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Broncos host first full-capacity game since 2019

A full crowd of 76,125 was allowed inside the stadium. Only a few thousand fans were allowed for some games last season.

DENVER — Tailgating came back to Empower Field on Saturday, along with the Broncos' first full-capacity crowd since December 2019.

It's been more than a year since Scott Hood set up his tailgate. It takes him an hour and a half to put up his 64 flags.

"It started out as a goof," Hood said. "And it became an obsession."

He put his routine on hold when the Broncos banned tailgating last year.

"Last night, I was getting things ready, and it was almost like Christmas," he said. "Waking up and getting stuff packed up, it felt surreal."

There was a sense of normalcy in seeing the first full-capacity crowd since 2019. Josiah Luebcke and his family's time with the Broncos goes back decades. They come to games in their 50-year-old "Bronco Mobile."

"We got Most Valuable Tailgater in 2003, so that was kind of cool," Luebcke said. "We have had this for 20 years, in this spot for 20 years."

After a year away, fans were excited to be back. Hood plans to make his football tradition even stronger.

"We are going to have 80 flags, and we are going to have confetti canons," he said. "We are going to have a lot of people we haven't seen in a couple years. So it is going to be fun."

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