ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Almost two years after Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen broke ground on what would be a groundbreaking facility, and one year after construction finished on it, the team officially dedicated its indoor practice facility as the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Prior to the unveiling of the new sign atop the building in his name, the Broncos' four Hall of Famers gave brief remarks about how the facility represents Mr. Bowlen's commitment and dedication, and the honor they had of working with him.
The Broncos officially dedicated their indoor practice facility the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse Saturday night. (all photos by Eric Bakke)
"I think that when you look at this building, when you look at these facilities, it really talks about what Pat is all about," said John Elway, the Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager.
Such a facility is a step up from a bubble like the one Elway practiced in during his playing career, and it's two steps above the indoor facility Ring of Famers like Tom Jackson and Floyd Little played in — which is to say none at all.
"He's talked about when you played for a great guy like that and you work for a guy like that like Pat Bowlen, and he always talks about football and football teams first," Elway said. "This is evident that he puts his money where is mouth is, if you look at this facility, and there's not a better indoor facility in the National Football League."
For Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman, he saw much in common with Mr. Bowlen and how he carries himself as an owner.
"The other day I was thinking, I said 'You know what, Mr. B is kind of like an O-lineman among the owners,'" Zimmerman recalled. "'All these other owners are flashy, and Pat was quiet in the background.' So the way I look at it, he's an offensive lineman owner.'
The pillar honoring Owner Pat Bowlen in Ring of Fame Plaza was unveiled at a sunset ceremony Oct. 30.
"I came from somewhere else and I saw how another team was run, and then when I came here, it was shocking. I couldn't believe the way things were run here, the will to win, that kind of thing."
And on the night the fieldhouse was dedicated in Mr. Bowlen's name for perpetuity, talk couldn't help but touch on hopes to see him achieve future accolades at an even higher level.
"Now my charge and goal from this day forward is: Pat is a Hall of Fame owner," Little said, "and we've got to get Pat in the Hall of Fame."