Broncos Stadium at Mile High – Denver Broncos
Broncos’ Mile High Experience
Broncos Stadium at Mile High is home to the NFL’s Denver Broncos. The stadium was built in 2001 to replace the 53-year-old multi-purpose Mile High Stadium – the old facility is now the parking lot for Broncos Stadium as the two stadiums basically switched locations. The stadium was largely paid for by taxpayer money, and most of the taxpayers and fans wanted the stadium to keep the name Mile High Stadium. However, in a world of corporate sponsorship Invesco paid $120 million for the naming rights of the stadium, so the venue was officially named Invesco Field at Mile High from 2001-2011, before becoming Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2011-2018. However, during that time Broncos fans continued to refer to the facility as new Mile High, thus making the current name of Broncos Stadium at Mile High almost perfect.
The playing surface at Broncos Stadium at Mile High is a 100 percent natural grass field made up of four different types of Kentucky Bluegrass over-seeded with perennial rye-grass. The Denver Broncos have a long and prosperous history dating back to their American Football days in the 1960s – they have eight conference championships and are 3-time Super Bowl Champions, having won Super Bowl XXXII (1997), Super Bowl XXXIII (1998), and most recently Super Bowl XL (2015).
The Rocky Mountain Showdown is played at Broncos Stadium at Mile High featuring the University of Colorado vs. Colorado State University. The game will be played in Denver thru 2019, before returning to the Colorado State campus in September 2020. The Rocky Mountain Showdown is currently the oldest rivalry in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I college football between two public universities in the same state that have a game named “University of _ vs. _ State University.
A Broncos Stadium at Mile High record crowd of 77,160 watched the Broncos lose to the Green Bay Packers 19–13 on Monday Night Football on the first play from scrimmage in overtime, on October 29, 2007.
Food & Beverage 4
There is a wide variety of food at Broncos Stadium at Mile High – many NFL stadiums have developed over-the-top menu choices with high prices, and Broncos Stadium is no different. For the 2018 season, Centerplate, the stadium’s food service contractor, introduced some unique menu items such as the BBQ Thunder Dog; the Thunder Dog is a foot-long hot dog piled high with tender and smoky chopped brisket, triple hot cheese sauce, fried onions, and a drizzling of sweet BBQ Sauce. This item is located near section 110 at Legends Grill along with Green Chili Mac n’ Cheese, which is a creamy bowl of white cheddar mac n’ cheese infused with spicy 505 Green Chile, and topped with slow smoked pork shoulder plus fried and green onions.
For pizza lovers there is also the oven-fired pizza sub – a slice of pizza meets a sandwich for a unique Mile High creation. Fans can choose delectable Italian meatballs or sausage, produced locally by Polidori Sausage, toasted on a hoagie bun and topped with marinara, pepperoni, and sliced mozzarella cheese. Of course, there is also basic stadium fare with the basic stadium prices, including items such as chicken sandwiches ($9), stadium dogs ($4.75), brats ($6), nachos ($5 and up), pretzels ($4.75), BBQ ($9), and regular pizza ($8). Other offerings include various styles of cheesesteaks, Rice and noodle bowls, burritos, and garlic fries.
For fans that want healthy offerings, there are also gluten free and vegetarian choices, the newest item being a vegetarian, non-GMO, and organic superfood-based Acai smoothie, topped with a full profile of dressings, fruits, and nuts. Acai’s jam-packed flavor and lasting energy make it the perfect solution for gameday, and fans can even add peanut butter or almond butter for extra protein. Alternatively, the concessions stands also offer a gluten-free turkey hoagie with tender smoked turkey breast, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato slices on a locally-produced gluten-free bun.
Coca-Cola products serve Broncos Stadium with prices at $5 for a regular-sized soda and bottled water, coffee, and hot chocolate at $4. Two value items for the budget-conscious fan are the bottomless popcorn and bottomless soda at $9 each.
Alcohol can be found in abundance around the stadium keeping lines short, so fans can easily and quickly purchase a beer or cocktail. The domestic beers, such as Coors and Budweiser, are $7.75 for draft while premium draft is $2 more, wine is $7, and a frozen margarita is $8.50. There are also plenty of micro-brew choices for fans that enjoy a different beer experience.
The atmosphere to every NFL or college game begins with pre-gaming or tailgating. In Denver, the fans continue the long-standing tradition of tailgating throughout all stadium parking lots, but spaces fill up quickly so arrive early. However, if you want to have pre-game without the hassle a long day of tailgating entails, then visit the Noble Energy Sports Legends Mall. The Noble Energy Sports Legends Mall on the south end of the stadium is a grand lawn that provides an on-site festival and event area with a permanent stage, utility service, and other necessary requirements for activities to take place. During Broncos games the area offers fans a variety of interactive activities, music, and a beer garden.
While you are out in Legends Mall you can cheer the Broncos players as they enter the stadium at the South/West Tunnel located below the Gate 10 area, and you can also enjoy Mile High Village. Mile High Village is the Broncos official pre-game tailgate party (taking place in Mile High Village), and is free for all fans with a game ticket; entry is permitted at Gate 4 starting at 11:30 am for day games and 3:30 pm for night games. Fans can also gain early entry into the stadium to catch a glimpse of pre-game player warm-ups and enjoy food and drink specials, and prior to kickoff, the pre-game festivities have a full schedule.
The Stampede start the pre-game show about 20 minutes before kickoff, with the Denver Broncos Stampede drumline and brass band performing the “Broncos Fight Song” along with the Broncos cheerleaders. The Thunderstorm comes on shortly after the Stampede, and consists of 4 skydivers parachuting into Broncos Stadium. The Broncos are then introduced after the visiting team enters the field from the player tunnels on the south side of the stadium, and then the national anthem ceremony introduces members of each military branch as they march onto the field, followed by a jet flyover during most games.
The fans are engaged throughout the game by the PA announcer, and on key defensive plays fans stomp their feet on the metal flooring, creating a loud buzzing sound throughout the stadium. This has been a tradition that started at the old Mile High Stadium when the seating was on metal bleachers. The main scoreboard also shoots off flames after a Broncos score – the scoreboard is on the southern end of the stadium with the Bronco horse rearing on his hind legs on top of it. Overall, the fans decide how the atmosphere continues throughout the game, and Broncos fans are one of the best in the NFL.
The neighborhood surrounding Broncos Stadium at Mile High is the Sun Valley neighborhood. The Sun Valley neighborhood is just outside of the downtown area across Interstate 25. While the area doesn’t offer the immediate amenities of Coors Field, you are only a short walk or a light rail ride from the LoDo District, and there are a few places near Pepsi Center that are worth a visit such as Breckenridge Brewery, Brooklyn’s, or Ted’s Montana Grill.
Just past Pepsi Center towards 16th Street Mall is Union Station. Union Station isn’t just a place for public transportation but a place of restaurants and shops. A popular place just a block from Union Station is on Wynkoop St; The Wynkoop Brewery. This brewery has lots of great food and beverage options. ChopHouse & Brewery Denver, Icehouse Tavern, and Rodizio Grill are other restaurants to visit; from there just head north to Union Station and take the light rail two stops up to the stadium.
The 16th Street Mall has a lot of restaurants and bars along its 1.2-mile path, and the 16th Street bus is free from Union Station to the Colorado State Capital. This may seem like a lot of walking but the trolley and Union Station being only 2 stops away from Broncos Stadium makes these very accessible, and the best option before or after a Broncos game. Denver also has plenty of hotels, downtown or north of the stadium, by the I-25/I-70 interchange. One of the closest to Broncos Stadium is near Pepsi Center, SpringHill Suites by Marriott. The choices all depend on one’s budget, but fans will have no problem finding a good hotel in their price range.
There are a few tourist places within walking distance of Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Museum of Cultural Arts, and the Children’s Museum of Denver are all options, along with the state capitol, however, sports fans should check out the other winter sports teams in Denver. The Pepsi Center is home to the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, and a sports fan may be able to take in one of those contests during the Broncos season, since basketball, hockey, and football season all overlap.
Denver is a wonderful city year-round, and although the immediate neighborhood around Broncos Stadium isn’t necessarily inviting for fans, a short walk or light rail ride can put fans into great restaurants, breweries, and attractions.
Denver Broncos fans have sold out every home game since 1979 – they are averaging 76,504 fans a game this season, which is 100.5% of the seating available, and if that isn’t impressive enough, the Denver Broncos Reserved Season Ticket Waiting List currently has over 84,000 names.
The fans are energetic, loud, and very engaged throughout the game with the public-address announcer. One of the engagements is heard after a Broncos’ first down; the announcer will say “and that’s another Denver” and the crowd yells “first down!” The most popular engagement happens to be on the defensive side of the ball for the Broncos, however – the fan response can be heard throughout the stadium and possibly on TV whenever there is an incomplete pass by the opposing team. The PA announcer will say for example: Baker Mayfield pass intended for Jarvis Landry is…. And the crowd will yell: “In! Com! Plete!” This chant can be very annoying for visiting fans, but the Broncos have one of the most passionate fan bases – nearly all fans are wearing some sort of orange Broncos gear. Denver is no different than other NFL fan bases when it comes to visiting fans, however, so use smart judgement when deciding to engage Broncos fans with visitor team gear and behavior.
Broncos Stadium at Mile High is located adjacent to downtown Denver at the intersection of I-25 and Colfax Avenue. The advantages of being downtown are the options for public transportation and ample lodging. However, the parking can become an adventure – there are 6,500 onsite parking spaces at Broncos Stadium, with an additional 12,000 offsite. However, considering that most of these spaces require permits, that leads to an adventure for the out-of-town fan.
The stadium parking lots open 4.5 hours prior to kickoff, and these lots are on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $30 cash/credit. The best way to secure a parking spot is thru the NFL ticket exchange for parking permits. Parking in the neighborhood area is strictly prohibited and you are subject to tow by the city of Denver.
If driving, the traffic on I-25 will become a nightmare, but if you arrive early you will be able to get into the area without a wait. Try parking on the east side of the stadium at Pepsi Center or at the Auraria Campus for $10-$15. But public transportation is the best way to travel to a Broncos game – the options are numerous such as BroncosRide, Federal Shuttle, Light Rail, Uber/Lyft, a taxi, or even a trolley.
BroncosRide shuttles transport fans from park and ride lots throughout the metro area; round-trip fares are $4.50 to $10 depending upon your departure point. Buses depart park and ride lots starting 2.5 hours before kickoff for weekend games and up to 2 hours prior for weekday games, and meet fans after the game in Parking Lot A for the return trip. Tickets may be purchased at ticket vending machines or at ticket booths at select light rail stations.
The light rail is another great way to get to the stadium – the Broncos Stadium light rail stop is referred to as the Sports Authority Field at Mile High Station, but Decatur-Federal Station also provides direct access from the light rail to the facility, and regular one-way light rail fares apply. Fans should purchase a round-trip ticket at their initial boarding station to avoid delays after the game. The light rail does connect fans flying in for the game as well, with the light rail from Denver International Airport to downtown costing $10 each way; this is by far the cheapest way to connect from the airport to the stadium.
The general access gates at Broncos Stadium at Mile High open two hours prior to kickoff; gates for those with United Club or BMW Suite Level tickets open for access to the Club Lounges starting three hours prior to kickoff. Please utilize the gate indicated on your ticket when entering, and it is recommended that fans arrive at their gate 45 minutes prior to kick-off in order to get thru security screening measures in time. Prior to entering the stadium, all patrons will be subject to security screening, including metal detector screening and inspection of bags or other items carried in. Umbrellas are allowed into the stadium for use during inclement weather.
Broncos Stadium at Mile High is a clear-bag stadium; the Broncos encourage fans not to bring any bags, however the following will be permitted: one clear bag no larger than 12″ by x 6″ x 12″ or a one-gallon clear freezer bag (Ziploc or similar). In addition, fans may carry a small clutch bag or purse no larger than 6.5″ x 4.5″, with or without a strap. Each ticket holder, including children, may carry an approved clear bag and a clutch purse.
There is plenty of signage throughout the stadium property, and Broncos Stadium has spacious seating and the concourses are wide. The access in and around, despite the constant 76,000+ fans attending games, moves smoothly during and after the event.
Return on Investment 3
The Denver Broncos’ average ticket price is among the top 5 in the NFL, but the $297 average ticket price doesn’t keep Broncos fans away from the games, as finding tickets can be difficult despite the high cost. Denver Broncos’ tickets are a hot commodity in the Denver area – the Broncos have sold out every game since 1979, leaving many fans to obtain tickets thru third-party sellers. Tickets to games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High could even be considered one of the toughest tickets to obtain in the NFL.
Resale ticket prices vary depending on the opponent and the importance of the game, for example, the difference between the Browns and the Chargers for a regular season games is currently $20 – for a Browns game, upper deck seats can be bought for $85, while the higher price seating could reach $350. These prices are very good, however, when considering other games have a “get in” secondary market price of $160 and up. So basically, you must try to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale to get any relief from paying the mark-ups.
The food and beverage prices here are the typical over-priced stadium concessions that fans are used to throughout the NFL, but the parking is a minimal cost especially if you use public transportation. So overall, the return on Investment at Broncos Stadium at Mile High ends up about just hitting the average mark.
Broncos Stadium at Mile High is home to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which has free admission and is open year-round, and is located on the west side near Gate 1; you can also do the Broncos Stadium “behind-the-scenes” tour (75-90 minutes long) which has tickets starting at $25.
Mile-High Monument is a small replica of the old Mile High Stadium in the north side parking lot – this is the general area were the old Mile High Stadium once stood. The monument has seating and a video screen playing memories from the past stadium, and is open 30 minutes after the main parking lots open to the public.
The Broncos truly embrace their historic past, and there is plenty of evidence of this around the stadium. On the south side of the venue, adjacent to the Broncos Horse Fountain outside the stadium, and just behind the main scoreboard is the Ring of Fame Plaza – the Ring of Fame Plaza incorporates thirty-two 8’ steel monuments in honor of each of the Broncos Ring of Fame inductees. Symbolizing the historical pillars of the franchise, the monuments were forged from the same type of steel that was used to construct Mile High Stadium. In addition, every entrance offers free game programs; these small booklets include feature stories, rosters, stats, and photos of the cheerleaders.
The Denver Broncos have been around since the 1960s and are the oldest of the major 4 sports teams in Denver. The city of Denver is a year-round tourist destination, as people travel to the Mile-High City for either skiing or hiking. Although these are great reasons to travel to Denver, seeing a game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High is worth the trip. The atmosphere before the game, from the restaurants in downtown Denver, to the tailgating and pregame activities, to the final whistle, all make the trip to a Denver Broncos game truly a Mile-High Experience.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
1101 13th St
Denver, CO 80204
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown
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