DENVER — The Broncos are going on seven years of trying to fix their team, and they’re worse now than they were when the project started.
Perhaps the team will better execute its plan to upgrade its stadium.
Following a league vote of approval Wednesday to help secure financing, the Broncos announced details of a $100 million project to upgrade Empower Field at Mile High. The Metropolitan Football Stadium District is funding $12 million of the project, with the Broncos picking up the rest.
Part of the Broncos’ bill will be initially taken care of through the NFL’s G-4 financing program. Broncos owners Greg Penner, Carrie Penner and Rob Walton attended the NFL owners' meetings Wednesday in Irving, Texas, where the G-4 financing plan was unanimously approved by the 32 owners.
It didn’t take long for Penner, the Broncos’ CEO, and the new owners to open their wallets for the betterment of Broncos Country.
The team is calling it the single-largest capital improvement in the stadium’s 22-year history and said it is to be completed in eight months.
“This significant investment in Empower Field at Mile High demonstrates the deep commitment by the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group to immediately and continually provide the best possible experience for our fans,” Broncos president Damani Leech said in a statement. “As we look toward the future with the long-term plans for our stadium, we are equally focused on the present to ensure Empower Field at Mile High remains a premier sports and entertainment venue.’’
Now, about the on-field product. Unfortunately for the Broncos, they can get started on their stadium renovation Jan. 9, as the 3-10 Broncos are already eliminated from the postseason for a seventh consecutive season and will play their final game Jan. 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers. The stadium project is scheduled to be finished by the start of the 2023 season.
Enhancements will include a 70% expansion of the south end video board, which will make it the fourth largest in the NFL. The new video display will be 31 feet taller than the current video board. There will also be a 3,000-square-foot expansion of the Broncos Team Store at the stadium, and Aramark concessions will be upgraded in the south deck with permanent stands and in levels 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Don’t worry, South Standers. Tony DeCamillis, father of Los Angeles Rams and former Broncos special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis, said he will continue selling his famous sausage and meatball sandwiches at Angelo’s Deli behind the south stands.
Luxury suites will also be refurbished as part of the project, and technology throughout the stadium will be enhanced. Two new elevators will also be installed on the east and west sides to better assist ADA patrons.
The Broncos’ stadium lease with the Metropolitan Stadium District runs through 2031. The $100 million in refurbishments is independent of Penner’s ultimate decision on whether to eventually build a new venue. But it appears Penner wants the existing stadium to be as fan-friendly as possible for the next several years.
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