceptionally dense and slow to traverse. If you do need to traverse from one side of the venue to another we suggest the following alternative.

Getting From One Side of the Venue to Another (East To West)

Generally, we prefer taking the skyway between Sections 100 & 135. The walkway is by far the easiest and least populated part of the venue. (It also hosts facilities with the shortest lines.) The only time it is closed down during the show is while the artists come on and off the stage as per the artists' request.

Sound

There are very few bad seats for sound in the venue. There are occasional seats that have peculiar acoustics. We  we did sit in Section 108 and could hear the snare drum's echo off of the stadium with a slight delay.

Bathrooms

FIELD:  There ARE NO bathroom access directly from the field. You will have to come to the facilities in the stadium and then have to re-enter the floor wrist band check point.

STANDS:  The shortest lines for bathrooms are on the north side of the venue near the SkyBridge between Sections 100 & 135.

Water Bottle Refill

Please bring an empty water bottle (security recommends a clear Nalgene water bottle for expedited security checks.)

The south side of the venue, "The Cantina" side is a huge choke point and is the most difficult to navigate.

Food

Food was plentiful, but the lines are long inside the venue. We recommend the food locations at the far north of the stadium next to the sky bridges. But with all the delicious and plentiful food located in the lot, how could you possibly still be hungry?!?

Hotels

No Hotel Experience is Complete without a Surrender To The Flow left outside your door!

We recommend the following hotels for people attending concerts at this venue. We recommend them from personal experience and the experience of trusted friends. In some hotels, you will even find a delivered to your door in the morning instead of a local or national newspaper. (Bet you never thought that was even a possibility did you?)

Embassy Suites Denver Stapleton

4444 Havana Street

Denver, CO 80239

(303) 375-0400

The most convenient hotel to the venue is Embassy Suites Denver Stapleton. This hotel is only 3.5 miles away from the venue, and it is sold out usually by October of the prior year reaching 100% capacity. The staff puts 100% energy and effort into making sure every concert attendee is beyond happy with their stay here. We cannot stress how helpful and pleasant the staff is and how much they make your stay extra special. Despite there being a central atrium, the rooms are very quiet inside your suite.

Taxi To/From Venue:  Approximately $20

Notes: Free Shuttle To & From the venue. Free Breakfast included with stay and made to order omelets. Free happy hour (before the concert is a must)

Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center

650 15th Street

Denver, CO 80202

(303) 436 1234


The Hyatt is 10-13 miles away from the venue (depending on the route taken). Many attendees to shows at Dick's Sporting Goods Park come here because of it's location and convenience to attractions downtown.


Taxi To/From Venue:  Taxi rides after the show were approximately $40.

Notes:  Very close to RiNo and for after show events. After the last show of the 2017 Phish run, Mike Gordon was spotted outside of Cervantes interacting with concert goers.

Additional Resources

To see a complete list of all Phish performances at Dick's Sporting Goods Park refer to Phish.net

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Disclaimer: DC Music Review, nor any of its staff were paid to endorse the stores mentioned in this article. The mention and recommendation of these entities are based purely on our personal experience or those of friends of the staff.

About the author

Jason Herman

A 24x7 member and Photo Editor of DC Music Review. Jason has been passionate about music since his earliest days and is especially excited about the music scene around his adopted hometown, Washington DC. With over 35 Grateful Dead and 80+ Phish shows, and countless music festivals under his belt, you can find him at concerts around the country but especially in his adopted hometown of Washington, D.C. Before turning his lens to music, Jason followed professional cyclists around the U.S. Domestic Circuit to the tallest mountains in Europe.