10 most intimidating football stadiums world
The Broncos drew only 13,047 in 1960 when they finished 4-9-1; and they drew even worse the next year in 1961 at just 10,644 per game, when they finished 3-11.In 1962, new head coach Jack Faulkner helped improve the team, and improve the struggling team’s fan base, when the Broncos went 7-7 and drew 25,498 per game.
In the illustration below, you can see how Bears Stadium looked in 1954 (the last year the Denver Bears were a Class A team; they moved a couple steps up the minor-league-ladder the following season in 1955 when they joined the Triple-A American Association).They were Lamar Hunt (of Dallas), Bud Adams (of Houston), and Max Winter (of Minneapolis/St. Howsam would go on to become a founding owner of an AFL team in Denver in 1960, along with AFL creator Hunt (the leagues’ founder and founder/first owner of the Dallas Texans (II)/Kansas City Chiefs franchise) and Adams (who was the founder/first-owner of the Houston Oilers/Tenessee Titans franchise).[Winter would go on to be co-founder/first-co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings NFL franchise in 1961.] But, possibly aside from the Oakland AFL franchise, Howsam’s Denver Broncos franchise was the most under-financed in the new rival league in 1960.A few years earlier (circa 1958), Howsam had already tried to buy the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals and move them to Denver.There were three others who also had, in the late 1950s, tried to buy-and-move the struggling Chicago Cardinals to their cities.The penny-pinching ways of the early Denver Broncos became legendary (see illustration further below, and see the colors and logos section further below).
Mounting debt forced Howsam to sell the Broncos in early 1961.
And even though the Broncos got bad again the next few seasons, and even though attendance fell below 20K per game for a couple years, by 1965 the Broncos were drawing above 30K per game.
And when the city of Denver bought Bears Stadium and renamed it Mile High Stadium in 1968 (and began another stadium expansion to 50,000), the Broncos surpassed the 40K per game mark…and their attendance has been healthy ever since. And when the Broncos joined the NFL in 1970, as part of the AFL/NFL merger, the Broncs sold out every game that season.
This makes the name even more fitting because the founder and first owner of the Denver Broncos AFL franchise was Bob Howsam, who was back then also co-owner of the old Triple-A team minor league ball club, the Denver Bears (the Denver Bears were owned by the Howsam family [Bob, his brother Earl, and his father Lee], from 1947-62).
The Denver-born-and-raised Bob Howsam’s dream was to bring Major League Baseball to Denver (Howsam also later made his mark as GM of the Cincinnati Reds during their Big Red Machine era of the 1970s).
Below: an illustration featuring photos of Broncos’ Stadiums (and the precursor-stadium), and some of the more interesting gear worn by the team…