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Broncos, city officials introduce vision to replace south parking lots with entertainment district

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The plan includes converting 52 acres of parking into a mixed-use neighborhood to enhance the game-day experience for fans and create a live-work-play area for locals.

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Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

In about 10 years, your game-day visits to Mile High could be that much cooler.

The Denver Broncos and city officials are taking the first steps to pursuing a development idea around Mile High Stadium that’s been tossed around for years - developing the south end parking lots into an entertainment district.

Team representatives have joined with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development to create their vision, which includes phasing in over the next decade a mixed-use neighborhood featuring bars, restaurants and other game-day favorites.

Denver Community Planning and Development

The area spanning 52 acres - and nearly half of current stadium parking - is also expected to include housing and will replace any lost parking spaces via parking decks.

Brad Buchanan, executive director of DCPD, said this plan is an opportunity to enhance the game-day experience for fans as well as ensure a new source of revenue to help pay on-going costs for the 17-year-old taxpayer-owned stadium.

“This is really game-changing,” Buchanan told the Denver Post. “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.”

The MFSD and Broncos’ vision is to create a neighborhood hub where people can live, work and play, as well as provide a better game-day experience for fans and improve critical transportation connections to the South Platte River, transit stations and downtown.

The foundation for this idea grew out of a 2013 plan provided by Sun Valley residents and business owners that recommended creating a year-round, mixed-use retail, entertainment and cultural hub to complement the stadium and other area recreational opportunities, with Lower Colfax as a “main street.”

City officials said the Denver Housing Authority has a mixed-income public housing development underway in this neighborhood, and planners say they will work closely with DHA and its residents to incorporate their needs and perspectives into this master plan. Public meetings will begin this spring.

“This is a unique opportunity for the district to become a year-round destination with places to live, eat, shop and enjoy,” said Mac Freeman, chief commercial officer for the Denver Broncos. “Similar to what many other sports teams around the country have done, this is a great chance to turn empty lots into family-friendly spaces that draw visitors throughout the year.”

Now if the Broncos can just find a company to buy the naming rights to the field...

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Poll

Do you like the idea of an entertainment district around the stadium instead of parking lots?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    YES! Maybe if they make enough money, ticket prices can go down!
    (136 votes)
  • 5%
    NO! I don’t know why I don’t like it, but I like to be against anything that sounds cool.
    (14 votes)
  • 20%
    Until I can afford a ticket to a game at Mile High, I really don’t care what they do with the stadium.
    (57 votes)
  • 26%
    I just really only care about what happens ON the field.
    (73 votes)
280 votes total Vote Now