Several hundred Broncos fans have officially lost their season tickets, after the team completed an audit that purged ticket holders who didn't attend a single game in 2016.
Careful consideration was given to each inquiry over the past month-and-a-half, Broncos spokesperson Patrick Smyth said. Several accounts, including those affected by military deployment, were reinstated. Smyth did not know the number of accounts affected.
Ray and Judy Arthur from Nunn, Colo., have had their season tickets since 1963, longer than a half-century, and just a few years after the Broncos became a team.
"There were a lot of years when I was laid off and we scrimped, saved and somehow found a way to pay for the four tickets," Arthur said. "We understand that [the Broncos] have a right to the tickets but it still doesn't make it morally right for any of their fans."
The Arthurs didn't go to any Broncos games in 2016 because they say health issues and surgeries made it tough to attend. According to the Broncos' ticket office, this account had a history of not using the majority of its season tickets, including every regular-season and playoff game in the 2014 season.
Thursday, they received a final email from the team stating that the season tickets license would not be renewed.
"I can't believe they'd be that heartless to send an email," Judy Arthur says. "You can be a loyal fan without necessarily going to every game."
For the first time in six years, the Broncos made hundreds of season ticket holder seats available without raising costs. The team says this gives fans on the waitlist a chance and keeps ticket brokers from selling the seats, which consistently yields one of the highest resale values in the league.
So far, 144 accounts have been upgraded after several hundred ticket holders lost their seats, Smyth said. Last year, only 14 accounts out of 400 were able to find a better location.