The present facility is 21-years-old.
It is just a matter of time before Rob Walton gets the National Football League’s approval to officially purchase the Denver Broncos franchise. After all, Walton certainly has the money to buy a franchise as an heir of Walmart founder Sam Walton. But more importantly, his reported bid of $4 billion, 650 million for the business just raises the value of every NFL franchise. Denver is a midsized market in the same ballpark as Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Miami and Tampa. Denver is a solid NFL market. But there is something different about this potential ownership change. The sports media is not speculating on things like changes in front office personnel, coaches or players. Instead it is about the current stadium. Is the 21-year-old facility over-the-hill?
The question came up after the present ownership’s president Joe Ellis addressed the possible sale of the team and what problems the new owner might have to tackle taking over the franchise. Ellis made it clear, it would be the fate of the stadium. “It’ll be the No. 1 decision the new owner will have to make. How are we going to proceed long-term when it comes to the stadium? There are all kinds of things that go into evaluating a new stadium. From a big picture perspective — that will be issue No. 1.” Ellis is not going to be part of that discussion as he plans to retire once a transfer of ownership is completed. There is stadium money being thrown at NFL owners by elected officials in upstate New York for the Buffalo Bills franchise and possibly in Nashville for the Tennessee Titans, so why not Denver? The Denver football stadium opened in 2001 at a cost of $400 million mostly covered by public funds. The once state-of-the-art stadium is now considered outdated.
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