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Denver Broncos home openers turn 60 (link), My Bronco Memories (the Hill)

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  • Denver Broncos home openers turn 60 (link), My Bronco Memories (the Hill)

    The Denver Post has a good article on the first Bronco home opener in 1960 (at "Bears Stadium" later transformed to Mile High Stadium). Today is the team's 60th home opener. From Broncos wide receiver Lionel Taylor who played in that first game:

    "At Bears Stadium, on the temporary bleachers side, about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, if you were going up toward the north stands, the sun was in your eyes. And I used to love that, because I got used to the stadium and because the defensive backs were looking into the sun.”

    Read the rest of the article here

    I'm not quite that old to have attended the 1960 home opener, but today is the 51st Bronco home opener I'll be at. One memory from the early years (before I had season tickets) was watching the game from what we called "The Hill":

    Click image for larger version

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    As pictured in the circled area above, Bears Stadium had a gap between the West and South stands. My brother and I figured out from this vantage point (“The Hill” was a name we made up) we could see 3/4ths of the field and watch Bronco home games for free! So we had my Dad drop us off at the stadium where we would watch most Bronco home games from 1965-1967 from our cherished “Hill” location. And we discovered that the Broncos would open the gates and let everyone in the stadium with about 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of games. Watching games from “The Hill” for three and a half quarters, and from inside the stadium for the rest worked for us!


  • #2
    Thanks for the pic and your thread, brings back child-hood memories !
    I watched the broncos very first "game at BEARS STADIUM, it was a scrimmage with the University of Denver college team.
    I always say I learned about football, loyalty and sarcasm all on that same day (I was 5 ).
    My dad bought season tickets and we sat on the 50 yard line row 49 in the east (retractable) stands.
    I remember that the guys in row 50 didnt bother going to the bathroom, they just pee'd off the back of the stands , weather permitting.

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    • #3
      It’s amazing how different Bears Stadium looks before all the additions.

      Did anybody here attend a Broncos’ game at Hilltop Stadium?

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      • #4
        perhaps my two most cherished memories of our early broncos was when that gal ran on to the field , grabbed the football in front of the players, just before they broke huddle, stuffed it under her sweat-shirt and ran around the field !
        Our broncos were out of time outs and they had to stop the clock to get her off the field !
        The now famous rule and anouncement for fan interference is a direct result of that " PLAY " by a bronco fam\n !
        I also remember our fake field-goalagainst the raiders just before half-time that demoralized the raiders in a game we eventually won, catapulting us into the play-offs and our eventual FIRST SB appearance
        JIM TURNER, black hightops,loved it !

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        • #5
          https://history.denverlibrary.org/news/bears-stadiam-its-beginning-and-evolution

          Way back Bears Stadium was just the West stands built into the hillside along Federal Blvd and the North stands. Just a semicircle around home plate. You can see the evolution in the article above.

          When the upper deck was added to the North and West stands people were wondering if they could pull it off. Basically, they sunk I-beams into the soil, then welded the upper decks to them. That's why the old Mile High had that resonating factor, the upper decks North and West were steel floors welded together and everybody would drum their feet on the floors to create that sound.

          I think the East stands were added in 1973, retractable because that was left field for the Bears AAA baseball team. Come NFL season the East stands would move into left and center field to create a surround for the NFL season.

          Pretty nice engineering for a cowtown - which was what Denver was in the 60' and 70's. We wanted to be on the map, and basically all we had was railyards, the stock show, and the Broncos. LoDo was literally a bunch of bums that came in on the rails, got drunk, slept it off in dive hotels built in the 1880's or just slept on sidewalks until they could catch the next boxcar to somewhere warmer. Five Points was like the wild west.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by balero View Post
            It’s amazing how different Bears Stadium looks before all the additions.

            Did anybody here attend a Broncos’ game at Hilltop Stadium?
            I went to a Bronco scrimmage at Hilltop once. The sideline stands were an odd oval shape. Hilltop was the place for the great preseason wins over the Lions and Vikings (Lions first win by an AFL team over the NFL) but those games I listened to on the radio.

            Fast forward to today; that was about the wildest last minute of play, with so many twists and turns, that I can remember. The old Broncos had a way of winning games like that with a key sack or turnover. The new Broncos find ways to lose (though the comeback was good)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CHEF LUIGI View Post
              perhaps my two most cherished memories of our early broncos was when that gal ran on to the field , grabbed the football in front of the players, just before they broke huddle, stuffed it under her sweat-shirt and ran around the field !
              Our broncos were out of time outs and they had to stop the clock to get her off the field !
              The now famous rule and announcement for fan interference is a direct result of that " PLAY " by a bronco fan !
              I was at that game ('67, I think) sitting low in the north stands when the gal ran onto the field. It was Broncos ball around midfield and she shot out from the visitor's sideline to stuff the ball under her sweatshirt as you described. She was a smallish blonde gal as I remember, or maybe just looked small among the behemoths. I don't remember how she got off the field or if security (if any) did anything to her.

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