The Denver Broncos spent $30 million last spring to sign defensive end DeMarcus Ware, one of the best defensive players in the NFL, as a way to send a message to the rest of the league and to help the team get back to the Super Bowl in 2015.
Denver International Airport will only have to spend $1,500 to get Ware to send another message: "Welcome to Denver. This is DeMarcus Ware of your AFC West Division Champion Denver Broncos. It's playoff time, and we are all united in orange. Go, Broncos!"
Not exactly fearsome, but it'll do -- at least as long as the Broncos are still in the game. DIA has recorded two new messages for the trains between the terminal and concourses, one from Ware and another from skier Lindsey Vonn, who is trying to make a comeback this year after two serious knee injuries kept her out of the Olympic Games in Sochi last winter.
Vonn's message, which will play into February, goes like this: "Welcome to Denver. This is Lindsey Vonn with the U.S. ski team. I encourage you to come see the best skiers in the world compete in the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships taking place in Vail, Colorado, February 2-15. Go, USA!"
The greetings are part of "Train Call," which is actually a piece of public art that uses the voices of local celebrities to welcome travelers and often make them aware of local events. Mayor Michael Hancock is one of the most frequent greeters, having recorded close to two dozen recordings for "Train Call."
Last year, for instance, he recorded a warm welcome for the 24-member Republican National Convention's site-selection committee that visited Denver in June (and ultimately picked Cleveland for the 2016 event) and an even warmer welcome for the regional confab of Delta Sigma Theta, a sorority whose members include Mary Louise Lee, his wife.
Each time the airport records a new message, it takes $1,500 from DIA's art budget, because the message has to be approved and recorded by Jim Green, the man commissioned more than twenty years ago to create "Train Call," which also includes music.
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The artist receives $200 to $400 for his studio time, while the rest goes to pay Bombardier, a company that manages the train, for physically changing the message. Oh, and the celebrities themselves do the recordings for free.