DENVER — The next must-have item from the Broncos Team Store: orange-and-blue masks.
Don't leave home on Broncos Sundays without it.
Empower Field at Mile High will have a reduced seating capacity for the 2020 season in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the team revealed Wednesday in an email to season-ticket holders. Further, the team said masks and social distancing will be mandatory. The Broncos so far are uncertain how many fans will be allowed to attend home games and said they will lean on local health authorities for guidance.
“Over the last few months, our organization has worked closely with local government officials and the National Football League, following the latest guidelines and recommendations from public health experts,” the Broncos said in an email obtained by The Gazette.
While hardly a surprise, the decision to limit attendance is sure to garner some eye rolls one month after roughly 75 members of the organization joined thousands of protesters in a Black Lives Matter march through downtown Denver — at the same time the team was "following the latest guidelines" from public health experts. At least one Broncos player, co-organizer Kareem Jackson, tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after the march. Jackson said later his positive test was unrelated to a demonstration that saw players squeezed together with strangers over several hours.
Broncos season-ticket holders have the option of receiving a full refund for the 2020 season (while maintaining their rights to the same seats for 2021) or a credit for next year. Refund requests must be made by Aug. 14. Ticket holders also will have first priority for single-game tickets in 2020. Other safety measures include cashless concession options, touchless bathroom fixtures, sanitation stations and the latest air purification technology, the email said.
The Broncos also announced training camp — which has drawn over 54,000 fans to UCHealth Training Center — will be closed to fans. Training camp is scheduled to open in full July 28.
"Many of you may be facing personal hardships or have health concerns about attending games this year," Wednesday's email said. "Our organization will be as flexible as possible and has several options available for season ticket members," the email said.
How many fans will be allowed into the 76,125-seat Empower Field at Mile High? That's up to Gov. Jared Polis, Denver mayor Michael Hancock and other local authorities, who will set the guidelines for attendance. Whatever they decide, instead of a robust, roaring crowd, the Broncos must lean on the mile-high elevation to secure their usual home-field advantage.
The waiting list for Broncos season tickets is almost 90,000 strong and currently takes about 13 years to navigate, or seven years for club level seats, the Broncos ticketing department recently told The Gazette.