Broncos Looking To Repurpose Parking Lots

Move would see up to half the current spaces replaced by entertainment district

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: March 28, 2018

The Denver Broncos are exploring options to replace up to half of their stadium's parking with a mixed-use development.

The city of Denver and the Broncos are moving ahead with plans to renovate up to 52 acres, one half of Broncos' stadium's parking lots, and transform it into an entertainment district.

The city planning commission, Metropolitan Football Stadium District and
team officials last week unveiled a master plan for the south side of the stadium to gauge community support.

“What we announced last week was a vision for what could be done with the land,” said Brad Buchanan, Denver planning and development executive director.

The master plan calls for the redevelopment to be carried out in phases over the next seven to 10 years.

The space would be "fan-friendly, with bars, restaurants, retail, offices, a hotel and other game-day draws, as well as housing and other potential components,” he said.

The current parking would be moved to another spot. Buchanan said the opening up of the space for new uses would help offset costs of improvements to keep the building modern.

“This is really going to create a whole new fan experience,” he said. “It’s fresh, smart, and what the fans want these days.”

Building on the south side of the stadium was first brought up in 2013 but stalled several times. The current push has more supporters, but still faces many hurdles before it actually gets the official go-ahead.

“We anticipate some sort of mixed-use development for that site that focuses on game-day experience,” Buchanan said. “We need to bring in the neighbors and other stake holders.”

The existing zoning does not allow for anything other than a parking structure.

“The stadium district and the Broncos are asking for a rezoning of the land,” Buchanan said. “Our job is to make sure that meets the goals of the city and what we want on that site as a community.”

Matt Sugar, the director of stadium affairs for the stadium district, said: “Our mandate is make sure the taxpayer money is spent on things that benefit the community. The Metropolitan Football Stadium District, the Sun Valley neighborhood and the Denver Broncos have a long history. This effort is a promising step towards realizing the potential of this side of the stadium.”

Sugar said that ever since light rail service was expanded to the stadium, the city and the district have been eyeing repurposing the land. “The city is leading the charge, and it’s going to be a long process.”

Long-term lease agreements between the city and the stadium district would have to be renegotiated. “The city seems interested in developing the land, and we agree that the time has come to explore our options. This is one way we can put money back into the stadium,” said Sugar.

Sugar said the area had been “significantly ignored for a long time and to inject new money into that area would be good for everyone."

“It's a plan that has guiding principals and defines the vision of the area,” Buchanan said. “Realistically we are years away, but this is a major step.”




  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: March 28, 2018