A three day conference had me in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t line up for me to combine two of my favourite things – travel and football. To make up for that, I decided to use a bit of the very limited free time I had to do a tour of the Broncos stadium – Sports Authority Field at Mile High. A short light rail ride from downtown and ten minute walk away I came upon the stadium:
I love the behind the scenes look you get on most stadium tours. First and foremost of course is to see the stadium and playing field itself. The tour here in Denver was led by a wonderful gentleman, Mike, who was clearly a big Broncos fan and knew his stuff. We had a pretty eclectic tour group as well – people from Arkansas, Mexico City, Seattle and Quebec to name a few.
Our first stop was in a private suite with an incredible view of the field. I could get used to watching football from a vantage point like this. I’m just lacking the $500,000/yr or so to make it a reality. We got a great view of the grounds crew covering the field in advance of a storm that would hit the city the next day:
On the lower level of the stadium, there were a few stops. FIrst, the visitor’s locker room. Really, quite big compared to some other locker rooms I’ve seen on stadium tours. One of the best parts was seeing the hot and cold tubs in here. They were brought over from the old stadium and I’m not sure how a 330 lb lineman would actually get in them (a little “home field advantage” I presume):
One of the funniest things I’ve seen on a tour – this is the sign for the officials’ locker room. Note the braille in the upper right corner. Kind of explains some of the calls we’ve seen in the NFL this year if you ask me.
This is only the second NFL stadium tour I’ve done, both of which have requested you stay off the playing surface. But like in Philadelphia last year, I couldn’t resist so that I could say I actually “stepped on the field” in Denver: