Stadium #28
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Denver, CO
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos Stadium
November 22, 2009
32  - 3 Loss
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Special Thanks to Jon Applegate and Invesco Field
at Mile High for providing us
with a Parking Pass in Lot C
and tickets to the Broncos
Barn.





   





 

  Stadium Vitals
Built: 2001
Capacity: 76,125 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $8.00    
Hot Dog: $4.75
Stadium Parking: $30.00
Denver Broncos LogoSports Authority Field
Stadium Address

1701 Bryant Street
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 258-3000  
Get Directions
 
 
Stadium Review
- The Mile High Club
My trip to Denver, Colorado to tackle Stadium #28 on the Quest for 31 was one of the better stadium visits on my journey around the league. Denver is a fantastic travel destination, complete with a mixture of some exceptional outdoor activities and a thriving nightlife that's sure to entertain. I did a lot of research leading up to my visit because I really wanted to immerse myself in the local culture and see as much of Denver as I could be pack into a three day visit. Landing early on Saturday morning, my wife Crystal and I took the rental car shuttle to Hertz Rental, passing by the fairly ominous-looking, bronco sculpture perched on the airport grounds. With searing red eyes and aggressive posturing, it's foreboding appearance seemed to be masking something sinister. It turns out that during construction of the massive bronze sculpture, the head of this beast actually fell on its creator, crushing the artist and killing him instantly. The family posthumously completed the project and sent it to Denver where it now stand to greet visitors ... I think they might consider a different color for the eyes.

In any case, due to my extensive research prior to travel, I meticulously created a list of suggested activities that I felt would complete our tour of the Denver area. It's the type of list that might provide guidance in decision-making over the course of a weekend, allowing us to see and experience a full slate of activities within a compressed timeline. I call it my "Itinerary of Fun". Crystal (my wife) is not exactly fond of my thorough itineraries, I think she finds them a bit too structured, too confining. I do however, catch her from time to time bragging to others about all the things we were able to see and do on our many adventures. She rarely admits that the itineraries are largely responsible.

First on the list on the Itineray of Fun, the Big Blue Bear. The Big Blue Bear is this massive sculpture of a 40-foot tall bear peering into the convention center.  Definitely, a great spot for a photo op.  Next was the birthplace of the cheeseburger, where a granite monument now stands on the spot where the original burger joint once stood. The owner of the Humpty Dumpty Barrel Drive In is credited with patenting the cheeseburger. His restaurant burned to the ground and a bank parking lot now stands in its place. Are we having fun yet? Next was a tour of the Coors Brewery, a must for any visitor to Denver.  Not only are visitors furnished with the knowledge of the mass manufacturing process governing the creation of my favorite golden beverage, by they're also treated to free samples, four beers to be exact.  We then made the trek to see the final resting place of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. As a Buffalo Bills fan, I felt I had to pay my respects.  After a brief gift shop stop and another photo session, we then continued to the Red Rocks area to see some of the most fascinating rock formations on the planet.  The evening closed out with dinner at the Fort Restaurant (fantastic traditionally western pioneer cuisine) and drinks in the LoDo area downtown. I did try some of the world famous Rocky Mountain Oysters, as well.   For you laypeoples, that's bull or steer testicles (they're cooked). Some call 'em cowboy caviar, some call 'em Montana tendergroins, some call' em swingin' beef ... I call 'em, well, interesting. Hey, when in Rome, right?

Which brings us to game day. I was really torqued about visiting with Denver Broncos fans on game day. Looking through the photos that were available online, I was more than impressed by the spirit and the passion of Denver Broncos Fans. when you have a generation of fans that are inspired by the Barrelman, Tim McKernan, how can you go wrong? Broncos fans are diehard franchise supporters, impervious to inclement weather, and fueled by a fire of unwavering support for their home team. Their passion and energy were clearly evident all over the lot on game day. With buses and trucks painted in Denver Broncos orange and blue, fans setup their temporary tent communities all over the stadium lots. I was able to link up with Denver Broncos Super Fan, the Broncnator and also the Mile High Leprechaun as I approached the stadium from Lot C. I was also surprised to discover that the Denver Broncos Bus which appears in Bud Light commercials and print ads featuring Bronco fans field testing the combination cooler-grill product (known as the Grooler) is actually real. Helmed by Tom and Matt, the Broncos Bus is in the parking lot for every home game and the Grooler serves up ice cold Bud Light and grills the day's meal. Although awkward-looking in design, the Grooler appears to serve its purpose and frontman Tom was as hospitable as they come.

No discussion on Denver Broncos Tailgating is complete without mentioning the Mile High Jester. Perched atop his orange colored RV, the Mile High Jester distributes JELL-O shots to the Mile High faithful, and provides a fun atmosphere of beer pong and some great NFL conversation as passers by stop in to shoot the breeze. The Jester is a legend in Broncos Tailgating and throws an exceptional tailgate. Be sure to check him out on game day. Throughout the day, I was also on the lookout for the Mile High Monsters, a couple of amorphous blobs of stringy orange plastic fur that look like Grimace from the old McDonald's commercials. These guys have an incredibly unique costume that's immediately recognizable. Although I failed to find them in the Lot, they were easy to spot from my seats in the upper deck as they roamed the lower bowl.  If the monsters ever see this, I'm really bummin' that I was unable to meet you. (feels like my journey was incomplete)

I have to say that I was really impressed by the camaraderie that you find in the parking lot on gameday in Denver. Each time I stopped in to check out what people had cooking up, the offers for food and local beverage were there. It was like second nature to Broncos fans. Stopping in on Matt and Tim in Lot M, we grabbed a Fat Tire and a sausage ... then down the way, Danny the Greek, was cooking up pork loin, marinated chicken, and rib tips. Insisting we stop to have a bite before continuing on, Dan, a retired teacher, was the most hospitable of hosts feeding anyone who dropped by. Parking lot staffers, off-duty policemen, former students, enemy fans, it didn't seem to matter. When that Greek flag is flying, stop by Dan's Tailgate for some of the best barbecue in the lot.

I did observe that Broncos fans seemed to be slow starters when it comes gameday tailgating. Although the lots open at 8:00am for a 2:00pm kickoff, most fans tended to arrive around 11:30am. For most of the morning the lot was fairly empty with scattered pockets of die-hards putting meat to flame throughout the day. It began to fill up later in the day, but I was surprised at how sparsely inhabited it remained throughout the morning.  For fans that were uninterested in hosting their own game day barbecues in the lot, the Denver Broncos host an exceptional tailgate of their own at the Broncos Barn. On the south side of the stadium, permanent tents are setup with flat screen TV's, great game day food and beverage, and a live band. Admission is $8 and the food and beer are fairly priced. It's a great way to tailgate and catch the morning games without the hassle of trying to setup your own hibachi. 

As gametime approached we headed into the stadium.  The thin Denver air is most evident during physical exertion.  For me, that meant climbing into my seats in Section 523, row 25.  Instead of taking the escalator, i decided we should hoof it up the ramps.  Being a steep sided bowl, with fantastic sightlines from every seat in the stadium, the upper deck is also way up there.  By the time I climbed up to the 500 level, I was more than winded.  Ascending the stairs to the 25th row, did me in for most of the first quarter.  Unfortunately the thin air seemed to have little effect on the San Diego Chargers.  They hassled quarterback Chris Simms for most of the first half leaving him completely ineffective.  With four minutes remaining in the half, Kyle Orton charged onto the field, much to the surprise of the Broncos Faithful.  After leading the Denver offense to the goal line, an unfortunate fumble by Knowshon Moreno killed the Broncos momentum and sealed their fate.  The Broncos would go on to lose the game 32 - 3, as turnovers and a struggling offense did in the Broncos, dropping them out of the division lead.   I had a great time in Denver, thanks to some special fans that were kind enough to show me the ropes.


For more information on the city of Denver, Colorado, check out my other review by clicking on the link below:
    
NFL: November 23, 2009 - Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium Tour
 

 
City of Denver Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Pike's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Forest, Garden of the gods
Denver Mint
Take a Tour of the Coors Brewery
Big Blue Bear

Local Foods:
Rocky Mountain Oysters

What They're Drinkin':
Fat Tire, Coors, All types of locally brewed microbrews.

Tailgating Hotspots:
Lot C with the Mile High Jester
Lot M with Danny the Greek

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Denver
RTD Light Rail System Map
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map

Local Sports Media:
The Denver Post
Popular Bar Districts:
LoDo District - (Giggling Grizzly, LoDo's, Red Square, The Wine Loft)
The Corner Office, 9th Door, Walnut Room

Best Restaurants:
The Fort  (Buffalo, Elk, Quail - typically western pioneer cuisine)
Falling Rock Tap House
LODO's Bar and Grill
Steubens (Local Restaurant - try the green-chile cheesburger)

Getting to the Stadium:
To fully experience Mile High Stadium, you need to drive there to take part in some top end tailgating.  There are plenty of spaces available and parking is a reasonable $30.  If you prefer public transportation, the RTD is available.  Take the orange or purple lines to the Invesco Field station.

Where To Stay:
Downtown Denver is where you want to stay.  With the stadium close by and the nightlife all around you, I would suggest Sheraton Downtown or the Hyatt.  The Red Lion Hotel or the Days Inn are also good options.

 
Planning Your Next Trip to see the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Denver Broncos tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

 
Compare Prices for Denver Broncos Football Tickets Here:


Click on the following links for Denver Broncos ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web.  Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
 
Invesco Field at Mile High Denver Broncos Seating Chart
TicketCity.com
StubHub.com
VividSeats.com
TicketNetwork
Razorgator.com
 

 

   

Click for Forecast for 80204 from weatherUSA.net
Stadium 28 Invesco Field at Mile High   Dan Gettin' Ready to Barbecue   Matt, Tim and the Crew
         
   
Beer Pong Broncos Style   Broncos Tailgaters 09   The Charger Fans were Representin'
         
   
Myself and the Broncnator   The Mile High Leprechaun   Tom from the Broncos Bus
         
   
Crystal and I with the Broncos Bus   Exceptional Seats with a great View   Down at Field Level
         
         
     
COMMENTS?
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
 for my journey to Invesco Field at Mile High, including the following:
 
             
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
 
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Brian Mills the Chargers fan from Thornton, CO
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:49 PM
 
I was one of the Chargers fans that met you this past Sunday in Denver. You have one heck of a quest and I am very jealous of you. Good luck on the final leg of the stadium quest.
   
   

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