The Denver Broncos are a National Football League team based in Denver,
Colorado. A charter member of the American Football League, they were
a backwater small-market team that met with little success in their early
years but have since become one of the elite franchises of the league
after having advanced to the Super Bowl six times. In their first four
appearances, they suffered successively lopsided defeats, achieving near-legendary
status as frustrated losers before winning back-to-back Super Bowl championships
in 1998 and 1999 under quarterback John Elway and coach Mike Shanahan.
For most of their history they played in Mile High Stadium, which became
one of the shrines of professional football for its unbroken string of
sell-outs and its famous home-field advantage percentage for the Broncos,
especially during the post-season. Mile High Stadium was one of the NFL's
loudest stadiums, with steel flooring instead of concrete, which may have
given the Broncos an advantage over opponents. Since 2001, they have played
at INVESCO Field at Mile High, built next to the former site of Mile High
One of 4 ABA teams that joined the NBA through a league merger in 1976,
they were known as the Rockets for their first 7 years of existence, and
were very strong in their early years. However, they tended to struggle
in the postseason and failed to make a championship game during this span.
They had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck and Larry Jones, then later
by Beck and Ralph Simpson. During the 1969-1970 season, the team also
had a controversial rookie named Spencer Haywood. Haywood was one of the
first players to turn pro before graduating college, and the NBA initially
refused to let him play in the league. Haywood averaged 30 points in his
only ABA season, then was allowed to sign with the Seattle SuperSonics
to start a productive NBA career.
The Colorado Rockies joined the National League as an expansion franchise
in 1993, along with the Florida Marlins. The team set attendance records
in its days back at Mile High Stadium, and was the first team in the history
of Major League Baseball to record over 4,000,000 fans in annual attendance.
In 1995, the Rockies moved in to a new stadium, Coors Field, where they
have played their home games ever since. That year, they made their first
and, to date, only post-season appearance as the National League Wild
Card team where they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Atlanta
Braves. Interestingly, the Rockies, since their inception, have always
tended to have a strong hitting squad and home record, which are offset
by a weak bullpen and road record. This can be attributed to the conditions
of Coors Field, whose thin air makes hitting much easier.
When the Québec Nordiques found themselves experiencing on-ice
success but off-ice financial failure during the lockout shortened 1994-95
NHL season team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial
government. The bailout fell through and Aubut was forced to sell the
team to a group of investors in Denver. The franchise was packed up and
shipped to Colorado and renamed the Colorado Avalanche.
The Colorado Rapids are Denver, Colorado's Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise
founded in 1996. The team colors are blue and black; the home jerseys
are blue and black vertical stripes. They played their home games at Mile
High Stadium from 1996-2000 and moved into INVESCO Field in 2001. They
plan to move to a new soccer-specific stadium in the town of Commerce
City at least in 2007.
Colorado Crush is an Arena Football League team that began play in 2003.
The team is based in Denver, Colorado and play at the Pepsi Center, which
also serves as the home to the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth,
the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets
of the National Basketball Association. The principal owner of the franchise
is Denver Broncos legend and Hall of Famer John Elway, with Stan Kroenke,
owner of the Nuggets, the Avalanche, the Pepsi Center, the Altitude Sports
network and the majority Broncos owner Pat Bowlen as minority owners.
The Crush compete in the Central Division of the American Conference.
On June 12, 2005 they won ArenaBowl XIX (19) in Las Vegas' Thomas &
Mack Center over the Georgia Force 51-48.
The Colorado Mammoth is a member of the National Lacrosse League, a professional
sports league in North America. They have played at the Pepsi Center in
Denver, Colorado, since the 2002-2003 season. In 2004 they became the
leagues attendance leader, beating the Toronto Rock out closely. They
are owned by E. Stanley Kroenke who is also the owner of the Colorado
Avalanche (NHL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), and the Colorado Rapids (MLS).
They had previously been the Baltimore Thunder from 1986 to 1999, the
Pittsburgh CrosseFire from 1999 to 2000 and the Washington Power from
2000 to 2002.
The Denver Bears were the AAA minor league baseball franchise in the Pacific
Coast League in Denver, Colorado from 1948 until the team name was changed
to the Denver Zephyrs. The team played at what became known later as Mile
High Stadium, but was originally known as Bears Stadium after this team.
This stadium was one of the largest venues in history to host minor league
baseball on a routine basis. The name has been used for other sports teams
in Denver in the past several years as well. The Denver Bears had some
good teams from the 70s to mid 80s, producing such players as Tim Wallach,
Warren Cromarte, Tim Raines and pitcher Bill Gullickson. In 1980 they
finished with the 37th best record of all time (92-44) and won the American
The Denver Zephyrs were a continuation of the old Denver Bears AAA minor
league baseball franchise. The played their home games at Mile High Stadium,
which, after additions made to accommodate the Denver Broncos football
team was the largest venue ever to be the home venue of a minor league
team. As a result, they set several minor league attendance records. They
played in the former American Association. The team was well-known in
part for being the only baseball team with a "Z" on their caps.
The team relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana after the 1992 season to
make way for the Colorado Rockies, who began play in the National League
the following year.
The Denver Spurs were a hockey team based out of Denver that played in
the World Hockey Association. They played only one season in 1975. Their
home ice was McNichols Sports Arena. On January 2, 1976, the franchise
moved to Ottawa and became the Ottawa Civics. The Denver Spurs began play
in the WHL (Western Hockey League) in 1968. After the WHL folded in 1974,
the team jumped to the old Central Hockey League. The CHL folded and the
Spurs were absorbed into the WHA in 1975. The first professional team
in Colorado to win a championship was the 1971/72 Denver Spurs.
Colorado Rockies (NHL)
The Kansas City Scouts moved to Colorado before the 1976-77 NHL season
and played there for six years. They made the playoffs only once, in the
1977-78 NHL season, losing 0-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first
round. Equally bad was attendance. The only bright spot in the franchise's
history was during the 1979-80 NHL season when they had Don Cherry as
head coach. This didn't bring any more attention to the team which moved
to New Jersey after the 1981-82 NHL season, whereupon the team name was
changed to New Jersey Devils.
The Denver Gold was a franchise in the United States Football League,
an attempt to establish a second major professional football league in
the United States, playing a springtime season. The Gold played their
home games at Mile High Stadium. The Gold drew fans fairly well compared
to some of the other USFL teams, and competed in all three of the USFL
seasons actually contested (1983-1985). The Gold attempted to utilize
some of the goodwill established by the rival NFL's Denver Broncos by
involving former Broncos players and coaches in the Gold organization.
The Gold were coached by former Denver Broncos coach Red Miller, and ex-Broncos
quarterback Craig Morton. The were also coached by Mouse Davis in 1985.
Davis was one of the authors of the Run and Shoot offense.
The Denver Dynamite were a charter member of the Arena Football League,
playing in the inaugural four-team "demonstration" season of
1987 and winning the first ArenaBowl that year. Showcasing a high-powered
offense led by former Vanderbilt University star quarterback Whit Taylor,
the team nonetheless did not return for the league's second season in
1988. It was restarted in 1989, however, and operated for three subsequent
seasons, ceasing operation after the 1991 campaign. The owners retained
the rights to operate an Arena Football franchise, however, which they
sold in 1996 to a Nashville-based group which started the Nashville Kats
(now the Georgia Force) the next year. The Dynamite's memorable logo was,
unsurprisingly, an exploding bundle of dynamite sticks. The team's home
games were played in the McNichols Arena, which was then also the home
of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.