Once upon a time, there was a service that would take Denver Broncos fans from anywhere in the Denver Metro area to the stadium and home for under $20.
Like decaying strips of duct tape on sidewalks and publicly posted peeling social distancing stickers, one of the more annoying enduring legacies of the pandemic is the lack of bus service to Broncos games. What started out as a safety measure has morphed into a boon for opportunistic parking vultures by the stadium.
If you’re prepared to walk a decent amount, you can find parking for $50. If you want anything closer, be prepared to shell out as much as $200. This was the reality for my parents who are in their late-70’s. You can imagine how this change has affected them.
It used to be, they would drive to Arapahoe High School, park just feet away from the bus, and get a direct ride to the stadium without having to deal with the hassle of gameday parking. The busses were fun, loaded with Broncos fans each eager for a Broncos win. When they did win, there was no better feeling than participating in the impromptu chants and cheers while listening to KOA broadcast throughout the bus on the way back home.
Some of my best memories are capped by these bus rides, like I described in this article recapping the Broncos week 12 win over the Patriots in 2015.
The Ride Home
So, the jubilation of the victory had turned into collect your crap and let’s go home. For years now, we have used the RTD Broncos busses to get to and from the games and this night was no different. The snow had been piling up and it was getting late. My uncle-in-law and I, along with around 50 other half-drunk, tired, and cold football fans, piled into the bus and proceeded to watch as our driver got on I-25 going the wrong way. We were headed to Arapahoe High School in Centennial where our stop was, but we were headed nowhere near that direction.
Under protests from the passengers that the driver was going the wrong way, he then got on I-70 East headed toward the airport — still the wrong way. What should have been a 30-minute ride straight south turned into an hour and a half tour around the major freeways of Denver. At the airport we got on I-225 finally headed the right way — in a snowstorm!
Honestly, it didn’t matter. The Broncos had won. They were 9-2 and visions of a Super Bowl championship were manifesting. What a game for the ages.
If I’m begging for the Broncos and RTD to bring back this service even after an epic journey like the one described above, you know it must be worth it. It’s time to bring it back.
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