A look at the $100 million in Empower Field upgrades targeting improved Broncos fan experience


Football season is quickly nearing its conclusion in Denver, but its end only marks the beginning of a busy offseason of work at Empower Field.

Not long after the Broncos’ Jan. 7 season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers, work will begin on more than $100 million in stadium improvements, highlighted by an expansion of the video board, an expanded team store, refurbished suites and additional concessions, team president Damani Leech told The Post.

“This will be the single-largest capital improvement in the stadium’s 22-year history,” he said. “It’s a number of different things that should immediately impact and enhance the fan experience.”

Planning has been in the works since the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group took control of the franchise in August and hired Leech as its team president the following day. The work got the final green light Wednesday afternoon when the NFL ownership group unanimously approved Denver’s G-4 financing proposal at its league meeting in Dallas, a source told The Post. The Metropolitan Football Stadium District also approved $12 million as part of the project.

The work is slated to be completed over the upcoming offseason and does not signal any determination from the ownership group on whether to build a new stadium in the future.

“It started with the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group, which immediately gave us the task, as soon as they secured ownership of the club, to enhance the stadium and the fan experience,” Leech said. “That was their directive. They wanted to make an immediate impact and really reinforce their commitment to the club and to the community, so that was our initial task. Then we went into the data.”

That resulted in a list of more than 30 potential improvements to make at the stadium. A small working group then set about figuring out priorities and what could be completed in a single offseason with bi-weekly input from CEO Greg Penner.

“We gave him updates on our thinking and he was giving us feedback and direction and really pushing us to just make the stadium as good as it can be,”  Leech said.

The biggest item: A 70% larger video board, which will measure 31 feet taller than the current version and will check in at 225 feet wide and 72 feet tall. Stadium general manager Jay Roberts told The Post that work on the board will begin shortly after the season ends and that much of the support structure for the board needs to be reinforced. All of the video panels will be replaced and upgraded and the goal is to have the new board completed by the beginning of August.

The work schedule is built in part to accommodate a full set of summer concerts, Roberts said.


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