Broncos Proposing Updates to Facilities
By Eric Mergens
Sports Authority Field at Mile High is slated for an upgrade in 2013 (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports).
Remember that behemoth 40″ Sony WEGA television that you purchased in 2001? Of course you do! You basked in the jealousy of all your friends because you had a 4:3 flat panel screen that was “high definition ready,” meaning it had two separate antenna connections. After the watching the ball game in stunning clarity (where available), you and your friends could bro-out with a game of Madden ’01 on PlayStation 2 or Xbox without swapping cables because you had an unheard of six A/V inputs. You probably really remember it though, because you dropped three grand on a tube TV that weighed 300 pounds and required a custom stand. Yes, it’s the same crown jewel that you’re having a hard time unloading on Craigslist for fifty bucks because nobody would do that to themselves. It was a good idea at the time.
The Denver Broncos have the same problem they’ll look to fix during the offseason. While Sports Authority Field at Mile High has remained fairly pristine and contemporary in its 12th season, the glaringly antiquated standard-definition video boards are slated to be replaced after the season. Pretty amazing considering the collective opening reviews upon seeing three giant video boards was a universal, “Wow!”
For a cool $30 million, funded by the team and by the Metropolitan Stadium District, the renovations will include updating concourse TVs to HD, various audio improvements, replacing the ribbon boards that circle the upper level, increasing the size of the two north end zone boards by 43%, and installing a new 8,800 square-foot HD board in the south end zone. Tripling the size of the current board may not begin to touch the screen high above the field at Jerryworld in Arlington (20,000 square feet), but it will be an instant upgrade for the fan experience in Denver.
Additionally, the Broncos have expressed interest in constructing their own indoor practice facility. Currently the procedure for inclement weather is to bus personnel to the South Suburban Sports Dome a few miles from Dove Valley, a cramped soccer field that isn’t even 100 yards long and has almost no buffer around the edges of the field. Not exactly an ideal situation for players moving at full speed.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the construction of an indoor facility would address the logistics and safety issues as well as provide a recruiting tool for future free agent signings.
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