Even if the foundering Denver Broncos take a loss in their NLF game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday, Mayor Michael Hancock is hoping the international excursion will net some economic development wins for the city.
Taxpayers will be chipping in a little more than $15,000 to fund those economic development efforts.
Using the Broncos’ U.K. visit as the trip’s anchor, Hancock and a handful of city staff members will be visiting Istanbul, London and Dublin between Thursday and Nov. 2. City officials called the trip “an economic development, tourism and trade mission to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Turkey,” in a news release Tuesday.
Aside from Hancock, the seven city employees who will be visiting at least one of the three capitals are:
- Hancock’s chief of staff Alan Salazar
- Deputy chief of staff Evan Dreyer
- Denver International Airport vice president of air service development Laura Jackson
- DIA chief commercial officer Penny May
- DIA senior vice president of airline affairs George Karayiannakis
- Denver’s Director of Global Business Development Stephanie Garnica
- Denver’s Global Business Development Manager Vanessa Simsick.
Flights and accommodations for DIA employees and a portion of Hancock and his staff’s trips will be paid for by the airport’s enterprise fund which is drawn from airport revenues. That adds up to $50,820.84. A remainder of the travel — $15,312.38 — will come from the city’s economic development office and general fund, administration officials said.
The trip starts Thursday in Istanbul, according to an agenda shared by Hancock’s office. There, the mayor will meet with officials at the U.S. consulate to discuss ways to deepen economic ties between Denver and Turkey. Hancock and DIA officials will also meet with airline representatives.
Istanbul has long been a coveted direct destination from DIA, in part because it opens up connections to other places in Africa and Asia, Hancock spokesman Mike Strott said Tuesday.
The Denver delegation will arrive in London on Friday for meetings with government and business leaders on tap.
On Sunday, Hancock, Salazar, Dreyer, Jackson and Garnica will attend the game between the Broncos and Jaguars. City tax dollars were not used on tickets for the game, Strott said.
Officials will visit Dublin on Tuesday, again with a focus on growing economic ties and direct flights between the two cities. The delegation will leave Ireland headed for Denver on Wednesday, the mayor’s itinerary says.
Representatives from the city’s tourism bureau Visit Denver, the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will also be joining on various stops, city officials said.