Sports in Denver

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The city of Denver, Colorado, and the wider Denver metropolitan area is home to many sports teams.


The following table shows sports teams in the Denver metropolitan area that average more than 12,000 fans per game:

Club Sport League Venue Capacity Attendance Titles Since
Denver Broncos Football NFL Empower Field at Mile High 76,169 76,939 3 (1997, 1998, 2015) 1960
Colorado Buffaloes Football NCAA D1 Folsom Field (Boulder) 53,600 37,778 1 (1990) 1890
Colorado Rockies Baseball MLB Coors Field 50,398 31,334 0 1993
Colorado Avalanche Ice hockey NHL Ball Arena 18,007 16,176 2 (1996, 2001) 1995
Colorado Rapids Soccer MLS Dick's Sporting Goods Park 18,061 15,657 1 (2010) 1996
Denver Nuggets Basketball NBA Ball Arena 19,115 14,700 0 1967
Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse NLL Ball Arena 18,007 12,815 1 (2006) 2003

Major league professional teams[edit]

Denver is the smallest of the 13 U.S. cities with teams from four major sports.

The Denver Broncos of the National Football League have drawn crowds of over 70,000 since their AFL origins in the early 1960s at Mile High Stadium and continue to draw fans today to their current home Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos have sold out every home game (except for strike-replacement games) since 1970. The Broncos last championship was in 2016, defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. In total, the Broncos have advanced to the Super Bowl eight times and won back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999, and again in 2015.

In the 1980s and 90s, one of the top priorities of former Mayor Federico Peña was bringing Major League Baseball to the city. In 1993, the MLB awarded an expansion team to Denver and they were named the Colorado Rockies. Mile High Stadium was home to the Rockies from 1993 to 1995 while Coors Field was under construction. They appeared in their first World Series in 2007 after winning their first NL pennant, their only one to this day, where they were swept by the Boston Red Sox of the American League in four games.

The Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) play at the Ball Arena. The team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA) but changed its name to the Denver Rockets before their first season. They changed their name to the Denver Nuggets in 1974. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA-NBA merger. They have not made an appearance in an NBA Finals since joining the NBA.

Denver is also home to the Colorado Avalanche, a National Hockey League (NHL) team that relocated from Quebec City in 1995. They have won two Stanley Cups in 1996 and in 2001 while playing in Denver, and they also play at Ball Arena. The Avalanche played the Detroit Red Wings in the first ever outdoor professional hockey game in Denver on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at Coors Field and again against the Los Angeles Kings at the Air Force Academy on Saturday, February 15, 2020.[1][2]

The Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer play at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, a soccer-specific stadium in the Denver suburb of Commerce City. The Rapids were one of the ten founding teams of Major League Soccer that began play in 1996, and initially played at what was then known as Invesco Field at Mile High before moving into their current home in 2007. The Rapids won the MLS Cup in 2010. The Rapids' main rival is Real Salt Lake, and the two teams play every year for the Rocky Mountain Cup. Dick's Sporting Goods Park has also hosted several international soccer matches, including U.S. national team qualifying matches for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

Other professional teams[edit]

Team League Venue
Colorado Mammoth National Lacrosse League Ball Arena
Glendale Merlins Pacific Rugby Premiership Infinity Park
Denver Outlaws Major League Lacrosse Empower Field at Mile High


  • The Mammoth won the 2006 NLL Championship.
  • The Outlaws won the 2014, 2016, 2018 MLL Championships.
  • The Glendale Merlins, originally the "Glendale Raptors", were founded in 2006. They are the 2015 and 2016 PRP Champions as well as the 2011 USA Rugby Division 1 Club Champions.[3] The Women's Glendale Raptors compete in the Women's Premier League and are the 2014 and 2015 Champions. Its top side team played in Major League Rugby from 2018-2020.[4]

Furniture Row Racing was a NASCAR team that fielded the #78 Chevrolet SS for Martin Truex, Jr. The team was owned and sponsored by the U.S. furniture store chain Furniture Row, as the only NASCAR team headquartered in Colorado until 2018.

College sports teams[edit]

Amateur club teams[edit]

Team League Venue
Centennial Tigers U.S. Australian Football League Sweetwater Park
Denver Barbarians Pacific Rugby Premiership Infinity Park
Denver Bulldogs U.S. Australian Football League Veterans Park


  • The Denver Barbarians were founded in 1967. One of the original Rugby Super League teams, they won the RSL Championship in 1999. The RSL folded in 2012.
  • The Denver Bulldogs have won 14 combined USAFL National Championships. 8 by the Men's team and 6 by the Women's team.
  • The Centennial Tigers are a 2020 Women's expansion team in the U.S. Australian Football League. They currently play at Sweetwater Park in Lone Tree, CO[5]

Event hosting[edit]

Detailed information by team[edit]

Current teams[edit]

Club League Venue Championships Since
Division Conference League
Centennial Tigers USAFL Sweetwater Park 0 2020
Colorado Avalanche NHL McNichols Sports Arena (1995–1999)
Ball Arena (1999–present)
9 2 2 1995
Colorado Mammoth NLL Ball Arena (2003–present) 3 1 1 2003
Colorado Rapids MLS Mile High Stadium (1996–2001)
Invesco Field at Mile High (2002–2006)
Dick's Sporting Goods Park (2007–present)
2 1 1996
Colorado Rockies MLB (NL) Mile High Stadium (1993–1994)
Coors Field (1995–present)
0 Pennants: 1 0 1993
Denver Barbarians Pacific Rugby Premiership
Rugby Super League (United States) (1997–2012)
Infinity Park Division DI: 1
RSL: 1
Division DII: 1
Denver Broncos AFL (1960–1969)
NFL (1970–present)
Mile High Stadium (1960–2000)
Empower Field at Mile High (2001–present)
AFL: 0
NFL: 15
AFL: 0
NFL: 8
AFL: 0
NFL: 3
Denver Bulldogs USAFL Veterans Park (1999–present) Men's Team: 8
Women's Team: 6
Denver Nuggets ABA (1967–1976)
NBA (1976–present)
Denver Coliseum (1967–1975)
McNichols Sports Arena (1975–1999)
Ball Arena (1999–present)
ABA: 3
NBA: 9
ABA: 0
NBA: 0
ABA: 0
NBA: 0
Denver Outlaws MLL Empower Field at Mile High (2006–present) 2 3 2006
Glendale Merlins
(Glendale Raptors, 2007–2017)
Pacific Rugby Premiership Infinity Park (2007–2017) Men's Team: 3
Women's Team: 2

College teams[edit]

School Team League Venue Championship Since
Division Conference National
University of Denver Denver Pioneers NCAA Division I University of Denver Arena (1948–1998)
Magness Arena (1999–present)
Hockey: 9 Hockey tournaments: 13
Final Frozen Four: 14
NCAA total: 33

Hockey 8
Men's lacrosse 1
Skiing 14

Skiing 10

Former teams[edit]

Club League Venue Championship Existed
Division Conference League
Colorado Crush AFL Pepsi Center 2 1 1 2003–2008
Colorado Raptors (2020)
Glendale Raptors (2018–2019)
MLR Infinity Park 0 2018–2020
Colorado Rockies NHL McNichols Arena 0 0 0 1976–1982
Denver Bears (Western League) Western League Western League (1885-1899) Pennants: 2
Class titles: 5
Denver Cutthroats CHL Denver Coliseum 0 2012–2014
Denver Dynamite AFL McNichols Arena 1 1987–1991
Denver Dynamite (soccer) PASL-Pro (2008–2010)
Denver Sports Center (2008)
Denver Bladium (2009)
Westridge Recreation Center (2010–2011)
Apex Field House (2012–2014)
Parker Fieldhouse (2009, 2014–2015)
0 0 2008–2015
Denver Grizzlies IHL McNichols Arena 1 1 1994–1995
Denver Nuggets NBL (1948–1949)
NBA (1949–1950)
Also played in other leagues
Denver Auditorium Arena AAU Tournament: 3 1932–1951
Denver Spurs WHL (1968–1974)
CHL (1974–1975)
WHA (1975–1976)
Denver Coliseum (1968–1975)
McNichols Arena (1975–1976)
1 1968–1976
Denver Stampede PRO Rugby CIBER Field 1 2016
Denver Zephyrs
Denver Bears (1955–1983)
American Association (1955–1962, 1969–1992)
PCL (1963–1968)
Mile High Stadium Class titles: 2
League titles: 7

Past teams[edit]

Mile High Stadium was Empower Field's predecessor.


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  6. ^ Exploratory Committee Formed For Denver 2022 Bid
  7. ^ GB Editor (January 14, 2010). "Reno-Tahoe 2022 Olympic Bid Gets "Shot In The Arm"". Retrieved 2009-01-20.