Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Tour of Sports Authority Field at Mile High

On a hot August Sunday morning I was fortunate to tour Sports Authority Field at Mile High with a private group.

We started in the north parking lot, where the spot of home plate in the old Mile High Stadium/Bears Stadium  is marked.  It's easy to miss unless you are looking for it!

As I took a swing at home plate I thought of all the great baseball players who had stood at this very spot over the years - Mickey Mantle, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Barry Bonds, and more.

On to the interior of the stadium. We started at the Security Command Center where Sports Authority Field is monitored with various tv monitors 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Get too rowdy at a game?  You may find yourself in this holding cell while the Denver Police is called to escort you to jail!

Next we walked out to the field.

The stadium from this view point was an impressive sight!  I was at the edge of the North End Zone, just a few feet away from where Baltimore's Jacoby Jones crossed the goal line in the last seconds of the January playoff game.  That loss still stings 7 months later!

A closer look at the new scoreboard - currently the third largest in the NFL.  I look forward to seeing hi-def replays here during the up coming season!

The scoreboards over the north end zone were updated, too.  They are now 1 1/2 times bigger also with hi definition screens.

The highlight of the tour for me was seeing the Bronco locker room.  We could take pictures and explore as long as we didn't walk on the horse head - sacred ground!

#1 draft choice Sylvester Williams' locker. 

Motivational slogans were posted throughout the Broncos locker room.


The visitors' locker room is one of the largest in the NFL.

No motivational slogans in the visitors room, but rather warnings on proper play.

When exiting their locker room visitors look straight at this sign reminding them just how light the air is outside.

Outside both locker rooms is a large covered area where the visiting team's bus pulls up.  This area is also used for trucks used in supporting the TV broadcast.

Post game press conferences are held in this room nearby the locker rooms.

Next we had a look at one of the suites on the club level.

The windows of the suite can be opened giving an unobstructed view of the field.  Or if the weather is cold (like that 5 degree Baltimore playoff game in January) fans can watch from behind the glass in heated comfort.

Above the club level is a state of the art press box with internet connections at each seat.

The barrel man's barrel is displayed in the press area.

We finished our tour in the scoreboard operations room - 25 technicians operate the scoreboards from this room during games.

The tour was a fantastic inside look at the stadium I have attended so many games in. When I am in my seat for the season opener on September 5th vs the Ravens I will certainly have a better appreciation of all the behind the scenes work that makes attending a Broncos game a great experience!