Broncos update plans for new Dove Valley indoor practice facility

Several thousand fans attended the Broncos training facility last Saturday morning at Dove Valley to watch the team. Photo by Tom Barry

Several thousand fans attended the Broncos training facility last Saturday morning at Dove Valley to watch the team. Photo by Tom Barry

By Tom Barry

In last week’s edition, The Villager shared that the Broncos plan to invest $30 million constructing a new indoor field house and potentially other structures on adjacent Dove Valley vacant property.

Last March, the Denver Broncos Football Club and The Dove Valley Business Park Associates filed applications to amend the master plan to allow for expansion to the west of the current training facility. The landowners lease the land to the Broncos organization for their athletic complex and administrative offices.

The property is filled with sizable dirt mounds and weeds that will be leveled to make way for the new training facility as early as next spring, sources have indicated.

The property is just northwest of Broncos Parkway and Jamison Street. To the west is the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s administration complex. Immediately to the north is the expansive Arapahoe County Detention Facility that currently houses approximately 1,050 inmates, including high-profile prisoners like James Holmes and Nathan Dunlap.

In late July, David Berwanger, a semi-retired civil engineer from Highlands Ranch with DAB Engineering, Inc., returned to Arapahoe County to request some amendments to the property that would include new uses and signage allowances.

“The revision adds ‘Special Provisions for Professional Sports Teams,’” said a letter from Berwanger.  “Lots 2 and 3 are currently occupied by the Denver Broncos Football Club. Lot 1 is directly west of the Broncos facilities and is being considered as a location for future expansion of the Broncos facilities.

“The Special Provisions include allowing an 8-foot security wall around the outdoor practice facilities allowing the buildings to use team colors in their architecture, and a special signage section,” according to the document filed with Arapahoe County’s Planning Division.

The proposed revisions will be presented to the Arapahoe Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners for hearings as early as September.

In reviewing the drawings submitted by Berwanger, it appears the conceptual structure will be considerably larger than the existing indoor facility currently being utilized by players.

The approximate height of the new indoor practice facility at the center point will be about 70 feet. There are potential plans to incorporate a full-sized field, which is 100 yards long by 53.33 yards wide.  It is not expected that the new facility will have any stands.

A conceptual drawing of the proposed Broncos indoor practice facility submitted to Arapahoe County. Courtesy of Arapahoe County

A conceptual drawing of the proposed Broncos indoor practice facility submitted to Arapahoe County. Courtesy of Arapahoe County

A massive colorful Denver Broncos logo adorns the sides of the proposed new structure, which is shown in the drawing.

“… The Broncos are going through the steps to build an indoor training facility, including a full indoor field for us to practice indoors in case of inclement weather and expand the overall space of our facility,” said Patrick Smyth, executive director of media relations for the Denver Broncos in a previous interview. “This is a preliminary stage of this process and nothing has been finalized.”

Berwanger said, “This past summer, the Broncos replaced the underground electric system on one of the fields and both of the fields now have an underground heating system utilizing a boiler that is new.”

In 2003, an inflated bubble used by the Broncos for weight training blew down during training camp and a metal building was then erected for weight training and a practice facility.

In a conversation at deadline Smyth said, “There are no new updates on our progress regarding the indoor practice facility. We continue to finalize details with the builder and the county.”

A clarification relating to last weeks story is that Joe Ellis is president of the Broncos and oversees all business operations.

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