The game was necessary after both teams finished the season with identical win–loss records of 89–73. The Rockies won a coin flip late in the season, which awarded them home field for the game. Upon winning, the Rockies advanced to the NL Division Series where they swept the Philadelphia Phillies. After advancing, they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Championship Series, winning their first pennant in franchise history. However, the Rockies were, in turn, swept in the 2007 World Series by the Boston Red Sox, ending their season. In baseball statistics the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.
The 2007 season saw heavy competition between the Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks for the National League West divisional title. The Padres spent 52 days with at least a share of the lead, while the Diamondbacks spent 89 total days atop the division and ultimately won by a game with a record of 90–72. The Rockies spent just three days, last on April 6, with a lead in the division. Notably the Diamondbacks scored 20 fewer runs than their pitchers allowed, one of just five teams in MLB history to make the playoffs despite being outscored during the season.
In addition to the divisional race, the competition over the wild card continued to the last day of the season. Six teams in the 2007 National League finished within five games of one another: the aforementioned Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rockies along with the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets, and Chicago Cubs. The Diamondbacks, Phillies, and Cubs won the Western, Eastern, and Central divisions respectively. Meanwhile, the 2007 Mets underwent what was described in The New York Times as "one of the biggest collapses in baseball history", becoming the first team with a seven-game divisional lead with only 17 games remaining to finish outside of first place, losing the Eastern division to the Phillies on the final day of the season. Also, at 88–74, the Mets finished a single game behind the Rockies and Padres' 89–73 record in the wild-card race.
While the Padres had been a consistent presence amongst the league's top teams during the 2007 season, the Rockies finished the first half with a .500 record of 44–44. They propelled themselves into the wild-card race, however, by going 46–29 in the second half of the season including a Rockies' season-best 11-game winning streak from September 16 through September 27 and ultimately tied the Padres regular season record. With the Rockies and Padres holding the best non-division winning records in the league a tie-breaker was necessary to determine the wild-card winner. A coin flip conducted earlier that September set the Rockies' home park of Coors Field as the location for the game.