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City Council approves community vision for area south of Broncos Stadium

The community-led master plan envisions a year-round, mixed-use neighborhood hub ideal for game day and every day

Denver City Council voted tonight to adopt the Stadium District Master Plan, the first step toward creating a new neighborhood hub just south of Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Currently, the area south of the stadium is dominated by surface parking lots that are vacant most of the year. The master plan – created with considerable community input – envisions a mixed-use destination with opportunities for local businesses, walking and biking trails, affordable housing, entertainment and more.

“Coors Field redefined what a major sports facility could do for a downtown neighborhood, and almost 25 years later, Denver can change the game again on the southern parking lots at Broncos Stadium,” said Evelyn Baker, interim executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “This community-driven plan lays the groundwork for the kind of year-round neighborhood destinations residents want that will also improve the gameday experience for fans.”

“This project can be transformational for the area and the city,” said Mac Freeman, chief commercial officer for the Denver Broncos. “We are excited to play a role in developing Denver’s next great neighborhood while helping to secure the capital funding that would assist in extending the life of the stadium.”

More than 1,300 residents, businesses, and property owners from Jefferson Park, West Colfax, Sun Valley, and surrounding neighborhoods participated in the year-long planning process, involving public meetings, community events and surveys. Denver Community Planning and Development facilitated the work in collaboration with the Metropolitan Football Stadium District (MFSD) and the Stadium Management Company, an affiliate of the Denver Broncos Football Club, which formed a nonprofit in 2018 to explore redevelopment opportunities in the southern portion of the district property. Development of the lots would create a long-term, recurring income stream to help maintain and improve the stadium, a taxpayer-owned asset.

The vision to transform the lots – now used only during games and special events – into a year-round destination also builds upon community ideas gathered during the 2013 Decatur-Federal Station Area Plan (PDF) and was included as a potential transformational project in that plan.

Specifically, the Stadium District Master Plan emphasizes:

  • Prioritizing affordable housing on site with zoning tools and incentives
  • Creating a regional destination that has a local feel, through neighborhood main streets with human-scale, pedestrian-oriented development and amenities
  • High-quality urban design with buildings that “step back” above certain heights to avoid a canyon effect and that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists
  • Creating connected and useful parks and public spaces, especially along the South Platte River
  • Making a well-connected neighborhood with safe access for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles including potentially retrofitting or replacing the cloverleaf interchange of West Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard
  • Improving pedestrian and cyclist connections to the South Platte River, transit stations, multi-use trails, and downtown
  • Parking arrangements that work for game days and accommodate other uses the rest of the year

Maintaining a quality game day experience for Broncos fans is a central piece of the plan. With improved transit connections, access to the stadium will become more convenient. In addition, the MFSD will preserve the surface parking north of the stadium while also adding pre- and post-game entertainment options along a walkable festival street.

Learn more at denvergov.org/stadiumdistrict.

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BUILDING COMMUNITY: Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. CPD regulates planning, zoning, development and maintenance of private property in Denver. We're working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Visit DenverGov.org/CPD or follow us on Twitter at @DenverCPD.

The Metropolitan Football Stadium District is a body corporate and political subdivision of the state of Colorado established pursuant to the Metropolitan Football Stadium District Act, Article 15, Title 32 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The district was created for the purpose of planning, acquiring land and constructing a professional football stadium.