Broncos overwhelmed after first game at Invesco Field
Updated: Monday August 27, 2001 12:43 AM
DENVER (AP) -- Wide-eyed and appreciative, the Denver Broncos acted like kids at Christmas in the inaugural game at their new stadium.
The Broncos, who kicked off Invesco Field at Mile High with a 31-24 preseason win against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night, couldn't stop gushing about their new digs.
"It's awfully nice," wide receiver Ed McCaffrey said in the spacious locker room after the game. "Look at all the room.
"I still feel like we're visiting a little bit here. There's too many nice things. But I think we'll get used to it."
Quarterback Brian Griese, who threw three touchdown passes, said, "The stadium was awesome, the fans were great. It was a prime setting for a football game."
The plush, $400 million facility replaces Mile High Stadium, which sits rusting nearby and will be torn down after this season to make way for additional parking for the new stadium.
Broncos coaches and players complained about the condition of the natural-grass field at the old stadium in recent years, but they all raved about the new surface.
The sand-based field uses natural grass that is stabilized by a network of polypropylene fibers that have been woven into the sod. Beneath the surface is a heating and drainage system.
"The field was in great shape," McCaffrey said. "It was excellent, great footing. I didn't see any of the turf come up like it did at the other place."
Running back Terrell Davis, seeing his first action since Nov. 13, called the new surface "much better than the previous field. It's a lot softer and it doesn't come up as easy."
Defensive tackle Trevor Pryce said the grass "is much better here. The field is even better than it was a week ago" when the team held its first practice in the new stadium.
"You could use it for a putting green, it's so smooth," wide receiver Eddie Kennison said.
Head coach Mike Shanahan said Invesco "kind of reminded me of being in Mile High, except it seemed like the fans were a little bit closer to the field and it was a little bit louder. It's a great feeling to have that type of enthusiasm in this type of facility. It's really great not only for the town, but obviously for our organization as well."
The Broncos expect their new stadium to be at least as loud as old Mile High because the floors are steel, creating thunderous noise when stomped on.
Invesco also has three large video screens, two more than Mile High.
"Crystal clear," said wide receiver Rod Smith. "Like watching the big screen in your living room."