2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos upgrading facilities along with roster

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-04-19 15:56

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos aren't just upgrading their roster this offseason.

In addition to their $55 million splurge in free agency and plans to sign left tackle Ryan Clady to a big contract this summer, the Broncos are spending another $35 million to fix up their stadium and training facilities.

Team President Joe Ellis said Friday the enhancements at Sports Authority Field include new high-definition scoreboards, a thousand flat-screen TVs and a refurbished concourse.

At the team's suburban headquarters, they're replacing the 22-year-old heating system beneath the team's grass football fields ``so they'll look nice and green in December, which will be good for the players, better conditions for them,'' Ellis said.

Ellis began planning the upgrades two summers ago after the new collective bargaining agreement gave clubs a clearer picture of future revenue projections.

Also in the blueprints are a better stadium wireless network to accommodate all 75,000 fans trying to send photos from their phones and a new indoor practice facility next to the team's outdoor fields so the players don't have to shuttle on buses to a cramped bubble during bad weather.

The stadium upgrades are all part of enhancing the stadium experience to keep no-shows to a minimum. NFL attendance has taken a hit with fans opting to stay at home and watch on their big-screen TVs.

``It's a valid point. It's probably one of the top three initiatives that the commissioner has imposed on all of the clubs,'' Ellis said. ``You know, we're faced with the comfortable environment of the home screen, the television set, the high-definition 52-plus inch screen, the refrigerator five feet away, the comfortable couch, the ability to access multiple games, the Red Zone Channel, things of that nature.

``I know we have to do everything we can to make the in-stadium experience match that.''

With this year's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the Broncos are waiting to see if all goes well in the cold climes to see if the owners would support a bid to bring the game to Denver sometime soon. The stadium facelift would surely help such a bid.

``It wasn't really done part and parcel, to be fair, to be honest,'' Ellis said. ``But certainly you'd have to have something like that if you wanted to make a bid. ... But the question probably needs to be asked again the second week of February after we see what happens in New York.''

The Broncos shouldn't have any trouble filling seats this season with an enhanced supporting cast surrounding Peyton Manning and a 2013 schedule that features Mike Shanahan's return on Oct. 27 and a rematch against Baltimore on the league's now-traditional Thursday night opener Sept. 5.

With five prime-time kickoffs, Ellis suggested the schedule reflects the Broncos' return to prominence.

``That's something that we wouldn't have had a few years ago, so we've elevated our status as a team, and that's a testimony to the hard work of John Elway, John Fox and our coaching staff and most importantly, the players,'' Ellis said. ``We're in a good place as a team right now.''

It all starts when the Super Bowl champions travel to Denver for the opener. The Orioles are home that night and Major League Baseball could not move their game, so the Ravens will start out on the road - and against a team they upset in double-overtime in the playoffs.

The traditional 48-hour celebration of concerts and parties will still take place in Baltimore that day.

Ellis said he figures Elway is as driven by Denver's 38-35 loss to Baltimore three months ago as he was by an 30-27 loss to Jacksonville at home in 1997 that was followed by the Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1998 and `99.

Elway returned to the franchise as executive vice president of football operations in 2011. Ellis said he's certain Elway is in this for the long haul.

``Yes. He's dug in,'' Ellis said, noting, for example, Elway's hands-on approach in the team's draft preparations this week. ``I don't see him wavering with that at all. I think he's very good about delegating and listening, but also strong enough and confident enough in his knowledge and his opinions to have the courage of his convictions and make good decisions on behalf of the organization, as I said, short-term and long-term. I believe he's going to be here for a while.''

While the team will continue upgrading its practice facilities in the coming years, Ellis said team owner Pat Bowlen's top priority is ``to put a competitive team on the field.''

``That's the most important thing to Mr. Bowlen. He feels he's defined by how many Super Bowls he wins, and he hasn't won one in a long time,'' Ellis said. ``That's really his first goal.''

But getting an indoor practice facility is high on the team's wish list.

``If we had one, we'd use it a lot more than people realize. We have lightning strikes during training camp; we have situations where maybe it's better to practice indoors even though you could practice outdoors,'' Ellis said. ``That's something we are working on.''

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eric DeckerSep 19 03:07p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19. Head coach Rex Ryan suggested that Decker would not have to practice to be [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 19 03:05p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) was practicing with the team for the second straight day Friday, Sept. 19, after missing practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a high [ More ]

Josh GordonSep 19 03:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's suspension has officially been reduced from 16 games to 10 games, according to the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Josh McCownSep 19 03:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) will start Week 4 if he is healthy enough to play, according to head coach Lovie Smith.

C. WhitehurstSep 19 03:02p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is questionable for Week 3. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) fully [ More ]

Colin ColeSep 19 02:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) is listed as doubtful for Week 3. WR Jason Avant (thigh) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (thigh) are listed as questionable, while OT Byron [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 19 02:52p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3. LB Keith Rivers (groin) was limited in [ More ]

Jordan CameronSep 19 02:42p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) will be a game-time decision in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Head coach Mike Pettine said he was 'cautiously optimistic' that Cameron [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 19 02:42p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has practiced with the team all week and is ready to play in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks. He practiced in full [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 19 02:32p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) was limited during practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is listed as questionable for Week 3.

Todd HerremansSep 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) has been ruled out for Week 3. WR Josh Huff (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, OT Matt Tobin (ankle) and SS Earl Wolff [ More ]

DeSean JacksonSep 19 02:22p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), who was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, didn't look 100 percent fluid in individual drills, but he was able to catch the [ More ]

Steve WeatherfordSep 19 02:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and have been ruled out for the team's [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Sep 19 02:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 19 01:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Josh McCownSep 19 01:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) is scheduled to have an MRI on a thumb injury Friday, Sept. 19. The belief is that the thumb is sprained.

DeSean JacksonSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Jay Gruden said Jackson made steps in a 'positive direction,' [ More ]

Jordan ReedSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) has been ruled out of Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

John AbrahamSep 19 12:32p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Sept. 19.

Jonathan DwyerSep 19 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer, who was charged in a domestic violence case involving his wife and young son, may not return to the team unless he's exonerated from [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) doesn't yet have a defined timetable to return, head coach Lovie Smith said. Smith also didn't address whether QB Mike Glennon would [ More ]

Paul KrugerSep 19 11:42a

Cleveland Browns LB Paul Kruger has two sacks, eight tackles (three for a loss) and a pass defensed. He's having a breakthrough in the new system designed by head [ More ]

A.J. GreenSep 19 10:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he feels good Friday, Sept. 19, and is ready to play in Week 3.

Shaun HillSep 19 09:42a

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) will be a game-time decision in Week 3.

Cam NewtonSep 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs, ankle) is unlikely to be 100 percent the rest of the season. He experiences pain the night after the games and receives treatment [ More ]

Julio JonesSep 19 09:12a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones, who was probable entering Week 3 of the NFL season, hauled in nine catches for 161 yards and scored twice in a 56-14 win [ More ]

Bobby RaineySep 19 09:02a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, starting in place of injured RB Doug Martin (knee), led the team with seven catches for 64 yards Thursday, Sept. 18, against the [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 03:22a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said it is too soon to tell how long QB Josh McCown (thumb) may be out following his thumb injury suffered Thursday, Sept. [ More ]

Shelby HarrisSep 19 02:32a

Although the Oakland Raiders waived DE Shelby Harris, the team may still re-sign him back to the practice squad.

Emmanuel AchoSep 19 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) is considered very doubtful for the team's Week 3 game, according to head coach Chip Kelly. LB Emmanuel Acho likely would start at [ More ]

Derek CoxSep 19 12:32a

The Chicago Bears worked out free-agent WR Damian Williams (Dolphins), WR Kyle Williams (Chiefs), CB Derek Cox (Ravens) and CB Brandon Ghee (Chargers) this week.

LaMichael JamesSep 18 11:32p

The Miami Dolphins have expressed interest in free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) and it is believed that he has some interest in the team. James is expected to take [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group