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Denver Planning Board Gets Earful Over Sports Authority Sign

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Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

Sports Authority Field at Mile High (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s planning board got an earful Wednesday from neighbors who do not want new signs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

In part of the naming rights deal the signs would have letters nearly 10 feet tall and some residents worry it would be distractingly bright.

It’s an iconic image — Denver’s skyline lit by a late glow over the mountains. It’s how some residents want to keep it, but say it will be ruined by developments at the football stadium.

“We certainly don’t want our mountains to be branded. We don’t want the skyline of Denver to be branded with advertisements,” neighbor Michael Geiitz said.

Geiitz lives about a half mile from the stadium. He’s fought against the plan to put the stadium’s name around the rim of the structure. He said the planning board was still working out details, but they aren’t going to allow the red letters on the top rim of the stadium.

“We feel that compromises the architectural integrity design of the stadium, it creates a great deal of light pollution and glare,” he said.

Sports Authority intends to put its word mark around the stadium. They already have a massive sign on Mile High’s south stands. The new signs would cover the other three, unmarked sides.

Designers showed their vision at the hearing on Wednesday. The Sports Authority name would be visible from every angle of the stadium. Broncos President Joe Ellis says the Broncos organization supports the change.

“We feel it brings life to the building, we like the identity of it; this is a football stadium,” Ellis said. “It’s the largest entertainment venue in Colorado.”

The new lights may not glare, but at night they’d be clearly visible. Residents call it a blatant effort to brand the Denver skyline.

“Electric signs are pollution as much as a factory belching smoke is pollution,” a resident said at the hearing.

Representatives from the stadium said Sports Authority conducted two separate lamination studies to find out just how bright the signs would be. They said in both of those studies they came in below Denver’s city guidelines.

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