American Football Wiki
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Sports Authority Field /
Mile High Stadium II
File:Ifamh logo.png
File:Invesco Field at Mile High.jpg
Location 1701 Mile High Stadium Circle West, Denver, Colorado 80204-1701
Broke ground August 17, 1999
Opened September 10, 2001
Owner Denver Metropolitan Football Stadium District
Operator Stadium Management Company
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction cost $364.9 million
Architect HNTB
Tenants Denver Broncos (NFL) (2001–present)
Denver Outlaws (MLL) (2006–2019)
Colorado Rapids (MLS) (2002–2006)
Democratic National Convention (2008)
Rocky Mountain Showdown
Capacity 76,125 (football)
up to 60,000 (concerts)

Sports Authority at Mile High (commonly Sports Authority Field and Mile High) is a multi-purpose stadium, in Denver, Colorado. It replaced the identically sized, but commercially obsolete Mile High Stadium (named for the fact that Denver is exactly one mile above sea level) in 2001. It is best known as the home of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Invesco paid $120 million dollars for the naming rights. It was opened on September 10, 2001, one day before the 9/11 attacks happened in New York.

Naming rights controversy

Many fans opposed a corporate name and wished to retain the previous venue's name, "Mile High Stadium."[1] The Denver Post initially refused to use the Invesco label and referred to it as Mile High for several years before changing their policy and adding Invesco to articles.


It is used primarily for football games. It is the home field for Denver's National Football League team, the Denver Broncos. The stadium also hosts the city's Major League Lacrosse team, the Denver Outlaws. In college football it has hosted the rivalry game between the Colorado State University Rams and the University of Colorado at Boulder Buffaloes. It is also used for the CHSAA class 4A and 5A Colorado high school football state championship games, and has been used for the CBMA Marching Band Finals.

In addition, it has been used for the DCI (Drum Corps International) Championships in 2004 and the annual Drums Along the Rockies competition. It is also used for concerts, music festivals and other events. It was the former home of the city's Major League Soccer franchise, the Colorado Rapids.


It marks the completion of a six–year sporting venue upgrade program in Denver, including Coors Field and the Pepsi Center. As with the other venues, the stadium was constructed to be easily accessible. It sits along Interstate 25 near the Colfax Avenue and 17th Avenue exits. It is also bordered by Federal Boulevard, a major Denver thoroughfare, on the west side. A dedicated light rail station also serves the stadium. The stadium is located in the Sun Valley neighborhood.

Stadium culture and traditions

A home game tradition (carried over from the original Mile High Stadium) is the "Incomplete Chant". At Bronco home games, when the opposing team throws an incomplete pass, the stadium announcer will state "Pass thrown by (the opposing quarterback) intended for (the opposing intended receiver) is..." at which time the fans complete the chant by saying "in-com-plete!". This is followed by the infamous "sad trombone" sound effect. The stadium has sold out every Denver Broncos home game since its inception in 2001, carrying over the "sell-out" tradition from Mile High Stadium, where every home game had been sold out since 1970 (though due to NFL policy, local TV broadcasts did not start until 1973). Another tradition carried over from Mile High Stadium is during halftime or towards the end of the game, the stadium's PA announcer will announce the actual attendance for the game as well as how many people didn't show up for the game, and if that number is generally over a thousand, Broncos fans chant a loud "boo" towards those empty seats. The empty seats should not be taken as the game not being sold out, it just simply means some fans with tickets did not show. "The Wave" is also a popular thing amongst Broncos fans, which was also carried over from Mile High Stadium. During the stadiums first years, another tradition was carried over from Mile High, where Broncos fans on each side of the stadium would chant "Go" "Broncos", and they would go back and fourth chanting it for many minutes. That tradition has since died out. Another long term tradition that will forever be embedded in Broncos culture is the infamous "South Stands", where it is known to be the loudest and most fierce portion of the stadium. Fans sitting in the "South Stands" have been known to be some of the loudest fans in all of pro sports.

Notable events

File:Denver Colorado Invesco Field at Mile High.jpg

The field at Invesco Field at Mile High.

File:DSCN5753 invescofieldatmilehigh e.jpg

The main entrance of the stadium.

File:Invesco Field at Mile High DNC 2008.jpg

The south endzone as it looked during the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Satellite view of stadium

The first event held was a concert by The Eagles.

The first football game held was the Rocky Mountain Showdown, when the University of Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Colorado State University Rams, 41-14.

On September 10, 2001, it hosted its first regular season NFL game, in which the Denver Broncos defeated the New York Giants 31–20. In a pre-game ceremony Broncos legends John Elway, Steve Atwater, Randy Gradishar, Haven Moses, Billy Thompson, Floyd Little, Dennis Smith, and Karl Mecklenburg helped to "Move the Thunder" from the old Mile High Stadium to the new home of the Broncos.

On August 1, 2003, Metallica played to a sold-out crowd of almost 100,000 people.

In August 2004, it hosted the Drum Corps International Division I World Championships.

On July 2, 2005, it hosted the 2005 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game. In 2006, Major League Lacrosse placed the expansion Outlaws in Denver.

It hosted the 2006 AFC Championship Game, which the Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-17. This and the AFC Divisional Playoff the previous week, where Denver beat the New England Patriots, are the only two playoff games to date the Broncos have hosted at the newer stadium.

On October 29, 2007, a record crowd of 77,160 watched the Broncos lose to the Green Bay Packers 19-13 on Monday Night Football on the first play from scrimmage in overtime.

On August 28, 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States here, moving the 2008 Democratic National Convention from the Pepsi Center. Approximately 84,000 people attended Obama's speech, exceeding the normal capacity of the stadium due to the placement of audience on the field.[2][3][4][5]

On November 26, 2009, it hosted its first Thanksgiving game, when the Broncos took on the New York Giants. The game was televised on the NFL Network. The final score was 26-6 Broncos.

U2 performed on May 21, 2011, during their 360° Tour. The show was originally to be held on June 12, 2010, but was postponed, due to Bono's emergency back surgery.

Denver Broncos Ring of Fame

  • Quarterback John Elway (1983-1998), 1999 Inductee
  • Safety Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin (1960–1966), 1984 Inductee
  • Linebacker Randy Gradishar (1974–1983), 1989 Inductee
  • Defensive End Rich Jackson (1967–1972), 1984 Inductee
  • Linebacker Tom Jackson (1973–1986), 1992 Inductee
  • Quarterback Charley Johnson (1972–1975), 1986 Inductee
  • Running Back Floyd Little (1967–1975), 1984 Inductee
  • Linebacker Karl Mecklenburg (1983–1994), 2001 Inductee
  • Quarterback Craig Morton (1977–1982), 1988 Inductee
  • Wide Receiver Haven Moses (1972–1981), 1988 Inductee
  • Former Owner Gerald H. Phipps, 1985 Inductee
  • Safety Dennis Smith (1981–1994), 2001 Inductee
  • Defensive End Paul Smith (1968–1978), 1986 Inductee
  • Wide Receiver Lionel Taylor (1960–1966), 1984 Inductee
  • Defensive Back Bill Thompson (1969–1981), 1987 Inductee
  • Quarterback Frank Tripucka (1960–1963), 1986 Inductee
  • Kicker Jim Turner (1971–1979), 1988 Inductee
  • Cornerback Louis Wright (1975–1986), 1993 Inductee
  • Tackle Gary Zimmerman (1993–1997), 2003 Inductee
  • Free Safety Steve Atwater (1989–1998), 2005 Inductee
  • Running Back Terrell Davis (1995–2001), 2007 Inductee[6]
  • Tight End Shannon Sharpe (1990–1999, 2002–2003), 2009 Inductee

While the ring of fame was carried over from the old stadium to the new, the names were re-ordered to segregate the pre-Pat Bowlen (the team's owner and founder of the Ring) era and the post-Bowlen era. One of the most noticeable changes was the move of John Elway's name to the center of the ring, in-between the goalposts of the North endzone.[7]

See also


  1. Gregory E. Favre (August 10, 2006). A Mile High Controversy. Retrieved on 2006-09-25.
  2. "Obama accepts Democrat nomination", BBC News, BBC, 2008-08-29. Retrieved on 2008-08-29. 
  3. Obama greeted by screaming crowd at stadium. The Associated Press (2008-08-28). Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  4. Lloyd, Robert (2008-08-29). Barack Obama, Al Gore raise the roof at Invesco Field. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  5. Wangsness, Lisa (2008-08-29). Some saw spectacular, others just spectacle. The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  6. Denver Broncos website
  7. Kyle Ringo. Kickoff: Birth of a Stadium. Archived from the original on 2006-07-22. Retrieved on 2006-11-30.

External links