DENVER -- Broncos President Joe Ellis needed no microphone during his Town Hall meeting on Thursday evening at the team's locker room in Sports Authority Field at Mile High – the audience surrounding him was close enough to hear without one.
For the second time this offseason, Ellis spoke face-to-face to the 60 or so Broncos season ticket holders who attended the intimate event, fielding questions about all things Broncos football and addressing the concerns of season ticket holders.
Broncos cheerleaders Tara and Toni G. also attended the event - chatting with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs. The fans also got to take a sneak peek at the new scoreboards that have been installed as part of a $30 million investment to improve gameday experience for ticketholders.
Ellis listened and interacted with the season ticket holders for nearly 90 minutes, addressing concerns and emphasizing the importance of transparency for making fans feel like a valued part of the Broncos organization that they so passionately support.
"It's important to be transparent," Ellis said. "Not only do you, the fans, invest your money, but you invest your emotions in our team. It's a big deal to you. It's more than just season tickets for you and we recognize that."
On the heels of back-to-back AFC West titles, Ellis also touched on the lofty expectations for the Broncos in 2013.
"We're excited about this year," Ellis said. "Everything that you read, everything that you hear, everything that you watch on TV – as we go into training camp – they're going to speculate us to have a very high finish this year. That's all good. But here's the deal – you've got to play the games, right?"
"It's not going to be won on paper. But we feel that we're in a good position and we're excited about all of the offseason moves."
One of the most prominent issues that was discussed between Ellis and the fans were new security policies at Sports Authority Field for the 2013 season – most notably the new bag policy.
"I'll be very blunt with you," Ellis said. "The Boston Marathon was a game-changer. The NFL is the most high-profile sport in America. We've got to make sure that you're safe and that you have a good time. We're going to try to make these lines go well."
"Even if the new policy is not the most family friendly, I think that everyone would agree in the end that safety is the most paramount issue for us," one fan added.
Ellis noted that there will be significant improvements in cellular coverage for fans using Verizon, AT&T and Sprint services – and he also addressed a wide continuum of topics ranging from stadium accessibility to the game day atmosphere to beer and food selections in the stadium.
When asked about the progress of Montee Ball, Ellis responded, "I think everybody's very optimistic. He's had a really good run at things in minicamp and during OTAs. He finished up strong in the last minicamp and the coaches like him. They like his toughness. He carried the ball a few hundred times in college and he's just very tough."
One fan asked Ellis why Simon Fletcher, the Broncos' all-time franchise leader in sacks with 97.5, has not yet been inducted into the Ring of Fame.
"He was a sack specialist," Ellis responded. "I think the committee will re-look at it. There are some other guys who aren't in who should be, too. (Fletcher) was a great player and he'll probably be re-looked at."