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Broncos Stadium redevelopment, naming rights to be discussed Monday

Fans call for stadium to be named after Pat Bowlen
Posted at 8:11 AM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 14:51:22-04

DENVER — Denver City Council will review the Stadium District Master Plan, which will describe the future of the area around Mile High, on Monday.

Supporters want to turn the area south of the stadium into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. This would include shops, restaurants and condos, and may include several new buildings up to 30 stories tall. The development would replace an area currently used for parking during games and events.

The city surveyed community members about the plans and found a majority are in favor of redeveloping the neighborhood. Twenty-nine percent said they want transit to be a focus of the redevelopment, with attention on walking, biking and other transit options. Forty-three percent also said they want more food and beverage options.

If you want to go to the city council meeting, it's scheduled fro 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Denver City and County Building at 1437 Bannock St.

While the city looks to the future of the stadium neighborhood, Broncos fans are curious about the future of the franchise. The death of longtime owner Pat Bowlen has left questions about the team's ownership and the name of the stadium.

Last year the Metropolitan Football Stadium District decided to temporarily rename the stadium Broncos Stadium at Mile High, while they looked for a long-term sponsor. Sports Authority previously held the naming rights before the company went bankrupt in 2016.

Some fans do not want another corporate name on the stadium. An online petition is calling for the stadium to be named in honor of Bowlen. The creator of the petition, Donald Montoya, said the stadium has carried the names of businesses that have no association with Denver for too many years.

“It's time our great venue had a name we could be proud of," he said. "Pat Bowlen has done more for our team and football in general than any owner in NFL history. The Broncos should find a way or find a sponsor willing to name our stadium Pat Bowlen Field at Mile High Stadium. It would be a fitting tribute to the greatest owner to ever grace the halls of Canton. If you agree, then sign this petition and pass it on. I'm trying to get as many signatures as possible before they make a deal for naming rights.”

But Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis tamped those expectations in a Monday morning news conference.

“I’d say sometimes when I look at things that involved Pat personally, now that he hasn’t been present and he hasn’t been here, I try to think what he would want. I don’t think he would want that, so I don’t think we’re going to do that,” Ellis said. “We’ve honored him with a statue, a Ring of Fame pillar, a plaque in the Ring of Fame. I think we’ll do some things this season to honor him.”

“But if we were to put his name on the stadium, I can remember him, when he knew I was off-track, saying, ‘Joe, just a second here.’ And I think that would be his reaction. And there are probably some people who would disagree, and I respect that, but for now, that is not something that would be in our plans,” Ellis added.

The Metropolitan Football Stadium District is set to meet next on June 26. There is no published agenda so it’s not clear if board members plan to discuss the naming rights.