The popularity of the Broncos has risen over the past three decades, as the team has been recognized as "America's Team" by a 2014 Harris poll. The success on the field has been matched by the fans' devotion, making opponents' trips to Denver tough challenges. In fact, the Broncos' have the NFL's best home record (181-67) during Pat Bowlen's tenure, the NFL's best attendance at home games and the team has sold out every game during his ownership. The fan experience has been a priority for Mr. Bowlen, as shown by his investment in Sports Authority Field at Mile High's construction and its upgrades.
There is perhaps no player who knows Mr. Bowlen's impact than the player so central to that success on the field than Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway.
"I’ve had the privilege of working for Pat Bowlen for nearly 30 years, and he is the most deserving of anyone ever elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame," Elway said. "As one of his players for many years and now in my current role, Pat has given us every opportunity and every resource to put the best football team on the field and compete for championships. [...] In my opinion, Pat Bowlen is one of the greatest contributors in the history of professional football—not just the Denver Broncos. I congratulate Pat on his election to the Broncos Ring of Fame and look forward to the day he is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
The success his teams have had far outnumber the few low points, to the degree that the team has been to the Super Bowl more times than it's had losing seasons (an NFL-record low of five) under his ownership. He has set the standard of success for team ownership, and the bar is certainly a high one given not only the peaks he's seen but the longevity the Broncos' have had consistently as one of the league's best teams.
And not only that, but his presence on numerous league committees helped extend the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement over the years.
"On behalf of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame Committee, I am very pleased to announce that Owner Pat Bowlen has been elected to the Ring of Fame by a unanimous vote," said Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis, before touching on the impact he's had in the league as a whole. "Nobody is more deserving of this prestigious recognition than ‘Mr. B,’ whose contributions to the Broncos, this community and the National Football League are truly immeasurable.
"Pat Bowlen’s iconic, three-decade ownership of the Broncos includes an extraordinary winning tradition and a positive impact in our community. He has also had a profound influence on the growth of the league through his tireless work and dedication serving its various committees and initiatives."
Mr. Bowlen has also been a key figure in helping take football outside of the US border, volunteering to take the Broncos on the road to Barcelona, Berlin, London, Mexico City, Sydney and Tokyo.
His accomplishments establishing integrity and triumph as the fundamental foundation of the Broncos have made them a monumental piece of Colorado, leading to an induction into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, and finally Mr. Bowlen's name will be added to the annals of team greatness at the site where his influence continues to drive the Broncos on a daily basis, especially on Sundays.
"This is a great day for the Denver Broncos and our fans," Ellis said. "We look forward to honoring Pat and celebrating his achievements with the Bowlen family when he is officially inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame this season."