The sequel to the original Mile High Stadium, the new Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium started construction in 1999. This facility opened to the public on September 10th, 2001, with the first game taking place between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants, resulting in a 31-20 win for the Broncos the day before 9/11. Costs for the stadium ended up totaling $400.7 million, funded mostly by taxpayers as part of a six year plan to upgrade major professional sporting venues in the city, including the Pepsi Center and Coors Field.
The elevation of Mile High is listed at 5,280 feet, which is indeed a mile high. The new stadium is located close to the South Platte River, only 50 feet away from the original Mile High stadium. With a capacity of 76,125, this venue is among the top five biggest in the NFL.
Maintaining the traditions of old, Mile High is designed in a horseshoe shape, matching with the motif of the Broncos. Bucky, also known as Bucko, is a 27-foot tall statue of a bucking horse that was refurbished before returning to his lofty perch.
Denver Broncos Stadium
Broncos fans are well-known as some of the loudest and most loyal in the game, having sold out every match since 1970. This means that a single seat has never been unsold throughout the history of the new venue. Most of the noisiest Bronco fans are located on the southern stands, which is conveniently located above the visitor’s locker room. In addition to the regular thunder of the fans, quarterbacks suffer through the indignity of the traditional “incomplete” chant that Bronco fans yell whenever an opposing quarterback fails to hit his target.
Over the last half decade, the Broncos have performed well at home, in particular over the past three seasons, in which they boast a 22-2 record. Over the past five years, their 28-12 record at home has earned the squad a .700 winning percentage.
As if playing in front of rabid fans wasn’t bad enough, the thin air due to elevation makes it especially difficult for opposing teams to keep up with the Broncos. Winters in Denver can be very cold, which adds to the difficulty in playing against the Broncos at Mile High. As a result, the Broncos have one of the biggest home field advantages of all teams in the NFL.
Despite the elevation and the cold, the natural turf surface is considered adequate according to the 2010 NFLPA playing field survey.
Date Opened: September 10th, 2001
Construction Cost: $400.7 million
Architect: HNTB; Bertram A. Burton and Associates; Fentress Architects
Capacity Attendance: 76,125
Playing Surface: Desso Grassmaster Hybrid
Previous Denver Broncos Stadiums
Mile High Stadium; DU Stadium
Other Major Events
Rocky Mountain Showdown
One of the biggest annual college football events in the state is the Rocky Mountain Showdown between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams. Established in 1893, this tradition went on hiatus in 1958, before resurfacing in 1983, eventually becoming annual event again in 1995.
Democratic Party Nomination of President Obama
Around 84,000 people witnessed President Barack Obama accept the nomination during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, changing locations from the Pepsi Center due to the overwhelming interest in his acceptance speech.
The 2014 International Champions Cup brought A.S. Roma and Manchester United to Mile High stadium. In this match-up, Manchester United beat A.S. Roma 3-2.