The Denver Broncos NFL team has confirmed plans for more than $100m (£81m/€94m) worth of upgrades for Empower Field at Mile High, with the investment to mark the largest capital improvement in the stadium since it opened in 2001.
The project will begin after the season and conclude before the 2023 campaign, and will feature upgrades to videoboards, premium hospitality areas, technology, concessions, the team store and elevators.
The Metropolitan Football Stadium District has approved $12m in funding for the project, with the remainder of the cost to be assumed by the Broncos with G-4 financing that was approved by the NFL on Wednesday. The NFL’s G-4 funding programme allows NFL teams to receive assistance for stadium-related projects.
The scoreboard above the south stands at Empower Field will be expanded by 70%, creating a display that will be the fourth largest in the NFL. It will measure 72 feet tall by 225 feet wide and will be better equipped to display statistics, HD replays, improved in-game entertainment and more.
The Broncos will also renovate suites and surrounding corridors for premium guests, with an all-inclusive hospitality space on field level. The United Club will also be improved, while concession enhancements will be made on Levels 1, 2, 3 and 5, and autonomous markets will be further expanded.
The stadium’s Wi-Fi system will also be improved, beginning in 2024. The Broncos will also upgrade the stadium’s video control room and tunnel boards, while its team store will be expanded by 25% and two new elevators will be installed.
Broncos president Damani Leech told the Denver Post: “This will be the single largest capital improvement in the stadium’s 22-year history. It’s a number of different things that should immediately impact and enhance the fan experience.”
The Broncos confirmed the upgrade plans yesterday (Wednesday) after reports of the improvements emerged earlier this week. The upgrades have been announced after the world-record $4.65bn takeover of the Broncos was officially completed in August.
The Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group was officially approved by a unanimous vote of NFL owners at a special league meeting in Minnesota, with the future of Empower Field at Mile High an area the owners are looking to address.
Leech added: “It started with the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group, which immediately gave us the task, as soon as they secured ownership of the club, to enhance the stadium and the fan experience.
“That was their directive. They wanted to make an immediate impact and really reinforce their commitment to the club and to the community, so that was our initial task. Then we went into the data.”
The Broncos’ home opened in 2001 with the assistance of taxpayer funds and while it is still only two decades old, it now lacks the modern amenities associated with new NFL venues such as SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium.
The Broncos currently have nine years remaining on their stadium lease deal with Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the owner of Empower Field.