Sports in Denver
The following table shows sports teams in the Denver metropolitan area that average more than 12,000 fans per game:
|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
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.
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
|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. 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.
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
- Colorado Buffaloes: The CU Buffaloes are a member of the Pac-12 Conference and are located in Boulder.
- Denver Pioneers: The DU Pioneers, located in the city of Denver, play in NCAA Division I and are a member of The Summit League. In sports not sponsored by that conference, it is a member of several other conferences; most notably, the men's ice hockey team plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, the women's gymnastics team in the Big 12 Conference, and the men's and women's lacrosse teams in the Big East Conference.
- Metro State Roadrunners: The Metro State Roadrunners play in NCAA Division II and are a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and are located in Denver.
- Regis Rangers: The Regis Rangers play in NCAA Division II and are a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and are located in Denver.
Amateur club teams
|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
- Denver co-hosted the 1962 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships (together with Colorado Springs).
- Initially awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics. However, due to rising costs and worries about environmental impact, voters rejected a public-funding ballot measure. Without the bond, Denver could not support the games, and the IOC retracted the award.
- Denver hosted the ABA All-Star Game in 1976 and the 1984 NBA All-Star Game at McNichols Arena.
- Denver also hosted the 1990 NCAA Final Four at McNichols Arena.
- The Ultimate Fighting Championship, which eventually become the world's leading mixed martial arts organization, held its first two events in Denver—UFC 1 on November 12, 1993 and UFC 2 on March 11, 1994.
- The 1998 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Coors Field.
- The 2001 NHL All-Star Game and FanFest at Pepsi Center.
- 2005 NBA All-Star Game at Pepsi Center.
- The 2008 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament was hosted in Denver.
- Denver hosted a yearly auto race on the Champ Car World Series circuit, the Grand Prix of Denver, before that series' demise in 2008.
- The Colorado Colfax Marathon is run through the city annually.
- The Churchill Cup, a now-defunct annual international competition in rugby union featuring the USA and Canada senior national teams, the England Saxons (that country's second-level national team), and three invited teams, was hosted by Denver in 2009, with matches held at the rugby-specific Infinity Park in Glendale and Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Denver was suggested as a permanent home for the competition. The 2010 tournament featured preliminary rounds in Denver. Also, Denver was reportedly in the running to host a Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia and New Zealand national teams, possibly in 2010, though that did not materialize.
- Denver was the host for Sportaccord 2009, the largest international sports convention in the world.
- Infinity Park became the new host of the USA Women's Sevens, the country's stop in the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series for national rugby sevens teams, in 2018.
- The city strongly considered a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. In December 2011 a Denver 2022 exploratory committee was launched. Reno-Tahoe was also interested in bidding for 2022.
Detailed information by team
|Centennial Tigers||USAFL||Sweetwater Park||0||2020|
|Colorado Avalanche||NHL||McNichols Sports Arena (1995–1999)
Ball Arena (1999–present)
|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)
|Colorado Rockies||MLB (NL)||Mile High Stadium (1993–1994)
Coors Field (1995–present)
|Denver Barbarians||Pacific Rugby Premiership
Rugby Super League (United States) (1997–2012)
|Infinity Park||Division DI: 1
Division DII: 1
|Denver Broncos||AFL (1960–1969)
|Mile High Stadium (1960–2000)
Empower Field at Mile High (2001–present)
|Denver Bulldogs||USAFL||Veterans Park (1999–present)||Men's Team: 8
Women's Team: 6
|Denver Nuggets||ABA (1967–1976)
|Denver Coliseum (1967–1975)
McNichols Sports Arena (1975–1999)
Ball Arena (1999–present)
|Denver Outlaws||MLL||Empower Field at Mile High (2006–present)||2||3||2006|
(Glendale Raptors, 2007–2017)
|Pacific Rugby Premiership||Infinity Park (2007–2017)||Men's Team: 3
Women's Team: 2
|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
Men's lacrosse 1
|Colorado Crush||AFL||Pepsi Center||2||1||1||2003–2008|
|Colorado Raptors (2020)
Glendale Raptors (2018–2019)
|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)
|Denver Grizzlies||IHL||McNichols Arena||1||1||1994–1995|
|Denver Nuggets||NBL (1948–1949)
Also played in other leagues
|Denver Auditorium Arena||AAU Tournament: 3||1932–1951|
|Denver Spurs||WHL (1968–1974)
|Denver Coliseum (1968–1975)
McNichols Arena (1975–1976)
|Denver Stampede||PRO Rugby||CIBER Field||1||2016|
Denver Bears (1955–1983)
|American Association (1955–1962, 1969–1992)
|Mile High Stadium||Class titles: 2
League titles: 7
- Denver Bears (Western League) former Western League team (1885-1954); replaced by the new Denver Bears
- Denver Zephyrs originally, the Denver Bears, who played in the American Association (1955-1962, 1969-1992) and the Pacific Coast League (1963-1968) moved to New Orleans in 1992. Now play as the Wichita Wind Surge
- Denver Nuggets former National Basketball League & National Basketball Association team (1948–1950); folded as the Evansville Agogans
- Denver Spurs former World Hockey Association team (1975–76); folded as the Ottawa Civics
- Colorado Rockies former National Hockey League team (1976–1982); now play as the New Jersey Devils
- Denver Avalanche former Major Indoor Soccer League team (1980–1982); ceased operations
- Colorado Flames former Central Professional Hockey League team (1982–1984); league ceased operations
- Denver Gold former United States Football League team (1983–1985); ceased operations
- Denver Dynamite former Arena Football League team (1987, 1989–1991); ceased operations
- Denver Rangers former International Hockey League team (1988-1989); folded as the Phoenix Roadrunners
- Denver Grizzlies former International Hockey League team (1994–1995); relocated to Utah after one season. Now play in the American Hockey League as the Cleveland Monsters
- Colorado Crush former Arena Football League team (2003–2008); the AFL suspended operations indefinitely
- Denver Cutthroats former Central Hockey League team (2012–2014); league ceased operations
- Denver Stampede former PRO Rugby team (2016–2017); league ceased operations after one season
- Colorado Raptors former Major League Rugby team (2018-2020); withdrew from the league after three seasons of play
- Denver Dynamite (soccer) former PASL-Pro (2008-2010) & PASL-Premier (2011-2015) team; ceased operations
- Exploratory Committee Formed For Denver 2022 Bid
- GB Editor (January 14, 2010). "Reno-Tahoe 2022 Olympic Bid Gets "Shot In The Arm"". GamesBids.com. Retrieved 2009-01-20.