Denver Broncos in dire need of new stadium?

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Denver new owner new stadium Image: Denver Broncos

To build, or not to build? That is the question – at least for the National Football League (NFL) team Denver Broncos’ incoming owner.

Driving the news: Franchise (Denver Broncos) President Joe Ellis recently told newsmen that erecting a new Broncos stadium will be “Issue No. 1 on the next owner’s plate” and the decision to build anew or refresh must be weighed “right away”.

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver (US). The Broncos compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference West division.

The 76,125-capacity Empower Field at Mile High is an American football stadium in Denver, Colorado, United States. The primary tenant is the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). It opened in 2001 to replace the Broncos’ original home, the old Mile High Stadium.

The ‘Axios Denver’ quoted Ellis as stating that deciding which path to pursue will be a major challenge between the roughly $2 billion construction price tag and the “significant upgrades” currently needed at Empower Field at Mile High.

Why it matters: With a new coach, a new quarterback and a soon-to-be new owner, the Denver Broncos’ fresh start is raising questions of whether a new stadium might make sense, too.

Context: The Broncos have narrowed the list to five potential buyers with deep pockets, including Walmart heir Rob Walton, the 11th richest person in United States.

The ‘Axios Denver’ stated that the other bidders include the owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Philadelphia 76ers and a group with Todd Boehly, a minority owner of the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Los Angeles Dodgers and the NBA team Los Angeles Lakers.

Yes, but: Supply chain issues and inflation could deter any investors from pursuing a new build.

As is, supply chain challenges are preventing needed renovations to the stadium after several hundred seats caught fire in March, Ellis said. And the team is unlikely to get the damaged area fixed in time for September’s opening game due to delays.

What they’re saying: A top-tier stadium could pave the way for the Mile High City to host its first-ever Super Bowl.

Observed Darrin Duber-Smith, a Senior Lecturer of Marketing at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, “You get a Super Bowl every time you build a new stadium. The league awards you … that’s part of the deal.”

The Super Bowl is the annual playoff championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2022, the game is played on the second Sunday in February.

The other side: Ellis said Denver’s current stadium, which opened in 2001, can still keep up with many others across the league so long as renovations happen.

The bottom line: Stated Ellis, “Will it ever be the stunning SoFi or alluring Allegiant [stadiums]? Probably not. So, that’s something a new owner has to look at.”

What to watch: The five prospective buyers are slated to meet with Broncos leadership early next month.

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