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Boulder and Denver see big economic impact from home football games

Boulder and Denver see big economic impact from home football games
Boulder and Denver see big economic impact from home football games 02:25

It was a significant weekend for football fans in Colorado.

The Denver Broncos opened their season against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium and the CU Buffaloes hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the first time since 2019 under the leadership of their new head coach, Deion Sanders -- also known as Coach Prime.

From Boulder to Denver, the streets were packed this weekend, and tourism experts say this weekend is just a small taste of what many can expect this season.

Despite the loss 17-16 loss against the Raiders, Broncos fans are staying optimistic.

"We will have at least 10 wins," said longtime fan, Juan Olivares.

"We are going to make the playoffs," added a self-described Broncos superfan.

The Downtown Denver Partnership says the city can expect streets to stay packed as they wrapped up the summer with just over 90% pre-pandemic foot traffic.

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
A Denver Broncos fan cheers during his team's game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field At Mile High on September 10, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Edmonds / Getty Images

Britt Diehl with the Downtown Denver Partnership says this is an exciting time.

"On game days, we see up to 300,000 people downtown in a single day, and that really does a lot for our economy. It's also fantastic for our downtown businesses," said Diehl.

And in Boulder, the hype was real. Especially after the Colorado Buffaloes beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 36-14, making them now 2-0 in the season.

"I do not know that it would've been possible to get a hotel room as we approached game day," said John Tayer, President and CEO of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

With a Buffs win against Nebraska, it just made it all that much better.

According to the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, there was an estimated $17 million economic impact this weekend alone, and that can repeat for each sold-out game this season.

"That's for a game day, we are estimating an upwards of $17 million conservatively as an economic impact, but then ultimately throughout the weekend, certainly there will be additional benefits," said Tayer.

The impact goes beyond just Boulder.

"That's just not an impact in Boulder; I am sure there are additional benefits along the 36 corridor of visitors who come to our area to enjoy the football games and spirit around those activities," said Tayer.

On Saturday, the Buffs had over 53,000 fans, their largest crowd in 15 years, and at $400 a ticket on the secondary market, the economic contributions are sure to continue.

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