BRONCOS

Empower Field renovations breathe character to aging Mile High

Aug 25, 2023, 1:07 PM | Updated: 4:47 pm

DENVER—The Denver Broncos are very quick to point out that the $100 million they spent on improving Empower Field this summer does not keep them tied to the facility. But the changes made, even if they are for the short term, give the 22-year-old stadium an impressive glow-up.

The two main complaints about the stadium built on the corner of Colfax and Federal that opened in 2001, are that is bland and that it aged way too quickly. The Broncos have helped solve the first issue and are still working on the second part. In a tour given to Denver Sports and other media outlets on Friday, team leadership showed off the new and improved facility ahead of Denver’s first home preseason game on Saturday. From the fifth-largest scoreboard in the NFL to new hospitality areas, concessions and added art pieces Empower Field for the first time has a hint of flavor.

That new flavor was seen in some of the food items we got to try—which were honestly pretty solid for stadium food. The Broncos have also added $5 concession options on things like hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and soda.

They showed off these new foods to media members in a brand new club—the Breckenridge Bourbon Club, which is on the field level and occupies a previously little-used space. In this new club, like the rest of the updates, it was done with a deep understanding and appreciation for the details of Broncos history. In the club they had a few famous plays charted out, while out in the concourse they had the team’s uniform history displayed with the story of each change. This has been one of the most positive signs yet about Greg Penner and Carrie Walton-Penner’s ownership of the Broncos, they’re attention to detail and care for the history of the Broncos. One of those changes was making sure the retired numbers popped a bit better, including new internal lighting on those fixtures next to the new main video board.

My favorite part was apparently Carrie’s idea, adding more art to a lot of the blank and bland spaces in the stadium. In one area near the newly renovated team store on the stadium’s south side, a new mural was being worked on by local artist Detour. That artist was the one who painted the Nuggets championship mural on Colfax which is stylistically similar to the one he’s working on with Denver’s football legends.

Broncos president Damani Leech pointed out that the Broncos are still “in the first quarter” of their look for a new home. While the team’s home may soon change, their current home finally feels a lot more like home thanks to these renovations. Changes which the team says should’ve taken two years but they rushed to get done in one ahead of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group’s first full season at the helm. And hey for year 22, I don’t know about you but everything now feels alright.

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