It’s been an extremely long eight months for football fans around the nation, but especially for Denver Bronco fans who have been eagerly, and oh-so-patiently, waiting for September’s return. The Bronco’s domination of Super Bowl 50 left fans thrilled, but more restless than ever for the next football season. So, we are very excited to say it’s time to dust off your jerseys and bust out the face paint, because the Bronco’s first football game is finally here.
On Thursday September 8 at 6:30 p.m. MDT the Denver Broncos will start back where they finished off, head-to-head with the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Don’t start planning your football party just yet, because you’re already invited to one — the 2016 NFL Kickoff in Denver. Several days of football-tastic festivities are being hosted in Denver in honor of the 2016 Super Bowl Champions. Wednesday, Sept. 7 and Thursday, Sept. 8 will be your chance to get autographs from a number of NFL legends, win killer swag from NFL Kickoff sponsors, see live musical performances by Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic and so much more, all at Civic Center Park and all for free. Below we’ve listed all the events taking place at the 2016 NFL Kickoff party so you don’t miss a thing. Football, we sure have missed you — welcome back.
The Morning Blitz
When: September 7, 6-9 a.m.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Tickets: Available here
The Lowdown: Set your alarm for an early morning, because this welcome party starts at the crack of dawn. Daybreaker, the morning dance party movement, and the NFL are teaming together to bring you the Morning Blitz to wake you up and get you pumped for football season. The Morning Blitz is a workout session plus dance party being hosted at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This event will be headed by former Bronco players Rod Smith and Rick Upchurch (yeah, you read that right), along with Bronco cheerleaders and other special guests. Come prepared for a football-themed workout session, yoga and of course a most epic dance party. The event is free, but space is limited so if you want to practice your end zone dance, make sure you get registered.
Fuel Up to Play 60
When: September 7, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Allendale Elementary, 5900 Oak St, Arvada
The Lowdown: The NFL alongside the Denver Broncos, Fuel Up to Play 60, the National Dairy Council and the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition are teaming up together to kick off more than just football, but the 2016 Hometown Grant Program. The Hometown Grant Program was developed by the NFL with Fuel Up to Play 60 in 2014. It provides grants that support physical activity and nutrition programs to all school districts in the 32 NFL markets. On Sept. 7 representatives will present Colorado’s Jefferson County School District with a $10,000 grant and $30,000 in equipment and resources to help students stay healthy and active. This event will also feature a special guest performance by “American Idol” singer, songwriter and founder of M.A.D Kids Jordin Sparks. Former Bronco Karl Mecklenburg, Broncos mascot Miles and Bronco cheerleaders will also be making appearances as they lead a PLAY 60 clinic with Allendale Elementary students.
When: September 7, 3-8 p.m. & September 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park
The Lowdown: Calling all fans — welcome to the “fan zone.” On both days Kickoff Village will be dedicated to the football lovers. Proud sponsors of the NFL (including Bud Light, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Pepsi, Snickers, Verizon and Visa) will be presenting opportunities to participate in games and activities that give you the chance to win awesome NFL prizes. There will be photo opportunities with the Denver Bronco cheerleaders, the Vince Lombardi trophy in all of its glory, busts of your favorite Hall of Fame players and more. Don’t forget your sharpie and your favorite football, because there will be autograph opportunities with Charles Tillman, John Lynch, Ed McCaffrey, Rick Upchurch, Rod Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, Champ Bailey and several others. If there is anything you’ve got to cross off your schedule, don’t let it be this can’t-miss event.
When: September 8, gates open at 3 p.m.
Where: Civic Center Park
The Lowdown: To wrap up the NFL Kickoff celebration, country singer Dierks Bentley and native Colorado band OneRepublic will be helping Denver’s Bronco fans welcome in the new season by putting on a free concert just before the game starts. The concert is open to the public and the site entrance can be found on West 14th Avenue and Bannock Street, but Civic Center Park makes for a great view as well. Gates open at 3 p.m. and performances begin at 4:30 p.m. The concert will lead right up to the football game and fans will then be encouraged to hunker down at a nearby bar to watch. After two days of epic celebrating, the Broncos will officially begin this season’s fight towards Super Bowl 51. Hoorah!