Sports Authority Field at Mile High

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Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Mile High Stadium II
Sports authority field logo.jpg
Sports Authority Field at Mile High AFC Championship game.jpg
Former names Invesco Field at Mile High
(2001–2011)
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
(2011–present)
Address 1701 Mile High Stadium Circle
Location Denver, Colorado
Coordinates 39°44′38″N 105°1′12″W / 39.74389°N 105.02000°W / 39.74389; -105.02000Coordinates: 39°44′38″N 105°1′12″W / 39.74389°N 105.02000°W / 39.74389; -105.02000
Public transit Sports Authority Field at Mile High (RTD)
Owner Metropolitan Football Stadium District
Executive suites 132
Capacity 76,125 (football)
up to 50,000 (concerts)
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass[1]
Construction
Broke ground August 17, 1999
Opened September 10, 2001
Construction cost $400.7 million
($542 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect HNTB
Fentress Architects
Bertram A. Burton and Associates
Project manager ICON Venue Group[3]
Structural engineer Walter P Moore[4]
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[5]
General contractor Turner/Empire/Alvarado[4]
Tenants
Denver Broncos (NFL) (2001–present)
Denver Outlaws (MLL) (2006–present)
Colorado Rapids (MLS) (2001–2006)

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, previously known as Invesco Field at Mile High, and commonly known as Mile High or Mile High Stadium, is an American football stadium in Denver, Colorado. The field is named after a sponsor and the stadium is named Mile High, the stadium's primary tenant is the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). The stadium opened in 2001 to replace Mile High Stadium, the stadium was largely paid for by taxpayers in the Denver metropolitan area and the property is owned by a special taxing district.[6][7] More controversially, Invesco paid $120 million for the original naming rights, before Sports Authority secured the naming rights on August 16, 2011.[8]

Despite its sponsor's liquidation and closure in 2016, the Sports Authority name is still being used on the stadium for the time being due to contract reasons.

Naming rights controversy[edit]

Many fans opposed a corporate name and wished to retain the previous venue's name, "Mile High Stadium."[9] 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, Colorado-based Sports Authority in a 25-year agreement worth $6 million per year.[8] After Sports Authority missed two quarterly payments as a result of its March 2016 bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation, the Broncos organization and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District are seeking to terminate the naming rights contract.[10]

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;[11] the bill failed to pass out of a Senate Committee in May 2016.[12]

Usage[edit]

It is used primarily for American football games, it is the home field for Denver's National Football League team, the Denver Broncos. The stadium also hosts the city's Major League Lacrosse team, 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 the DCI (Drum Corps International) Championships 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.

Location[edit]

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[edit]

A home game tradition (carried over from the original Mile High Stadium) is the "Incomplete Chant." At Bronco home games, when the opposing team throws an incomplete pass, the stadium announcer will state "Pass thrown by [the opposing quarterback] intended for [the opposing intended receiver] is..." at which time the fans complete the sentence by shouting "IN-COM-PLETE!!".[13]

The stadium has sold out every Denver Broncos' home game since its inception in 2001, extending the "sold-out" streak that began during the team's tenure at Mile High Stadium, where every home game had been sold out since 1970 (though due to NFL policy, local TV broadcasts of sold-out games did not start until 1973). In a tradition carried over from Mile High Stadium, the stadium's public-address announcer will give the final official attendance for the game, including the number of unused tickets; in response, Broncos fans "boo" the no-shows.

During the stadium's first years, in another tradition was carried over from Mile High, Broncos fans on one side of the stadium would chant "Go" and fans on the other side would respond "Broncos," back and forth chanting for several minutes, that tradition has since died out. Another long-term tradition is famed rowdiness of fans seated in the "South Stands," although this tradition has diminished significantly as well.

Finally, especially in the upper two decks, the fans create their own 'Mile High Thunder' (and warm themselves) by stamping their feet on the stadium's floors, the old Mile High Stadium was built with bare metal, and the 'Thunder' reverberated readily. The new stadium was built with steel floors to preserve this unique acoustic feature.[14]

On December 21, 2012, the Broncos announced a $30 million renovation project prior to the start of the 2013 season, including a new high-definition LED video board on the stadium's south end zone that triples the size of the old video board.[15]

In 2013, it was revealed that a Kansas City Chiefs jersey (Neil Smith) was buried somewhere near the 50-yard line by a couple of out-of-state contractors during renovations.[16]

Notable events[edit]

NFL events[edit]

Sports Authority Field at Mile High before the start of the 2013 AFC Championship game.

On September 10, 2001, the stadium hosted its first regular season NFL game, in which the Broncos defeated the New York Giants 31–20; in a pre-game ceremony, Broncos legends John Elway, Steve Atwater, Randy Gradishar, Haven Moses, Billy Thompson, Floyd Little, Dennis Smith, and Karl Mecklenburg helped to "Move the Thunder" from the old Mile High Stadium to the new home of the Broncos.[citation needed]

The stadium has hosted several NFL playoff games, it hosted the 2005 AFC Divisional playoff game, in which Denver defeated the New England Patriots 27–13. The following week, it hosted the AFC Championship Game, which the Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34–17, on January 8, 2012, the stadium hosted its third NFL playoff game, an AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Steelers. The Broncos won in overtime, 29–23, on January 12, 2013, the stadium hosted its fourth NFL playoff game, an AFC Divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos lost to the Ravens 38–35 in double overtime.[citation needed]

On October 29, 2007, a 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.[citation needed]

On November 26, 2009, it hosted its first Thanksgiving game, when the Broncos took on the Giants, the game was televised on NFL Network, which the Broncos won by a final score of 26–6.[citation needed]

On January 19, 2014, the Broncos defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, 26–16 in front of 77,110 fans in attendance, advancing to their first Super Bowl since they began play in the new stadium.

On January 17, 2016, the Broncos defeated the Steelers in the AFC Divisional playoffs, 23–16 in front of 77,100, advancing to the AFC Championship Game for the 10th time in franchise history.

On January 24, 2016, the Broncos defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, 20–18 in front of 77,100, advancing to Super Bowl 50, which they won two weeks later.

Soccer[edit]

On July 26, 2014, Sports Authority Field at Mile High hosted a soccer match between Manchester United and A.S. Roma which was part of the 2014 International Champions Cup and Manchester United won the match 3-2.[17]

Date Winning Team Result Losing Team Tournament Spectators
July 26, 2014 England Manchester United 3-2 Italy A.S. Roma 2014 International Champions Cup 54,116

Concerts[edit]

The stadium has held several concerts.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 11, 2001 Eagles 54,217 / 54,217 $4,837,465 The first concert at the stadium.[18]
November 23, 2007 Fall Out Boy Gym Class Heroes
Plain White T's
Cute Is What We Aim For
Doug
Young Wild Things Tour
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
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Jake Owen
Brothers of the Sun Tour 50,020 / 50,020 $4,401,805
June 6, 2015 Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line
Randy Houser
Thomas Rhett
Dustin Lynch
DJ Rock
Kick the Dust Up Tour 50,539 / 50,539 $3,642,005
June 7, 2017 Metallica Avenged Sevenfold
Volbeat
WorldWired Tour 51,955 / 58,913 $5,884,163
May 25, 2018 Taylor Swift TBA The Reputation Stadium Tour TBA TBA

Other notable events[edit]

The field at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The main entrance of the stadium, when it was known as Invesco Field at Mile High.
The south end zone as it looked during the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Satellite view of stadium
Detailed view of seats colored to form the Denver Broncos logo.

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 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. [19][20]

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 Pepsi Center. Approximately 84,000 people attended Obama's speech, exceeding the normal capacity of the stadium due to the placement of audience on the field.[21][22][23][24]

Denver Broncos Ring of Fame[edit]

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 [25]
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–present 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

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.[26]

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/02/11/broncos-ditching-synthetic-field-at-mile-high-using-kentucky-bluegrass-grown-in-colorado/
  2. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ Sports Authority Field at Mile High ICON Venue Group
  4. ^ a b "Inside the Construction of Invesco Field at Mile High". SportsBusiness Journal. September 3, 2001. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ M-E Engineers, Inc. - Projects Archived 2012-05-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Murphy, Chuck (2012-01-27). "Tax off books, but not registers". Denver Post. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.mfsd.com/aboutus.html
  8. ^ a b Caldwell, Gray (August 16, 2011). "A New Home". Denver Broncos. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ Favre, Gregory E. (August 10, 2006). "A Mile High Controversy". Archived from the original on November 27, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2006. 
  10. ^ Wallace, Alicia (May 31, 2016). "Broncos want to nix sponsorship agreement after Sports Authority misses payments". The Denver Post. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Bunch, Joey (April 26, 2016). "Bill would forever preserve "Mile High" in Broncos' stadium name". The Denver Post. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Bunch, Joey (May 5, 2016). "Senate Republicans kill bill to retain "Mile High" in stadium's name". The Denver Post. Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ "FAQ". Denver Broncos. 
  14. ^ "The New And Improved Mile High". Stadium Journey. 
  15. ^ Klis, Mike (December 21, 2012). "Broncos, Stadium District to spend $30 million on Mile High improvements". The Denver Post. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Troy claims a secret lies beneath the 50 yard line... | The Rick Lewis Show | 103.5 The Fox". 103.5 The Fox. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  17. ^ It included a 60 yard goal by Miralem Pjanic of AS Roma, adding to mile high's reputation as a good place to kick long field goals. United Survive late Roma Surge to gain first ICC Victory ICC.com July 26, 2014 Retrieved July 27, 2014
  18. ^ "Amusement Business – Boxscore: Top 10 Concert Grosses". Billboard. New York. 113 (34): 14. 25 August 2001. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Drum Corps International Past Champions and Locations". 
  20. ^ "Drums Along The Rockies". Ascend Performing Arts. 2014-08-13. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  21. ^ "Obama Accepts Democrat Nomination". BBC News. BBC. August 29, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Obama Greeted By Screaming Crowd at Stadium". Associated Press. August 28, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008. [dead link]
  23. ^ Lloyd, Robert (August 29, 2008). "Barack Obama, Al Gore Raise the Roof at Invesco Field". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  24. ^ Wangsness, Lisa (August 29, 2008). "Some Saw Spectacular, Others Just Spectacle". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  25. ^ Pro Football Hall of Famers by Year of Enshrinement
  26. ^ Ringo, Kyle. "Kickoff: Birth of a Stadium". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on July 22, 2006. Retrieved November 30, 2006. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Mile High Stadium
Home of the
Denver Broncos

2001–present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Mile High Stadium
Home of the
Denver Outlaws

2006–present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Mile High Stadium
Home of the
Colorado Rapids

2002–2006
Succeeded by
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Preceded by
Citrus Bowl
Host of the
Drum Corps International
World Championship

2004
Succeeded by
Gillette Stadium
Preceded by
Heinz Field
Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium
Host of AFC Championship Game
2006
2014
2016
Succeeded by
RCA Dome
Gillette Stadium
Gillette Stadium