Denver Broncos owner and chief executive officer Greg Penner speaks at the podium during an introductory press conference for newly hired head coach Sean Payton on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, at the UCHealth Training Center in Centennial, Colo.(Timothy Hurst/The Denver Gazette)

PHOENIX — The old saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”

That would certainly apply to the Broncos.

The Broncos raised season-ticket prices last month by an average of more than 13 percent, and there’s no indication that has led to many fans not putting out extra cash. Team president Damani Leech said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings season-ticket renewals have been “up near 95 percent” for general admission seats.

Against this backdrop, there is plenty of talk about the Broncos looking into building a new stadium to replace Empower Field at Mile High, which opened in 2001. The Broncos sent in January surveys to 112 fans as part of a “focus group” and earlier this month sent surveys to season-ticket holders. Many of the questions were about a possible new stadium, and what fans would want at such a venue.

Leech said the Broncos so far have received more than 7,000 survey responses from ticket holders and they will know more about the answers in late April or early May. In the meantime, the team has continued to look into the possibility of, at some point, replacing what is tied for being the NFL’s 15th-oldest venue.

“We started this process really during the middle of last season,’’ Leech said. “We, ownership (owner Rob Walton, owner and CEO Greg Penner and owner Carrie Walton Penner), we toured half-a-dozen stadiums or more and then in January we announced we were partnering with Legends to do survey research. ... It’s very early. ... We’ve got nine years left on the lease, so we’re not rushing to do anything. But we do know these processes take a long time and we’re trying to be as deliberate as we can, gather as much information as we can.”

Leech said the group last fall had fact-finding tours of NFL venues SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Lumen Field in Seattle and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. That was in addition to touring Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Wembley Stadium in London and Climate Pledge Arena, home of the Seattle Kraken.

“I would say there’s not one stadium that we walked away and we said, ‘OK, that’s the one that we want,’’’ Leech said. “I think there’s bits and pieces of different stadiums that are interesting and intriguing.”

So what were the stadium visitors looking at?

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“I think a lot of stadiums, you’re generally seeing wider concourses, more restrooms,’’ Leech said. “So, really, really trying to make it as hospitable as possible for fans. We talk about trying to get fans off couches, into your stadium. ... Technology. ... You see a lot more space back of house. Stadiums are home to concerts, multiple teams.”

In addition to having extensive looks at some stadiums, Penner noted that team officials also closely eyed any other venues where the team played in 2022.

“We didn’t come away from any of those (stadiums), if we decide to go down the path of a new stadium, saying, ‘This would be the perfect stadium for us,’’’ Penner said. “I think it’s really unique to the market. We’d want something that’s inherently Colorado, the Broncos. But we saw a lot of interesting aspects from different types of roof covers, different types of fields, different mix of seats. So it was a really, really interesting process for us.”

How much of an outdoor feel an “inherently Colorado” stadium might have remains to be seen. Fans were asked in the survey about stadium preferences, ranging from fully outdoors to partially covered to a retractable roof to a fully closed venue.

A retractable roof or fully closed venue would allow for events such as a Super Bowl, College Football Playoff, Final Four and winter concerts to be held. But Leech said the Broncos aren’t leaning toward any specific stadium model at this time.

“It’s just too early,’’ he said. “I think that’s part of the reason why we’re doing the survey, so we can have really sort of informed conversations.”

It obviously remains to be seen what sort of ticket prices there would be at a new Denver stadium. But it certainly seems that if one is built, Broncos fans will come.

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