Former Denver mayor Wellington Webb has issued a letter suggesting ways to pay for $650 million in upgrades to the Denver Broncos‘ stadium over the next 20 years — phone photo of crumply paper version here — that includes selling ads to marijuana companies on folding seat bottoms (so they’ll be visible to fans but not on TV) and getting fans to chip in by buying shares in exchange for “good will” and … hold up, did he just say $650 million?
I understand there’s an estimated $650 million in stadium improvements wanted over 20 years
Apologies for previously missing this news, which appears to have been revealed in a statement by Broncos execs buried deep in a boring naming-rights article from last September. Sure, sports venues need maintenance, but $650 million in work over 20 years for a 17-year-old stadium is insane, and is better described as “Broncos owners want to tear down their nearly new stadium and build a new one in place over the next two decades, but want somebody else to pay for it.”
Under the Broncos’ lease, naming-rights money goes toward maintenance and upgrade costs, but the last naming-rights sponsor went bankrupt two years ago, and realistically there’s no way on earth they’re going to get anything close to $32.5 million a year for the name of a stadium that’s already had two corporate names, and which everyone will just call “Mile High” anyway. So while Webb’s idea may or may not be the best — though obviously ads reading “[Marijuana Company Here] Brings You Mile High” would be a no-brainer — the bigger concern is that the Broncos appear to have levied a demand for $650 million and gotten everyone to swallow it as perfectly cromulent, which stops here, as far as I’m concerned. Whoever actually owns the Broncos now, you crazy!