ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After beginning a $100 million overhaul to Empower Field at Mile High a year ago, Broncos Owner & CEO Greg Penner watched as the upgraded Broncos stadium took shape and then transformed game days over 10 weekends from August through December.
And while Penner said Tuesday the team continues to "evaluate options" regarding the long-term future of the franchise's stadium, he acknowledged the upgrades made a clear difference in their first year.
"It's a long-term, complex question of what we end up doing there," Penner said at his end-of-season press conference. "I will say that I was pleased with the impact of the upgrades that we made this last offseason. I think that fans, from the feedback that we got, they appreciated it as well."
The stadium, which hosted its 23rd Broncos season in 2023, featured an array of new highlights after undergoing a massive enhancement.
The most notable was the expansion of the south videoboard, which increased in size by 70 percent. The towering board provided easier viewing for replays, statistics, in-game entertainment and more. The smaller videoboards in the northwest and northeast corners above the 500 level also were upgraded.
The Broncos' team store also received a significant investment, as the space was enlarged by 25 percent and given modern design features to improve the fan experience.
Fan experience was also a focus with renovations to suites and concession spaces, as well as the addition of two more elevators to the east and west sides of the stadium. It was also previously announced that the stadium's WiFi system will receive an upgrade in 2024.
In November, the organization also announced plans to build a new training facility for the team's day-to-day home. The privately funded project will replace the existing team headquarters at Centura Health Training Center on the same site. The facility, which will be 30 percent larger in size than the current space, will optimize the daily path for players and put business staff in the same building as the football staff, all under one roof.
"Our building right now is actually great," Penner said. "The challenge is as it gets older, we kept putting more and more money in it to keep it up to the standard that it needed to be at. It has also gotten small. It's very difficult to expand. We really wanted to have an opportunity to bring more of our business folks down from the stadium, get people in one building and then have a building that's really player-focused. It's all about the player. What this is going to enable us to do is … instead of having the main building, the strength-and-conditioning area and the practice facility [separated], we'll pull it all together. The spaces are going to be terrific. We think it'll raise the expectations for the players and the organization."
A UNIFORM UPDATE
While the focus Tuesday centered on the team's on-field performance, Penner also addressed speculation surrounding the Broncos' uniforms. While he said there will be "things coming there in the future," Penner stated the team had no announcement to make regarding the organization's jerseys.
"Nothing to announce on new uniforms today," Penner said. "That's also been a learning for me. I just figured when you wanted to change your uniforms, you just made a new uniform. But, boy, it's a several-year process with the league and Nike to get there. So we'll be having some things coming there in the future, but nothing to announce today."
The Broncos last rebranded in 1997 with new uniforms and logos. The organization later changed their home uniform set by swapping from blue tops to orange starting with the 2012 season.
In 2023, the franchise introduced its first all-white alternate helmet, which sported the Broncos' retro D logo on top of the all-orange Color Rush uniforms.