For the first time in American history and the annals of the Broncos, the Rockies, the Nuggets, the Avalanche and the Rapids, all five of Denver’s major-league professional sports franchises could be playing in August and perhaps even on the same day.
While virtually an improbable long shot, Our Dusty Old Cowtown’s five teams might be on fields, a pitch, a court and a rink in five cities (and two countries) on Aug. 22. Believe it or not. There’s a better chance of Robert Ripley, who died in 1949, or any of us being in attendance.
The Rockies opened their 90-degree “summer training’’ camp Saturday with a workout at Coors Field. The Major League Baseball shortened regular season is supposed to start July 23 and end Sept. 27.
The Rapids are booked to fly to Orlando, Fla., Sunday to join the Major League Soccer Bubble Boys at Disney World and prepare for their MLS Is Back tournament debut July 12.
The Nuggets intend to follow the Rapids to the ESPN Sports Complex near the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday and resume their regular season (eight games) Aug. 1 against, appropriately enough in hot and humid Florida, the Heat. The last seeding games will be Aug. 14, with the Nuggets meeting the Raptors before the playoffs begin.
The Avalanche will be going somewhere sometime this month. The National Hockey League hasn’t officially determined its bubble sites. Toronto and Edmonton seem to be the favored two cities because coronavirus conditions are more conducive in Canada than the United States, despite Las Vegas being a logical location until the recent rise in COVID-19 cases throughout this country.
And the Broncos will open their training camp later this month — with coach Vic Fangio and his assistants allowed to go back to the Dove Valley headquarters July 14, with rookies reporting July 21 and veterans arriving on the 28th.
The past week the NFL eliminated two of the teams’ four exhibitions (the first and the last), with each playing one game at home and the other on the road. The Broncos-49ers game in Denver on Aug. 15 and the Broncos’ exhibition Aug. 29 in Phoenix have been dumped. The Broncos are supposed to play the Bears at home Aug. 22 and the Rams in their new stadium in Los Angeles on Aug. 29. Unfortunately, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will not return to his hometown — or have father Mike on the sideline.
According to the Rapids’ original schedule, the team would play in Utah vs. Real Salt Lake on Aug. 22.
Because that date is a Saturday, the Rockies definitely will be playing, but the new schedule hasn’t been released yet. The Rox pre-interruption schedule had them playing in LoDo that weekend against the Dodgers, so MLB could just reschedule the same series at the same time.
The Nuggets and the Avalanche could be playing Aug. 22 in the postseason in Orlando and Edmonton.
Imagine that multiple coincidence chance.
The Broncos’ Aug. 22 game will be televised locally at 7 p.m., and the Rockies’ game that day also will be broadcast in Colorado. If the Rox are at home, the game likely would start at 6:10 p.m.
If the other three franchises were to play that afternoon and evening, the situation could become stickier.
All could be on the local Altitude network.
Lest we forget, way back when, before the world became ill, Altitude and its longtime television partner, Comcast, were rancorously involved in a spitting contest. They had not reached a renewal of their broadcasting rights.
Altitude and Comcast share the blame for their juvenile antics, and the losers were furious fans of the franchises. So viewers were forced to sign with a junior varsity cable service or find methods of beating the blackout by using illegal streaming services from other countries or out-of-state settings.
If the teams play Aug. 22, the Rapids would have a 7 p.m. start, and the Nugs and the Avs could be playing at any undetermined time. Their followers will have to hope some games will be on a national network.
Then, again, the five Colorado pro teams may not be active at all on what could be a red-letter day because of the continuing crisis.