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Youth programs in Denver metro area to see benefits from recent $4.65 billion sale of Broncos

Youth programs in Denver metro area to see benefits from recent sale of Broncos
Youth programs in Denver metro area to see benefits from recent sale of Broncos 02:30

While the Denver Broncos' new owners have officially taken control, a lesser-known part of the transition is still underway. It all comes back to a stipulation in the stadium lease agreement that requires the Metropolitan Football Stadium District distribute a portion of the $4.65 billion sale back to the communities that helped fund the stadium.  

Taxpayers in seven Denver Metro Area counties funded 75% of the Broncos' stadium through a voter-approved one-tenth of 1% sales tax.  

In August, the Metropolitan Football Stadium District Board voted unanimously to approve a share back of more than $41 million. The checks, which were sent out Monday, were divided up proportional to what each city and county contributed to the Stadium District in sales tax over the years.  

On Tuesday, longtime Stadium District board member Gene Ciancio presented a check to the Adams County board of commissioners. The $1.14 million amount is specifically for unincorporated Adams County, as well as Barr Lake, Henderson, Watkins, and Strasburg.  

Bigger cities in each county will get their own checks. In Adams, that includes Commerce City, Brighton, Thornton, Federal Heights and more.  

"No one dreamed that it would sell for that amount of money," Ciancio said. "What was thrilling to me was Adams County alone is getting back more than the minimum that now, all seven counties were going to get." 

According to the stadium lease, this one-time payment must go to "youth activity programs," which leaves room for interpretation.  

After receiving their $1.1 million check Tuesday, Jefferson County commissioners discussed possible ways they could spend the money, including sports, after school programs, and art programs. In Adams County, commissioners discussed potentially funding kids' equipment or team dues, though no decisions have been made in either county at this point.  

"Youth activities is broad, as you said, but we trust that the counties and or city councils are going to do the right thing with it," Ciancio said.  

Adams County commissioner Lynn Baca called the money "transformative," keeping in mind COVID's large impact on kids over the past 2 years.  

"I think it's important to get our families and our young students and kids back into youth sports. I think that's a way of bringing communities together, bringing families together," Baca said. "It's a way really to touch the future on this historic sale."  

Since the guidelines are so broad, the Stadium District wants to do an audit of sorts with each city and county a year from now.

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