NFL approves $100 million loan for Empower Field at Mile High stadium renovations

· Dec. 15, 2022, 4:21 pm
Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Sun Valley. Jan. 26, 2022.Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Sun Valley. Jan. 26, 2022.Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Empower Field at Mile High Stadium in Sun Valley. Jan. 26, 2022.

After a disappointing season, the Denver Broncos are due for a makeover.

Except this time, it isn’t coming in the form of a new coach or quarterback, but a Mile High upgrade.

Their home, Empower Field at Mile High, is getting a renovation, and the NFL is lending a big hand in making the remodel a reality.

The team announced Wednesday that it received more than $100 million through the league’s G-4 financing program. It’s the largest capital project investment in the stadium’s 22-year history.

“This significant investment in Empower Field at Mile High —- the largest in the stadium’s history —demonstrates the deep commitment by the Walton-Penner Family OwnershipGroup to immediately and continually provide the best possible experience for our fans,” President Damani Leech said in a statement. “As we look toward the future with the long-term plans for our stadium, we are equally focused on the present to ensure Empower Field at Mile High remains a premier sports and entertainment venue.”

The NFL G-4 program allows NFL teams to receive assistance for stadium projects. The funding from the program is considered a loan and is repaid from the visiting team’s share of certain seating. A team applying for the loan is required to put up matching dollars.

The most recent example is the Buffalo Bill’s recent approval of $200 million toward a new stadium. With the loan and owners Ted and Kim Pegula matching the funds, the Bills have $400 million for the $1.354 billion project. Local taxpayers are expected to foot the rest of the bill.

For the Broncos, the G-4 loan will cover most of the costs. The Metropolitan Football Stadium District, which levies and collects sales taxes in financing the stadium’s projects, have already earmarked $12 million toward the upgrades.

The project is slated to begin after this season and complete before the start of the 2023 season. It will upgrade video boards, premium hospitality areas, technology, concessions, the Broncos Team Store and elevators.

The Broncos say the video board enhancements are the most enticing of all the anticipated projects. The south-end scoreboard will expand by 70 percent. The new 72-feet-tall by 225-feet-wide scoreboard would be the fourth-largest scoreboard in the league. 

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