At Sports Authority Field at Mile High, tailgating reigns supreme before kickoff. From bus bashes to two pals and a grill, there is room for everyone in the lots of the stadium. And one of the great things about Denver is that it’s a melting pot where almost everyone gets along. It’s a place where you can find rival jerseys cheers-ing Broncos-clad fanatics, and despite the endless barrage of trash talking amongst them, the smiles never fade. So here’s a look at the fun groups of people that make up the tailgating scene in the Mile High city.
Contrary to popular belief, a clown is nota negative persona but rather a blessing in silly disguise. History can attest that no matter what you call them, clowns or silly people in general promote happiness. In the tailgate arena, the sillier the better as costumes range from boys in tutus to Broncos leprechaun to pom-pom monsters. And the smiles they create are reason enough to join them in clownish fashion. So if you’re the silly type who’s not afraid to dress up, then it’s time to get creative and join the rest of the best in the lots of the stadium. There’s no better way to show your Broncos spirit than by creating smiles everywhere you go.
The Grill Master
A position of prestige, the Grill Master can be found manning his post at the grill, which he won’t budge from until kickoff time. Some you will find quietly turning a steak, basting a rib or flipping a kabob. Others will be found serving up plates topped high with meat and sauce, cheering with their faithful crowd. No matter who they are, there is one thing they all have in common: the allure of delicious, smoky food wafting through the air around them. And they will proudly boast the local market or butcher from which the food came, a classic Coloradoan tribute to the farmers and small businesses that keep it fresh and home-raised.
You will spot them by their rowdy displays at the beer pong table or egging on the girls at the keg. These are the boys-will-be-boys types, challenging each other in games of beer pong, corn hole and drinking. The Bros are found tossing a football around in the lots, shouting “go long!” They would never be caught at a home game without a proper jersey, feeding off the competitive vibes in the air. No matter what school they come from, it’s all about the Broncos at Sports Authority Field.
The Humble Tailgater
There’s no need for big RVs or elaborate costumes here. The Humble Tailgater is happy to set up shop in their one-lot space with a pal or two and a small grill. However, their Broncos spirit is never broken. You will find them calmly resting in a chair, flipping a brat and enjoying a cold brew, chatting with their small group of friends that came along. Their entourage may be small, but they are nonetheless troopers who refuse to miss out on the fun. The Humbles are proof that you don’t have to go big to have a good time at the tailgate party.
Families come from far and wide to celebrate with the rest of the rowdy pack at the stadium for home games. And with fun, kid-friendly activities all about, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. From tots to teens, the tailgate scene is fun for all ages. The Mile High Mountain Village has inflatable football toss games, bean bag toss, face painting professionals and even Thunder, the horse mascot of the Broncos who rides down the field before every home game. Marching bands make their rounds from lot to lot, getting the crowd amped up for the game with football theme songs. And there is nothing more adorable than a Broncos-clad tot fast asleep in daddy’s arms. Just be sure to keep an eye on the kiddos with all of the movement and drinking going on in the lots.
No matter who you are or where you’re from, if you’re in the lots at Sports Authority Field for a Broncos game, you’re as local as anyone. The camaraderie among sports fans everywhere is unique in Denver and whether it’s warm or cold out, you can be sure the party will be fired up before every game.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Michelle Perez is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.