Photo Tour of the Denver Broncos Stadium
Ever since watching John Elway play at Mile High Stadium, the city of Denver and the Rocky Mountains as a scenic backdrop, I've wanted to see a football game in Denver. I still haven't made it to a game, but I did manage to take a tour of the Denver Broncos home stadium.
The home of the Denver Broncos is now called Empower Field at Mile High. It has previously been named Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Invesco Field at Mile High, and originally just Mile High Stadium. They offer tours for $25. Tours start at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum. That's where you can purchase tickets. While you wait for the tour to begin, you can learn about the rich sports history of the state. Colorado sports legends like Jack Dempsey, Floyd Little, and John Elway are featured.
The tour guide started by asking everyone where they were from and what sports team is their favorite. People on the tour were from Colorado, California, New Jersey, and Brazil. Out of about fifteen people, only three or four were Bronco fans. Hopefully some have since seen the light and converted to being fans of the best professional sports team ever.
Suites at Mile High Stadium
The first stop on the tour was the United Airlines Suite. The guide told us that the suite costs over $90,000 per year to rent. Suites must be rented for a minimum of three years. Guess I won't renting one anytime soon. We learned some stats about the team and stadium while we sat back in comfortable leather seats looking out at the field.
A Few Notable Facts About Mile High Stadium
- Mile High seats over 76,000 of the best fans in football.
- There are over twenty miles of water pipes under the field, used to heat it.
- Up to five inches of rain an hour can be drained off of the field.
- The Kentucky Bluegrass field is interlaced with polypropylene fibers to strengthen the surface. It's known as a hybrid field.
- The Broncos have the record for most consecutive sell out games in all of sports, over 400 games during a forty year stretch.
Next the tour made stops at the TV media box and the written press box. The TV box is located at the fifty yard line. The press area can hold up to 400 people. Media members at Empower Field at Mile High are treated to unlimited free food and drinks, from hotdogs to steak. They are prohibited from drinking alcohol though. During my tour, the set-up for the next game against the San Diego Chargers was already starting. The tour guide said that we got to see a little more behind the scenes activity than most tours.
After making our way past the instant replay booth and the club area, we came to the visiting team's locker room. We were not allowed access to the Broncos locker room. We were told that it's "top-secret and sacred ground".
The locker rooms were not the dark, dank space I was envisioning. The visitors' locker room was newly carpeted, looked spotless, and smelled fresh. It's divided into two areas. One for the offense and special teams, another for the defense. The stadium is required by law to provide the visiting team with a locker accessible by those with disabilities. Our tour guide told us that it's always given to the visiting team's kicker. The psychological warfare in the NFL starts well before the game.
When the visiting team exits their locker room, the first thing they see is a huge sign saying "Welcome to the Mile High City, Elevation 5,280 feet". Just another attempt at getting into an opponent's head.
The Keg Room
Everyone was excited about the next tour destination. The Keg Room. Well, one of the keg rooms. We learned lots of stats about the ridiculous amount of beer that gets consumed at the stadium each Sunday. I believe it was something like 700 kegs.
The next stop was my favorite of the tour. We got to go out through the visitors' tunnel and into the stadium. Visitors are strictly prohibited from going onto the field, but we could walk up to it and get the same view as a player would on game day. We were able to hang out by the field for about ten minutes. I had time to take a few photos of the stadium and imagine what it would be like to run out of the tunnel and onto the field on Sunday. After coming back to the harsh reality that I would never be a pro athlete, we were off the next stop.
Next, the tour guide showed us Thunder's stall. Thunder is the white horse that runs across the filed after every score. We didn't stop long. Thunder wasn't actually there, so there wasn't much to see. After a short pause we made our way out of the stadium.
Denver Bronco fan or not, I'd definitely recommend a tour of Empower Field at Mile High if you're in Denver. It's interesting and informative with great views of Denver as a bonus.
Have you ever toured an NFL stadium? What did you learn that surprised you? Let me know in the comments. Go Broncos!!