The start of Broncos training camp is an exciting time for fans. Not only does it hold the promise of a new NFL season, but it is also a rare opportunity to get a close look at your favorite players, all for free. If camp seems to be starting earlier this year, you're right. Denver takes on Atlanta in its first preseason tilt at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 1. Former Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and cornerback Champ Bailey will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Aug. 3.
While you're probably eager to hop in your car and drive to metro Denver, make sure you read The Gazette's camp guide first so you know exactly what to expect, how to prepare and what to watch for on the field.
The time: Nineteen Broncos training camp practices will be open to the public beginning Thursday. Morning practices run from 9:15 a.m. to noon, with gates opening at 8 a.m. On days when there's an afternoon practice, gates open at 1 p.m and practice goes from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The place: Parking lots are located adjacent to the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse (13403 Broncos Parkway) and seating is on a grass hill on a first-come, first-served bases. Each day, players from a different designated position group will sign autographs by the hill.
What to bring: Prohibited items include umbrellas, lawn chairs, video cameras, pets, food, glass, metal containers, strollers, selfie sticks and coolers. Guests can bring blankets, cell phones (on silent), binoculars and small cameras.
The same clear bag policy used at Broncos Stadium also applies at training camp.
Practice at Mile High: The Broncos' practice at Mile High on July 27 is free, but you need to get tickets in advance through Ticketmaster (click here). Season ticket holders get early access to tickets Thursday. All seating is general admission.
Free agent signings and the NFL draft have led to a number of new names on the roster. Here are a few of the key additions of the team, along with their position and number so you can spot them easily.
Bryce Callahan, CB (29)
Kareem Jackson, CB (22)
Ja'Wuan James, OT (70)
Joe Flacco, QB (5)
Noah Fant, TE (87)
Justin Hollins, LB 52
Dre'Mont Jones, DL (93)
Drew Lock, QB (3)
Dalton Risner, OL (66)
Juwann Winfree, WR (15)
Tips and Tricks
1. Protect yourself: It can get hot sitting on the grassy berm during training camp. Because umbrellas aren’t allowed, be sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and a plastic water bottle. Behind the berm are cooling stations, so you can get water refills, nab sunscreen if you forgot it and enjoy some misters when you need a break.
2. Bring some money: Training camp is free but the on-site shop is the best place to pick up team hats, t-shirts and jerseys. They also have a nice collection of oddities such as Broncos-themed mugs, playing cards and pencils. If you’re all set on Broncos swag but are feeling a bit peckish, there is usually a food truck or two right outside the team store.
3. Avoid Fridays and weekends: On a crowded day, up to 5,000 people crowd the berm. If you want better odds at getting an autograph, a seat closer to the action or just don’t want to be bothered by swarms of people, it’s best to visit training camp Tuesday through Thursday. Take the day off and bring the kids with you. They’ll certainly appreciate it.