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New Owner = New Stadium?

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  • #61
    Top issue for new Broncos owner: Improve current stadium or build new one?

    By Ryan O’Halloran | The Denver Post
    PUBLISHED: June 8, 2022 at 12:53 p.m. | UPDATED: June 8, 2022 at 12:54 p.m.

    Back in March, when the Broncos had been on the market for less than two months, president/CEO Joe Ellis wasn’t disclosing the top contenders to buy the franchise, but he had already identified the top issue for the to-be-determined ownership group.

    “How do (they) proceed long-term when it comes to the stadium?” Ellis said during the NFL’s Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

    The next owners are expected to be a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton along with son-in-law Greg Penner, daughter Carrie Walton-Penner and businesswoman Mellody Hobson. The Broncos agreed to a sale agreement late Tuesday night for $4.65 billion.

    Ellis said the stadium issue — improving the current stadium, Empower Field at Mile High, or building a new one — will be an “interesting challenge” for new ownership.

    “There is a tremendous real estate opportunity on the south end of the stadium, which has a master plan that at one point was approved by the city (in July 2019) to move forward and do a significant mixed development of office, retail, housing, possibly a hotel, maybe some small entertainment venues that can really bring vibrancy to that area,” Ellis said.

    The current stadium opened in 2001 at a projected $360 million cost. A Denver metro area tax, approved by voters in November 1998, paid for an estimated $270 million of the stadium. Since opening, the stadium has undergone $30 million in improvements in 2012 and $8.3 million in upgrades to enhance the city’s bid to host games in the 2026 World Cup.

    “I believe the stadium is in good shape,” Ellis said. “We believe there are significant upgrades that need to be done and can be done to improve it and keep up with many of the others around the league.

    “Will it ever be SoFi (in Los Angeles) or Allegiant (in Las Vegas)? Probably not, so that’s something a new owner has to look at. There are all kinds of things that go into evaluating a new stadium and most important, how much is it going to cost and what does your investment (produce) on return?”

    Rob Walton’s net worth as of Wednesday morning was $58.3 billion (22nd in the world), according to Forbes. His family has the financial resources to pay for a new stadium without asking for public assistance.

    In Los Angeles, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who is married to Rob Walton’s cousin Ann, paid for all of SoFi Stadium ($5.5 billion). Another venue that opened in 2020, Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, cost $1.9 billion and included $750 million in public financing.

    Earlier this year, the Buffalo Bills and the state of New York agreed to a new stadium plan and the state agreed to pick up a record $850 million of the estimated $1.4 billion cost.

    Location of a new Broncos stadium and whether it will be no roof, permanent roof or retractable roof will impact a potential cost, too.

    “It’s a challenge and something (a new owner will) have to look at right away for sure,” Ellis said. “It will be very interesting and from a big-picture business perspective, that will be No. 1 on the next owner’s plate.”


    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016


    • #62

      The Broncos have nine more seasons remaining on their lease with Empower Field at Mile High. But the stadium has reached a point in its lifespan where repairs and renovations to keep pace with the rest of the NFL make building a new stadium a significant possibility.

      The Titans and Nashville recently reached that conclusion. Their venue, Nissan Stadium, is two years older than Empower Field. But they estimated that renovation and maintenance costs of their 23-year-old home would cost a collective $1.8 billion. Instead, the city and team will build a new domed stadium for a cost between $1.9 and $2.2 billion.

      A new venue with adjacent retail and real-estate development would open a waterfall of revenue to the Broncos.

      While Walton could seek public financing, he has the net worth to bypass that entirely. A privately-financed venue would mean a significant outlay — but significant benefits, too. Stan Kroenke currently reaps those with the privately-funded SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif..

      One thing to consider: Mile High Stadium was effectively rebuilt after 1966. By the time the city and county completed the build-out of the stadium, it was 1977. The Broncos effectively had a 24-season run in that venerable venue.

      This season will be year No. 22 at Empower Field. It remains a functional and viable home. But it is entirely possible that Walton could determine that a better use of his money would be on a new venue.

      Similar decisions were made by MLB’s Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves in recent years. The example of the Braves is particularly relevant, as their move to a mixed-use development in the Atlanta suburbs sent their revenue into the stratosphere: $568 million in 2021 alone.

      Such development also might not just be about the stadium — but a new training facility. For inspiration, Walton could look to The Star, the massive Cowboys complex built in suburban Frisco, Texas that includes restaurants, shops, a hotel and a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that hosts a few Cowboys training-camp practices, high-school football games and even college-basketball tournaments.


      Stan Kroenke’s tentacles are deep into Denver sports, with ownership of the Nuggets, Avalanche and Rapids. He bought the rights to develop the land adjacent to Ball Arena, currently the site of Elitch Gardens.

      Just across Interstate 25 sits Empower Field. In 2019, the Denver city council approved the Stadium District Master Plan, which gave the Broncos the rights to develop the land south of the stadium into a mixed-use neighborhood. But for the last three years, those plans have been on hold.

      Kroenke’s wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is the cousin of Rob Walton. The familial connections are obvious, of course.

      Do the two branches of the Walmart tree work together — or do they try to top each other in capital investment and facilities? If the Broncos stay on their current spot west of I-25, do Kroenke and Walton collaborate on a sports-city development?

      Either way, they have the potential to transform not only the Denver sports scene, but Denver itself.

      from: What does Rob Walton’s purchase mean for the Denver Broncos’ future? by Andrew Mason

      Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016


      • #63

        Old one seems fine...


        • #64
          Originally posted by FR Tim View Post

          No offense was meant by my comment. If too personal or insulting, I apologize. It was not meant to be either.

          I stand by my completely unproven speculation though. New owners are not staying with the same stadium.

          I will be shocked if they are not breaking ground within two years and hosting the SB in five.
          I appreciate this post, given it is the kind of commentary that makes us a better community. I just feel like myself and LM were making a similar assessment, without pushing an agenda. Hey, I love new stadiums/arenas, but I also love many of the older ones, the ones with character and care.

          Like most of us here, I've been called out before by folks who got it wrong and may not even understand what they said, so I do point out these responses from time to time,....though I do believe your intent is more important than the actual words used. And unlike others, you came through with your next post.



          • #65
            Originally posted by BroncoJef View Post

            Old one seems fine...

            Nice try. That's not wear & tear nor the condition of the whole stadium, that's a picture of a small section that was damaged by fire in March. See:


            Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016


            • #66
              Originally posted by L.M. View Post

              Nice try. That's not wear & tear nor the condition of the whole stadium, that's a picture of a small section that was damaged by fire in March. See:

              I know...just couldn't resist.


              • #67
                The Broncos need a new stadium that allows the noise to be a factor, like it was at Mile High Stadium.
                My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
                You Mad Bro?
                Don’t Be A Mean Girl


                • #68
                  Just Imagine ...
                  The ultimate Denver destination, featuring Mile High Walmart Sports Complex with the exclusive WallyWorld MainStay Resort Hotel and Casino and the WallyWorld Gardens Amusement Park.. Don't forget to visit Mall Mart; an exclusive development for local businesses and restaurants in the finest tradition of Mega store dominance and franchise popularity. All right next door to your favorite Walmart Superstore. The game is sold out and you couldn't get tickets ... no problem ... watch the game on Walmarts exclusive Wallytron located in the courtyard of the Superstore.

                  LOL ... I'm sure I missed something ... but that should be fun to think about


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                    The Broncos need a new stadium that allows the noise to be a factor, like it was at Mile High Stadium.
                    agreed 110%

                    The old Mile High days still exist in soccer. It is not as available in the NFL as it use to be but I think we still see it in Seattle and a couple other stadiums.

                    I do think it can be brought back to Denver with the right choices.
                    Let's Ride!


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by samparnell View Post

                      Me, too, but a retractable roof might be tolerable.
                      The difference is it is New York, they always get what they want. Denver needs to build the biggest sports complex on earth.
                      sigpic WHEC-724


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by nickmeyer View Post

                        The difference is it is New York, they always get what they want. Denver needs to build the biggest sports complex on earth.
                        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus