Sports Authority Field at Mile High
San Diego Chargers
vs. Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos Stadium
November 22, 2009
32 - 3 Loss
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Capacity: 76,125 seats
Playing Surface: Natural Grass
Draft Beer: $8.00
Hot Dog: $4.75
Stadium Parking: $30.00
Sports Authority Field
1701 Bryant Street
Denver, CO 80204
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.
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)
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.
|City of Denver Local Information|
Top Tourist Attractions:
Pike's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Forest, Garden of the gods
Take a Tour of the Coors Brewery
Big Blue Bear
Rocky Mountain Oysters
What They're Drinkin':
Fat Tire, Coors, All types of locally brewed microbrews.
Lot C with the Mile High Jester
Lot M with Danny the Greek
Pocket Map of Denver
RTD Light Rail System Map
Stadium Parking Map
Local Sports Media:
The Denver Post
LoDo District - (Giggling Grizzly, LoDo's, Red Square, The Wine Loft)
The Corner Office, 9th Door, Walnut Room
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.
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|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|
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!
All commentary will be moderated. Your e-mail address will not be published.
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.|