Michael Hancock welcomes flying sports fans to Denver International Airport

While First Lady Mary Louise Lee was touting culture yesterday, announcing the new Bringing Back the Arts program, Mayor Michael Hancock was urging visitors to the city to catch one of Denver's seven professional sports teams in a new recording of his welcome that plays on the Denver International Airport train.

The new message, which replaced the recording that Hancock made soon after he was elected mayor in June, is actually part of an arts piece itself. Jim Green created the soundtrack for the train when it was first introduced at the new airport, and he approves any updates, starting with the bossy voices -- the anonymous Adele Arakawa and Alan Roach -- who lecture travelers that they "are delaying the departure of this train." (They replaced the original instructions by Reynalda Muse and the late Pete Smythe.) It wasn't until 2007 that a welcome from the mayor was added, back when John Hickenlooper was still in City Hall.

Peyton Manning didn't get to hear Hancock's sportscentric new greeting; he flew in to Denver on Friday by private plane. But it comes just in time for the Women's Final Four basketball championship that will shoot in to Denver at the end of the month.

In the meantime, what are those seven professional sports teams? According to Visit Denver, they're the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Rockies, the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Mammoth and the Denver Outlaws.

Sorry: Women's roller derby doesn't rate.

What else should visitors do in Denver? Find out in "Mayor Michael Hancock's Denver bucket list for 2012."

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