Whether you’re a soccer player yourself, a die-hard fan or soccer mom (or dad) looking to thrill the kids while on vacation, here's your guide to Denver’s soccer scene.
From March through October, soccer fans can see the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer Club shoot to score at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. One of the charter clubs of the league, the Rapids were founded in 1996 and went on to win the MLS Cup in 2010. The Fourth of July holiday home games are especially exciting, with one of the best fireworks displays in Denver immediately following the game.
Where to catch them: See them at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, located about 20 minutes northeast of downtown Denver. The field can seat up to 18,000-plus guests. It sits at an altitude of about 5,200 feet, is the highest-elevation stadium in Major League Soccer (MLS), and often enjoys sunsets behind the mountains to the west. Early season games in March and April (and even May) can see snow on the field, as can October matches, so come prepared. Food, drinks and team gear are all sold onsite.
Pre- and post-game hangouts: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is about 20 minutes from downtown, so your best bet for nearby eateries are at Northfield Stapleton. Here you’ll find Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, La Sandia Cantina and Tequila Bar, Texas Roadhouse and Brothers Bar & Grill, among others. Onsite at the stadium is Eighteen76, a bar and grill open two hours before events.
Get there by rail/bus: Grab an RTD Local Day Pass and jump on the A Line commuter rail at Denver Union Station in downtown Denver heading eastbound. Exit the commuter rail at Central Park Station and transfer to the RTD Route 62 bus. Take the Route 62 bus all the way to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park stop on the northwest side of the stadium. The estimated travel time from the Union Station stop is about 30 minutes.
Parking: If you opt to drive, the parking fee is already included in the price of each Rapids home game ticket, so no additional parking fees are required. There are several lots to accommodate fans.
Tailgating: You have a couple of organized options. Buy tickets through Centennial 38 to ride the party bus (starting at $10) out to the Dick’s Sports Goods Complex and enjoy legendary tailgating via a minimum $7 donation. You can also join the Rapids’ Tailgate Live show, which is televised in the stadium and on social media. The set is located in the studio at DSGP and also inside Eighteen76 on the south end of the stadium. The show features lineup announcements, player and guest appearances, fan interactions and giveaways.
DU Pioneers Soccer
The University of Denver is home to powerful men's and women’s college soccer teams. The DU Pioneers are Division 1 NCAA competitors that are nothing short of thrilling to watch on the home field. Producing pro players like MLS’s Andre Shinyashiki and National Women’s Soccer League’s Kristen Hamilton (and with tickets priced as low as $5), DU’s games offer an accessible way to catch exciting soccer in Denver. The season runs August to November.
Where to catch them: The Pioneers take to the pitch at the 2,000-seat University of Denver Soccer Stadium, which opened in 2009. It enjoys a scenic spot beneath the recognizable gold-spired Williams Tower on campus.
Pre- and post-game hangouts: As a college community, DU is surrounded by plenty of buzzing bars and pubs. Within walking distance is Asbury Provisions, serving up tasty seafood and upscale appetizers. As the name might lead you to believe, Crimson and Gold Tavern is a solid pre-game choice, as is The Pioneer, dishing out tacos and margaritas. For a memorable meal, Jerusalem Restaurant is a longtime favorite for its delicious and inexpensive Middle Eastern fare.
Get there by rail: From downtown’s Union Station, you can take the E/F/H light rail line to the University of Denver Station. Then it's about a 10-minute walk to the soccer stadium.
Parking: Parking is free in lot 108 or $5 at lot 103, which is closer to the stadium. Street parking can get congested in the neighborhoods surrounding campus, so arrive a little early to make sure you secure a spot.
Where to Watch Soccer in Denver
Soccer fans regularly congregate at Denver’s pubs and sports bars to scream and shout at screens all over town. Grab a pint and some British or Pakistani food at The British Bulldog, located in Lower Downtown (LoDo), and settle in among fellow fans. This go-to joint is known to open as early as 4 a.m. for World Cup viewings. The Sports Column, Celtic Tavern, Highland Tap and Burger, Stoney’s Bar and Grill and Blake Street Tavern are also reliable game-day choices. Call ahead for viewing times, specials and information.