The Denver Broncos could see some major changes outside of their home stadium, as the team is working with local officials to plan a mixed-use development.
In a concept that appears to be gathering momentum, development would take place on the south parking lots of Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Over a period of several years, the land would be developed into a mixed-use area that would act as something of an entertainment district by providing bars, restaurants, and other destinations.
The Broncos will work with local officials to generate a comprehensive master plan for the development, and that plan should be completed in the next year. If the concept does become a reality, the development could serve as an amenity to bring economic activity to the area on a year-round basis and also offer a revenue source to funds future maintenance and upgrades to the stadium. More from The Denver Post:
Officials from the team, the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development on Wednesday provided the first glimpse of a new planning effort that will be launched soon by the city, with community meetings to solicit input.
The resulting master plan will form the basis for redevelopment of as many as 52 acres of stadium parking lots — about half of the stadium parking — in phases over the next seven to 10 years. In place of the lots, officials envision mixed-use redevelopment that’s heavy on bars, restaurants and other game-day draws, as well as housing and other potential components.
Team and stadium district officials said redevelopment would help ensure the 17-year-old, taxpayer-owned stadium’s long-term viability by generating a new source of income to cover upkeep costs.
City planners, for their part, see a major opportunity to reconnect Sun Valley to the rest of the city with the addition of a regional draw.
“This is really game-changing,” said Brad Buchanan, the planning department’s executive director, before apologizing for the bad pun. “It really is game-changing for our city, and it gives the opportunity to, we think, find the right, smart, new ways to develop in our city in a time when that really takes some smarter approaches than we have needed to use in the past.”
Similar developments have already taken shape around the NFL–New England’s Patriot Place and Green Bay’s Titletown are prominent examples–and there are other projects in the works. The new Los Angeles stadium that will be the home of the Rams and Chargers is expected to anchor a sprawling development, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been reported to be considering the construction of a entertainment district near their home.
Should the Broncos’ development move forward, existing parking spaces would be replaced by new spaces in parking garages. The team is also still on the search for a new stadium naming rights partner to replace Sports Authority, which filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
Image courtesy of the Denver Broncos.