The signs are already coming down on what used to be Sports Authority Field at Mile High; with the demise of the Englewood-based sports-retailer giant in 2016, it was only a matter of time until the contracts ran their course and the stadium's name became available again. The time has come, and the Broncos organization is wasting no time in wiping the slate clean once again.
So long, Invesco. Nice knowing you, Sports Authority. Who’s next? Without worrying about economic feasibility or annual licensing costs or whether or not such a move might actually result in the deep-sixing of the entity that gets the naming rights…here are seven modest proposals. Why seven? Just check out the first entry.
7. Elway Field
When most people think of the Broncos, they don’t think Peyton Manning, Terrell Davis, Floyd Little, Randy Gradishar, Steve Atwater or any other player. But they do think John Elway. Big John, good ol' number seven. And for good reason: He’s been a part of the team and/or the Denver community since 1983. Whether we were watching him in the shotgun as QB, bought a car from him, ate his steaks, saw his commercials, or enjoyed the teams that he’s led from the front office, Elway has become a Denver institution. He might be on thin ice with the team's latest skid, but the legacy is still strong. It only makes sense that the stadium itself might bear his imprimatur.
When it was built to replace the original, the new stadium was designed to do its best to replicate the Rocky Mountain Thunder, the stampede of sound created by fans stomping on the metal bleachers in the old place, echoing perfectly off the walls and creating an imposing and sometimes impossible environment for opposing teams to play. The new place tried, reportedly incorporating 13,500 tons of steel-riser treads and a steeped bowl design meant to bring back the Thunder. But as the last couple of seasons will attest, it’s tough to recapture magic.
Face it: There’s enough money in pot to buy the naming rights and keep them going year after year. Once Sessions stops his smoke-and-mirrors posturing and the coast becomes finally and decidedly clear for marijuana to be sold and taxed without worry that the bottom will suddenly drop out of the industry, the pot economy will stabilize to the degree that such a move will be possible. No, pot doesn’t need the marketing, but the rest of the country identifies Colorado with weed, so let’s go ahead and slap the label on the stadium and proclaim our product proudly. And puff, puff, pass in the stands.