Denver Broncos | News

Joe Ellis hoping NFL sends Broncos to London for International Series

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos could be headed across the pond in 2020.

The Falcons will play one of their home games next season outside of the U.S. border, and the game could be held in London. The Broncos are a candidate to travel to play against Atlanta.

President/CEO Joe Ellis said Monday he thinks it would be "really good" for the Broncos to participate in the NFL's International Series and said he has "pestered and begged" the NFL to send the Broncos to London for the first time since 2010.

Ellis said he also made a personal request to Falcons owner Arthur Blank for Denver to join Atlanta abroad this season.

"He came up to me at the last league meeting and was supportive, but the league's got to do what's best for them in terms of their international strategy," Ellis said. "I think it'd be good for the franchise, good for the organization. We had a good trip there last time with the exception of some shenanigans. It's worthwhile for the club and the organization to go there. It boosts your brand a little bit. I don't know if John [Elway] and Vic [Fangio] are too thrilled with it, but I just think it's good for us and I hope we get the opportunity. I'm basically begging to get it because I think it'd be really good for us to play there."

Ellis said he's heard that the Falcons could play in the Tottenham Hotspurs' stadium, which is in north London and opened in April of 2019. The stadium hosted a pair of NFL games in 2019.

The Falcons will play a non-divisional opponent in their international game. The Broncos join the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders as potential options.

The Bears and Raiders played each other in London in 2019, while Seattle visited in 2018. The Lions last played an international game in 2015.

Ellis said he hasn't heard anything official from the league about the Broncos' chances of playing in the game.

Last year, the NFL announced the slate of London games in mid-January.


Although Ellis is hopeful that the Broncos travel to London in 2020, he is also focused on Denver's own home games.

Over their final three homes games of the season, the Broncos tallied more than 38,000 no-shows. The Broncos have sold out 411 consecutive games, but the number of fans who did not use their tickets over the season's final stretch "concerned" Ellis.

The Broncos' Dec. 1 game against the Chargers featured the most no-shows, as the Broncos' 3-8 record created a bad combination with a holiday weekend and wintry weather. Officially, 19,094 people did not attend that game, which was Drew Lock's first start of his career.

"[When] people start speaking with their feet, it gets my attention," Ellis said. "I think it gets everybody's attention around here, as it should. When somebody doesn't show up, that means the ticket has no value to it. That's concerning.

"… It's a concern, and it's a concern around the league. Sometimes it goes unspoken, but when you have that many no-shows, people are saying something. Now, I think generally what they're saying is one word: 'Win.' Win. And that was the common theme of most games. … We finished 5-3 at home, which is better than recent years, and that's always good and our strong December finish was good. That's what the fans want. They're sick and tired of losing seasons and I'm sick and tired of them being sick and tired, because I understand where they're coming from.

"It's something we've just got to turn around, and we've got to be honest with the fans. We can't send them a letter and explain that we're trying hard. If they get a printed copy of that, they'll scrunch it up and throw it in the trash. And if they get it on the computer, they'll hit that delete button. And I understand that. We've just got to go out there and show it. We've got to win games."

Related Content