DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos fans will have to wait until next season to watch their team play in-person again. The organization announced last week that Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins would be the final one with fans, as more Coloradans are testing positive with COVID-19. Because of the record spread, as well as increases in hospitalizations, several counties, including Denver, have moved to level red on the state’s COVID-19 restriction color dial.
“Although we are confident in our strong safety protocols and have no evidence of any COVID-19 transmission traced to our home games, the increase in cases and hospitalizations locally requires us to adjust our future plans,” a statement from Broncos management read. “Taking this precaution is consistent with the recent guidelines issued by local officials to limit gatherings with the holiday season approaching.”
Beginning in September, the Broncos could host around 5,700 fans for each home game, spread out into seating pods of close family and friends. Other safety precautions included touchless tickets and concessions, as well as mask requirements and designated entrances for each section.
“They have all of the concessions open, it’s really easy to get in and out of everything, they clean everything a lot, they are on you about your mask the whole time,” said Joan Hafemeister on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High.
“We’re pretty spread out, they’re really good about it. They take it very seriously, as do we,” said Kerry Farr, another fan.
On Sunday attendees abided by the same safety precautions for the final Broncos game with fans of the 2020 season. When asked about the team’s decision, fans had mixed reactions.
“I thought it was a bad decision,” said Dan Pasman, who was bringing his young son to his first regular season game. “I think the way the Broncos and everybody at the stadium has done all this, it’s very, very safe and being such a big venue with that number of limited people, there was more than enough room to bring that many people in and be perfectly safe.”
“I get it,” said Hafemeister. “I want my family to be safe. Anybody that would be more at a health risk to get it, I wouldn’t want to be around them after I’ve been here.”
Friends Chris Chandler and Austin Fisher described themselves as disappointed but thankful they had the opportunity to attend games at all.
“I’m just happy we got to go to the games we went to and we’re going to enjoy this game as much as we can,” Chandler said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Broncos 20, Dolphins 13
The Broncos say anyone who purchased tickets to any of the next three home games will be issued refunds. Anyone who bought season ticket packages will get a credit for next year or can ask for a refund.