Broncos Stadium set for lighting upgrade in World Cup drive

Denver’s Broncos Stadium is set to undergo major renovation work as it seeks to become one of the host venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Denver is one of 17 US cities vying to be one of the country’s 10 World Cup locations in 2026, when the tournament will be co-hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico.

The Denver Post newspaper notes that Broncos Stadium, home of NFL team the Denver Broncos, falls short of certain FIFA requirements to stage matches and the venue is currently being fitted with a new lighting system to bring it up to standard.

The Post reported that thousands of LED bulbs are being fitted at the stadium to replace metal halide bulbs that have been in place since 2001. Work is due to conclude later this month.

Musco Lighting has been contracted to upgrade the stadium as part of wider repair work worth $8.3m (£6.3m/€7.3m).

The Post’s report added that Broncos Stadium will still require more LED lighting, along with the removal of some front-row seats and other fixes before it meets FIFA’s standards.

“Our bid really centred around our destination to support an event of this importance and size,” Matthew Payne, director of the Denver Sports Commission, said. “We really needed to showcase our airport, transit, accommodations and the stadium was hugely important.”

The 76,000-seat stadium has been selected as one of the host venues for this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup national team tournament.

As well as 17 US host venues, the United 2026 World Cup proposal comprises three each in Canada and Mexico. This will eventually be reduced to 16 venues across 16 cities during a final host city evaluation and selection process, with a decision not expected for at least another two years.

The United 2026 stadium proposals are: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta), M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore), Gillette Stadium (Boston), Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati), AT&T Stadium (Dallas), Broncos Stadium (Denver), Commonwealth Stadium (Edmonton), Estadio Akron (Guadalajara), NRG Stadium (Houston), Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City), Rose Bowl (Los Angeles), Estadio Azteca (Mexico City), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami), Estadio BBVA Bancomer (Monterrey), Olympic Stadium (Montreal), Nissan Stadium (Nashville), MetLife Stadium (New York/New Jersey), Camping World Stadium (Orlando), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia), Levi’s Stadium (San Francisco Bay Area), CenturyLink Field (Seattle), BMO Field (Toronto) and FedExField (Washington, D.C.).

Image: Jeramey Jennane