DENVER — Broncos games will look a lot different this year at Empower Field at Mile High – hopefully on the field and in the win column, but certainly in the stands and concourses from the fans’ perspective.
On the eve of the team’s first and only home preseason game, the Broncos on Friday unveiled this year’s changes at the stadium.
Ownership spent $100 million on upgrades to Empower Field during the offseason, a significant chunk of which went to enhancing the suites and club level and to a massive video board behind the south end zone. The video scoreboard is 70% larger than the old one, and now ranks as the fifth-largest NFL video board.
The team merchandise store was expanded by 3,000 square feet under the influence of the team's new Walmart-heir owners. Throughout the concourse, fans will also see new video boards, new murals created by local artists and five autonomous markets for contactless concession purchases.
Team president Damani Leech said the upgrades to the existing stadium are independent of any conversation around the prospect of a new stadium for the team.
“We've used this as an opportunity to reimagine,” Leech said. “So [fans will notice] everything from what happens outside the bowl, [to] Main Street, our fan area, different activations around the stadium.”
“What we're doing as far as the future with the stadium, that's a separate issue. And that was the point I was trying to make, which I think is really a testament to ownership: They're making this commitment to this stadium only for the near and immediate term.”
The Broncos say the offseason improvements make up the largest capital investment in Empower Field’s 22-year history.
As is customary at Empower Field and at pro stadiums across the country each year, fans will have new concession options at Broncos games, too. Among the list of new and returning food items touted by the team:
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese | Sections 318, 518: Mac and cheese with pulled chicken, buffalo sauce, green onion, bacon and bleu cheese crumbles
Tipsy Scoop Ice Cream | Section 326: Ice cream mixed with alcohol. Only for those 21 and up
Little Man Ice Cream Sandwich | Section 326: Ice cream sandwiches from the famous Denver ice cream maker.
Souvenir Football Monster Chicken Nachos | Sections 110, 116, 128, 202, 507, 511, 531: Chicken tinga nachos with chili con queso, pico de gallo, sour cream and green chiles. Served on a football-shaped platter.
Colorado Tater Keg | Section 512: Tater tots covered with cheddar cheese, pork belly and pork green chili.
Grain Bowl | Sections 318, 518: Sweet potato, black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and chickpeas on top of wild grain rice and arugula.
Brunch Banh Mi | Section 512: Egg patty, pork belly, chorizo, carrots and radish inside a baguette and topped with Japanese mayonnaise, Sriracha and cilantro
BBQ Pork Sandwich | Sections 318, 518: BBQ pork sandwich with crispy onions and a dill pickle
Double Bacon Burger | Section 107: Two burger patties with “secret sauce,” bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese
X-Large Pretzel | Section 107: An extra large pretzel with a side of dipping sauce.