It’s no secret that Denver is a football-crazy town.
Sure, we like Opening Day with the Rockies and will occasionally notice the Nuggets, but whether the Broncos are in the Super Bowl or it’s the middle of the offseason, it’s nothing but orange jerseys and talk about what the team will do next. Seriously, turn on sports radio any time of the year, and all you’ll hear is Broncos talk.
Naturally, fans geek out on seeing their favorite players in person. But with every game selling out since 1969, tickets aren’t exactly cheap.
Don’t sweat it, there are plenty of other ways to catch a glimpse of Denver’s esteemed athletes around town, and most of them will cost you nothing more than a short drive (or maybe a burrito).
Just down the road from the Centennial Airport is the Broncos’ home base. Dove Valley is where the team trains, practices and conducts most of its business operations. And seeing a player here is easy, and cheap.
Training camp is open to the public every summer, and entry is free — although you might have to take a day off from work. Training camp typically begins in late July, and fans can enjoy the Colorado sunshine, sitting back on the grass while watching the players get ready for the upcoming season.
Last year, they even had food trucks onsite for those hungry fans. Just remember to leave things like umbrellas, lawn chairs and video cameras at home. Keep it chill and keep the plays they’re working on from becoming public knowledge for their opponents.
Keep an eye on the official training camp website for details on parking, what to bring and when the schedule will be released.
Cherry Hills Village
Apparently both Denver Broncos players and coaches love to make their Denver homes in this affluent neighborhood in Denver South.
Former head coach Mike Shanahan recently sold his Cherry Hills mansion in the range of $20 million, complete with a golf simulator and bowling alley.
Peyton Manning kept it frugal, picking up his Cherry Hills house for a bargain at less than $5 million. Not every house in Cherry Hills cost millions of dollars but buying a place just so you might catch a glimpse of your famous Bronco neighbor seems a bit drastic. And driving around trying to look into people’s homes seems a bit iffy, too.
Our suggestion? Make friends with someone who’s already in the area, and subtly suggest they have you over at least once a week.
Your kid’s school
Denver Broncos players tend to be very active in the community, and spend lots of time visiting nearby schools.
Linebacker Brandon Marshal recently provided a pizza party for second, third and fourth graders at Swansea Elementary who met his challenge of perfect attendance. The team has also been a part of a program called Futures Football, which helps bridge middle-school football players to their high school teams.
One caveat: You’re an adult. But hey, someone’s got to help carry in all that pizza. Being an involved parent never sounded better.
Oddly enough, giant athletes love to eat. And Broncos players, like anyone else, have their favorite Denver hotspots.
Not surprisingly, Snooze is a consistent favorite among both current and former players. Most of the city won’t judge if they get to skip ahead on the waiting list to get a crack at those upside down pineapple pancakes. Definitely cheaper than buying a ticket to the game, plus you get super-delicious brunch food.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, there’s no question that player’s love to (and sort of have to) hit up Elway’s steakhouse. The Cherry Creek location is your best bet for spotting players. Just keep in mind it will probably cost you as much, possibly more, than going to the game. Well, unless you skip the filet and just load up on bread.
With stores like Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus, this is the place to catch young football players with lots of cash to spend. And best of all, you can hang out and celebrity-spot for free.
Just remember that the shopping center recently added paid parking for anyone whose vehicle is there for more than two hours. If you’re not lucky enough to spot your favorite player within that time frame, there are plenty of places what will validate.
And take some time to try out the $30,000 couches at Restoration Hardware, because why not?
Indulge your Orange Crush
If you’re in Denver long enough, chances are you’ll eventually see one of your favorite players close up and personal. We all understand if you flip out a bit but try to keep it to a nod and a “good game” so they can get on with their lives like anyone else.
Then sneakily snap a few pictures and insert yourself with Photoshop to make it look like you’re best buds. We all do it, right?