By Dave Wille
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s been a couple of years since Denver Broncos fans have been allowed to attend Broncos Training Camp in person. But starting Wednesday, July 28, that all changes.
Fans will be able to attend 13 of the 14 training camp practices the team will hold at UCHealth Training Center. Since it’s been a while, we thought it would be best to refresh your memory on what a Training Camp practice looks like and give you a few tips on how to get the most out of your practice experience.
Practices run from 9:15 a.m. to noon with gates opening at 8:30 a.m. The parking lots open at 7:30 a.m., so you may want to get there early, especially on weekends as the crowds can get large and it can be a bit of a hike from your parking spot to the practice fields.
Something new this year is each fan attending practice will have to sign a Fan Health Promise prior to entry to practice. This is an online document similar to those many of us have filled out over the past year and a half. It will ask questions like if you’ve been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days, if you’ve had any symptoms like a fever in the past 48 hours. QR codes to access the Fan Health Promise will be available on-site for fans to scan and digitally sign. Once scanned, fans will fill out a form and receive an SMS message upon completion that will grant them entry into the premises. The Broncos encourage fans to fill out the Fan Health Promise in the Broncos365 App prior to arrival to expedite entry. All attending fans must agree to the Fan Health Promise via a digital signature before entering UCHealth Training Center.
So once you’ve completed the Fan Health Promise and you’ve been admitted to practice, now what? Well, just like in years past, fans sit on the berm on the west side of the practice fields. The berm is a great place to view practice because you’re right next to the practice fields. You can’t get a better view of an NFL practice or game than what you can get on the berm. So, where on the berm should you sit? If you want to be as close as possible, go as far down as you can. With COVID-19 protocols, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sit as close as in previous Training Camps. But it will still be a great place to watch practice. Some people may want more of a bird’s eye view of practice. In that case, try to go higher on the hill where you can see more of the fields without players and coaches blocking your view. Either way, you can’t go wrong. And since Vic Fangio doesn’t like music blasting during most of practice, you’ll be able to not only see but hear a lot of the hitting and interactions between players and coaches.
One important note: it can get hot sitting on the berm. Really hot. The sun is pointing right at you and there is very little shade. Sunscreen and water are a must. They are not optional. You can bring in a blanket so you don’t have to sit on the grass. But you can’t bring an umbrella to create shade. So dress accordingly and understand if it’s a clear morning, you’re going to be in the sun.
Also, due to COVID-19, no autograph sessions with players will be allowed this year.
Some other notes: the Broncos have lined up food trucks that will be on the west side of the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse. You won’t be able to bring food from the trucks into practice, but you will be able to bring in small individual food items and non-alcoholic beverages. Diapers and wipes are OK but diaper bags won’t be allowed into practice. Strollers will be allowed but will have to be left at the gate prior to entering the seating area. Lawn chairs are not allowed but seat pads are as long as they aren’t larger than 18 inches wide and don’t have pockets, zippers or concealable areas. Still cameras are fine as long as they don’t have detachable lenses larger than a credit card. Video cameras, however, are not allowed. The clear bag policy that’s been in effect at Broncos games and Training Camp for several years will be enforced again though a small clutch bag or purse about the size of hand will be allowed but subject to search. And, of course, there will be restrooms available for the public.
It’s been a while, but it’s great that football is back for fans to enjoy in person. The Broncos have a quarterback battle, some exciting new players and a lot riding on this season. Broncos Country has the chance to see all of this unfold up close and personal in the coming days. If you have the chance, it would be worth your while to spend a morning at UCHealth Training Center and see for yourself what this Broncos team has to offer.
The training camp dates that are open to the public are as follows, and subject to change based on weather or other unplanned events:
– July 28, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– July 29, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– July 30, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– July 31, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m. (“Training Camp: Back Together Saturday” — a small number of fans will be attending. Specifically, the team described it as a welcome back to football celebration that “will be invite only with limited public access.”)
– Aug. 2, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 3, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 4, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 6, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 7, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 16, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 17, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 18, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
– Aug. 19, 9:15 a.m.-12 p.m.
Training camp takes place at the UCHealth Training Center in Englewood. Unlike in some previous years, there won’t be a team practice/scrimmage at Empower Field at Mile High that fans will be able to attend.