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Coordinates: 39°44′38″N 105°1′12″W / 39.74389°N 105.02000°W / 39.74389; -105.02000

Empower Field at Mile High
Empower Field logo.svg
Sports Authority Field at Mile High AFC Championship game.jpg
Exterior view of the stadium (c.2014)
Former namesInvesco Field (2001–11)
Sports Authority Field (2011–18)
Broncos Stadium (2018–19)
Address1701 Mile High Stadium Circle
LocationDenver, Colorado
Public transitRTD:
Tram interchange  C   E   W 
at Empower Field at Mile High
OwnerMetropolitan Football Stadium District
Executive suites132
Capacity76,125 (football)
up to 60,000 (concerts)
SurfaceKentucky Bluegrass[1]
Construction
Broke groundAugust 17, 1999
OpenedAugust 11, 2001
Construction cost$400.9million
($615 million in 2019 dollars[2])
Architect
Project managerICON Venue Group[3]
Structural engineerWalter P Moore[4]
Services engineerM-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor
[4]
Tenants
Denver Broncos (NFL) (2001–present)
Colorado Rapids (MLS) (2002–06)
Denver Outlaws (MLL) (2006–19)

Empower Field at Mile High (previously known as Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Invesco Field at Mile High and Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and commonly known as Mile High,

Empower Field at Mile High (previously known as Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Invesco Field at Mile High and Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and commonly known as Mile High, New Mile High or Mile High Stadium) is an American football stadium in Denver, Colorado. The stadium is nicknamed Mile High due to the city's elevation of 5,280 feet (1,610 m).[6]

The primary tenant is the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). It opened in 2001 to replace the Broncos original home, the old Mile High Stadium. Empower Field carries on the tradition of the old Mile High Stadium as being one of the most difficult stadiums to play in for opposing teams. Given the difficulty of competing at altitude as well as the notoriously loud fans, the Broncos are known to have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. Since its opening, the stadium has been home to the Denver Broncos, the Denver Outlaws lacrosse team as well as the Colorado Rapids soccer team. It has also played host to countless concerts and even served as the venue for Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination to the Presidency.

Financing

Legislative Effort

The Broncos pursuit of the new stadium included a lobbying effort that included 13 lawyers and tens of thousands of dollars. This effort was directed at the passing of SB 171 which put Referendum 4A on the November 1998 ballot. SB 171 was sponsored by Representative Doug Dean (R) from Colorado Springs. Members of the state legislature claimed that this was one of the largest lobbying efforts they had seen.[7]

In November 1998, Denver voters passed referendum 4A which was in favor of the construction of a new football stadium to replace the existing Mile High Stadium. The referendum was included on the ballots of six Colorado counties that comprise the Denver Metropolitan area.[8] The referendum called for the extension of a tenth of a percent sales tax on transactions within the Metro area to go towards the cost of issuing a $224.9 million bond.[9] This tax was originally established in 1990 when the Colorado Rockies sought public financing for Coors Field.[10] Financing and construction for the stadium was monitored by the Metropolitan Football Stadium District (MFSD). The MFSD is a subdivision of the State of Colorado that, “was created for the purpose of planning, acquiring land and constructing a professional football stadium” The MFSD is also responsible for implementing the MFSD tax.[11] The extension of the original stadium tax came into effect on January1st 2001.[12]

The funding deal between the Broncos and the State of Colorado called for the team

The primary tenant is the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). It opened in 2001 to replace the Broncos original home, the old Mile High Stadium. Empower Field carries on the tradition of the old Mile High Stadium as being one of the most difficult stadiums to play in for opposing teams. Given the difficulty of competing at altitude as well as the notoriously loud fans, the Broncos are known to have one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. Since its opening, the stadium has been home to the Denver Broncos, the Denver Outlaws lacrosse team as well as the Colorado Rapids soccer team. It has also played host to countless concerts and even served as the venue for Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination to the Presidency.

The Broncos pursuit of the new stadium included a lobbying effort that included 13 lawyers and tens of thousands of dollars. This effort was directed at the passing of SB 171 which put Referendum 4A on the November 1998 ballot. SB 171 was sponsored by Representative Doug Dean (R) from Colorado Springs. Members of the state legislature claimed that this was one of the largest lobbying efforts they had seen.[7]

In November 1998, Denver voters passed referendum 4A which was in favor of the construction of a new football stadium to replace the existing Mile High Stadium. The referendum was included on the ballots of six Colorado counties that comprise the Denver Metropolitan area.[8] The referendum called for the extension of a tenth of a percent sales tax on transactions within the Metro area to go towards the cost of issuing a $224.9 million bond.[9] This tax was originally established in 1990 when the Colorado Rockies sought public financing for Coors Field.[10] Financing and construction for the stadium was monitored by the Metropolitan Football Stadium District (MFSD). The MFSD is a subdivision of the State of Colorado that, “was created for the purpose of planning, acquiring land and constructing a professional football stadium” The MFSD is also responsible for implementing the MFSD tax.[11] The extension of the original stadium tax came into effect on January1st 2001.[12]

The funding deal between the Broncos and the State of Colorado called for the team to pay 25% of the estimated cost of $400 million while the state would pay the other 75% of the cost. Part of the agreement stipulated that the MFSD would collect half of the 10 year, $120 million naming rights deal with Invesco Funds Group. Upon Sports Authority’s bankruptcy, the Broncos agreed to pay the MFSD $3.6 million to assume ownership of the naming rights of the stadium.[13]

Corporate Partners

Naming Rights

Invesco paid $120 million for the original naming rights, before Sports Authority secured them in August 2011.[14]

Despite its sponsor's liquidation and closure in 2016, the Sports Authority name remained on the stadium for two years afterwards because of regulatory hurdles. Nevertheless, the Broncos announced on January 2, 2018 that the stadium's exterior signage would be removed.[15] The stadium took on a temporary name, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, for the remainder of 2018 - including the 2018 NFL season - and part of 2019 before a new corporate naming rights agreement with Empower Retirement was announced on September 4, 2019.[16]

Concessions

Concessions are currently run by Aramark Corporation. Aramark took over concession at the beginning of the 2019 season as Empower Retirement assumed the naming rights. As part of their offerings, Aramark has partnered with several Denver restaurants to provide a more robust selection of food options. The ne

In November 1998, Denver voters passed referendum 4A which was in favor of the construction of a new football stadium to replace the existing Mile High Stadium. The referendum was included on the ballots of six Colorado counties that comprise the Denver Metropolitan area.[8] The referendum called for the extension of a tenth of a percent sales tax on transactions within the Metro area to go towards the cost of issuing a $224.9 million bond.[9] This tax was originally established in 1990 when the Colorado Rockies sought public financing for Coors Field.[10] Financing and construction for the stadium was monitored by the Metropolitan Football Stadium District (MFSD). The MFSD is a subdivision of the State of Colorado that, “was created for the purpose of planning, acquiring land and constructing a professional football stadium” The MFSD is also responsible for implementing the MFSD tax.[11] The extension of the original stadium tax came into effect on January1st 2001.[12]

The funding deal between the Broncos and the State of Colorado called for the team to pay 25% of the estimated cost of $400 million while the state would pay the other 75% of the cost. Part of the agreement stipulated that the MFSD would collect half of the 10 year, $120 million naming rights deal with Invesco Funds Group. Upon Sports Authority’s bankruptcy, the Broncos agreed to pay the MFSD $3.6 million to assume ownership of the naming rights of the stadium.[13]

Invesco paid $120 million for the original naming rights, before Sports Authority secured them in August 2011.[14]

Despite its sponsor's liquidation and closure in 2016, the Sports Authority name remained on the stadium for two years afterwards because of regulatory hurdles. Nevertheless, the Broncos announced on January 2, 2018 that the stadium's exterior signage would be removed.[15] The stadium took on a temporary name, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, for the remainder of 2018 - including the 2018 NFL season - and part of 2019 before a new corporate naming rights agreement with Despite its sponsor's liquidation and closure in 2016, the Sports Authority name remained on the stadium for two years afterwards because of regulatory hurdles. Nevertheless, the Broncos announced on January 2, 2018 that the stadium's exterior signage would be removed.[15] The stadium took on a temporary name, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, for the remainder of 2018 - including the 2018 NFL season - and part of 2019 before a new corporate naming rights agreement with Empower Retirement was announced on September 4, 2019.[16]

Concessions are currently run by Aramark Corporation. Aramark took over concession at the beginning of the 2019 season as Empower Retirement assumed the naming rights. As part of their offerings, Aramark has partnered with several Denver restaurants to provide a more robust selection of food options. The new partners include Frank Bonanno, a Denver restaurateur known for his many popular restaurants around downtown Denver.[17]

ImprovementsOn December 21, 2012, the Broncos announced a $30 million renovation project prior to the start of the 2013 season, including a new HD LED video board on the stadium's south end zone that triples the size of the old video board.[18]

In 2013, it was revealed that a Neil Smith Kansas City Chiefs jersey was buried somewhere near the 50-yard line by a couple of out-of-state contractors during renovations

In 2013, it was revealed that a Neil Smith Kansas City Chiefs jersey was buried somewhere near the 50-yard line by a couple of out-of-state contractors during renovations, despite Smith's play on the Broncos' Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII-winning teams. The curse the contractors hoped to create did not occur as the Broncos won another Super Bowl two years later, Super Bowl 50.[19]

In an effort to be selected as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the MFSD invested $8.3 million on stadium improvements to satisfy FIFA's requirements. Included in the improvements are the addition of LED lights as well as locker room and seating upgrades.[20]

During construction of the new stadium, Denver Mayor, Wellington Webb opposed the sale of the stadium's naming rights. At this time, the potential partners were AT&T, Janus Capital, and Invesco Funds Group. A group called Friends of Mile High created a poll asking whether fans preferred the old name or would be fine with a corporate sponsor. The poll found that 70% of respondents preferred to keep the name as Mile High despite a potential loss of $89 million in revenue for the state.[21]

Many fans opposed a corporate name and wished to retain the previous venue's name, "Mile High Stadium."[22] The Denver Post initially refused to use the Invesco label and referred to it as Mile High Stadium for several years before changing its policy and adding Invesco to articles.

On August 16, 2011, the Metropolitan Stadium District announced Invesco would immediately transfer the naming rights to Many fans opposed a corporate name and wished to retain the previous venue's name, "Mile High Stadium."[22] The Denver Post initially refused to use the Invesco label and referred to it as Mile High Stadium for several years before changing its policy and adding Invesco to articles.

On August 16, 2011, the Metropolitan Stadium District announced Invesco would immediately transfer the naming rights to Englewood-based Sports Authority in a 25-year agreement worth $6 million per year.[14] In August 2016, the Denver Broncos paid $3,601,890 to the Metropolitan Football Stadium District to purchase the naming rights to the stadium.[23] As the naming rights change began to occur, the MFSD sought permission to install larger signs on the newly named stadium. Residents of the neighborhood sought to block the installation of new signs in an effort to keep light pollution down. Neighborhood complaints included concerns about light pollution as well as the aesthetic value of the Sports Authority sign that the MFSD hoped to install on the stadium.[24]

In 2016, several Colorado legislators attempted to pass a bill in the Colorado State Legislature that would require the "Mile High" moniker regardless of any naming rights deal, citing the large public contribution to the stadium's construction;[25] the bill failed to pass out of a Senate Committee in May 2016.[26]

Many citizens of the surrounding neighborhoods have expressed discontent with the impact of the stadium on their environment. Residents have complained about the increased traffic on game days, frequent public urination by intoxicated fans.[27]

Financing

A 2016 study by the Brookings Institution has found that the federal government lost out on significant tax revenue in their deal with the Broncos to pay for the stadium. The study of 36 professional football stadiums found that the tax exempt municipal bonds caused $49 million in lost tax revenue for the federal government. Additionally, the income tax break that bond holders could claim cost the government an additional $5 million.[28&

A 2016 study by the Brookings Institution has found that the federal government lost out on significant tax revenue in their deal with the Broncos to pay for the stadium. The study of 36 professional football stadiums found that the tax exempt municipal bonds caused $49 million in lost tax revenue for the federal government. Additionally, the income tax break that bond holders could claim cost the government an additional $5 million.[28]

Usage

The stadiu

The stadium is used primarily for American football games. It is the home field for Denver's National Football League team, the Denver Broncos. The stadium previously hosted one of the city's Major League Lacrosse teams, the Denver Outlaws. In college football, it has hosted the rivalry game between the Colorado State University Rams and the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes. It is also used for the CHSAA class 4A and 5A Colorado high school football state championship games, and has been used for the CBA Marching Band Finals.

In addition, it has been used for a Drum Corps International (DCI) Championship in 2004 and the annual Drums Along the Rockies competition. It is also used for concerts, music festivals and other events, and was home to the city

In addition, it has been used for a Drum Corps International (DCI) Championship in 2004 and the annual Drums Along the Rockies competition. It is also used for concerts, music festivals and other events, and was home to the city's Major League Soccer franchise, the Colorado Rapids, before that team built and moved into Dick's Sporting Goods Park in suburban Commerce City.

On June 23, 2018, England played New Zealand in a rugby league match at the stadium.[29]

The construction of the stadium marked the completion of a six-year sporting venue upgrade program in Denver, including the construction of Coors Field and of Pepsi Center. As with the other venues, the stadium was constructed to be easily accessible. It sits along Interstate 25 near the Colfax Avenue and 17th Avenue exits. It is also bordered by Federal Boulevard, a major Denver thoroughfare, on the west side. A dedicated light rail station also serves the stadium. The stadium is located in the Sun Valley neighborhood.

Stadium culture and traditions

The stadium has held several concerts.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 11, 2001 Eagles An Evening With the Eagles 54,217 / 54,217 $4,837,465 The first concert at the stadium.[37]
August 1, 2003 Metallica Limp Bizkit
Linkin Park
Deftones
Mudvayne
Su

The stadium has held several concerts.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 11, 2001 Eagles An Evening With the Eagles 54,217 / 54,217 $4,837,465 The first concert at the stadium.[37]
August 1, 2003 Metallica Limp Bizkit
Linkin Park
Deftones
Mudvayne
Summer Sanitarium Tour
September 25, 2003 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band The Rising Tour 35,679 / 37,500 $2,442,072
May 21, 2011 U2 The Fray U2 360° Tour 77,918 / 77,918 $6,663,410 The show was originally to be held on June 12, 2010, but was postponed, due to Bono's emergency back surgery.
July 21, 2012 Kenny Chesney
Tim McGraw
The stadium has hosted other sports events. The first football game held was the Rocky Mountain Showdown, when the University of Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Colorado State University Rams 41–14. On July 2, 2005, it hosted the 2005 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game. In 2006, Major League Lacrosse placed the expansion Outlaws in Denver.

In August 1977, 1978 & 2004, it hosted the Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships, and every July hosts Drums Along the Rockies, which is a major competition in the annual DCI summer tour.[39][40]

On August 28, 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States here, moving the 2008 Democratic National Convention from Ball Arena. Approximately 84,000 people attended Obama's speech, exceeding the normal capacity of the stadium due to the placement of audience on the field.[41][42][43]

On April 13, 2019, the stadium hosted its first AMA Supercross Championship event.

On April 27, 2019, the stadium hosted its first Monster Jam show.

Denver Broncos Ring of Fame

The Denver Broncos Ring of Fame was created in 1984 by team owner Pat Bowlen to honor former players and administrators who played significant roles in the franchise's history. The names and years of service (and in most cases, jersey numbers) of the men inducted into the ring are displayed on the Level 5 facade of the stadium. There is no specific number of new members that may be chosen for induction in any given year; in many years, no new members were inducted.

Inducted or Enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame [44]
Denver Broncos Ring of Fame
No. Name Position(s) Seasons Inducted
23 Goose Gonsoulin S 1960–66 1984
87 Rich Jackson DE 1967–72 1984
44 Floyd Little RB 1967–75 1984
87 Lionel Taylor WR 1960–66 1984
Gerald Phipps Owner 1961–81 1985
12 Charley Johnson QB 1972–75 1986
70 Paul Smith DE 1968–78 1986
18 Frank Tripucka QB 1960–63 1986
36 Billy Thompson S 1969–81 1987
7 Craig Morton QB 1977–82 1988
25 Haven Moses WR 1972–81 1988
15 Jim Turner PK 1971–79 1988
53 Randy Gradishar LB 1974–83 1989
57 Tom Jackson LB 1973–86 1992
20 Louis Wright CB 1975–86 1993
7 John Elway QB
General manager
1983–98
2011–present
1999
77 Karl Mecklenburg LB 1983–95 2001
49 Dennis Smith S 1981–94 2001
65 Gary Zimmerman OT 1993–97 2003
27 Steve Atwater S 1989–98 2005
30 Terrell Davis RB 1995–2001 2007
84 Shannon Sharpe TE 1990–99, 2002–03 2009
80 Rod Smith WR 1994–2006 2012
66 Tom Nalen C 1994–2007 2013
21 Gene Mingo RB, K, RS 1960–64 2014
Dan Reeves Head coach 1981–92 2014
80 Rick Upchurch WR, RS 1975–83 2014
Pat Bowlen Owner 1984–2019 2015
1 Jason Elam PK 1993–2007 2016
73 Simon Fletcher LB/DE 1985–95 2016
47 John Lynch S 2004–07 2016
Red Miller Head coach 1977–80 2017
24 Champ Bailey CB 2004–2013 2019

While the Ring of Fame was carried over from the old stadium to the new, the names were re-ordered to separate the inductees who served the team during the pre-Pat Bowlen (the team's current owner and founder of the Ring) era from those who served during Bowlen's ownership. One of the most noticeable changes was the move of John Elway's name to the center of the ring, located directly between the goalposts of the north end zone.[45]

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum opened in August 2001. It is located at Gate #1 on the west side of the stadium.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Broncos Ditching Synthetic Field At Mile High, Using Kentucky Bluegrass Grown In Colorado". February 11, 2015.
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Sports Authority Field at Mile High - CAA ICON". iconvenue.com.
  4. ^ a b "Inside the Construction of Invesco Field at Mile High". SportsBusiness Journal. September 3, 2001. Retrieved September 14, 2011.Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum opened in August 2001. It is located at Gate #1 on the west side of the stadium.

    See also