The Denver Broncos finished the season with a 5-12 record, but the Walton-Penner family ownership group -- who purchased the Denver Broncos in August -- is already trying to set new standards for the franchise. The first step was spending $400,000 to replace the grass field.
When the grass at Empower Field at Mile High was showing signs of wear and tear, Broncos CEO and owner Greg Penner made the call to have brand new grass installed ahead of Denver's final game of the regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers.
"To their credit, Greg and our ownership were willing to make the significant investment of a new field for our final game of the season," Broncos president Damani Leech told NFL.com. "After our last home game and following a perfect storm of significant activity combined with inclement weather, the field was simply not up to our standards. Our turf crew and stadium management had a window to install it, we took advantage of it and they got it done."
Denver -- a team that has not made the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season -- closed its 2022 campaign with a 31-28 victory on brand new sod brought in from Arizona. The decision to freshen up the field that late in the season definitely made a statement, as the grass will likely be replaced again before the start of the 2023 season. It was not a cheap gesture, but it already set the tone regarding the expectations for the franchise as they move forward.
"We appreciate Broncos ownership replacing our field -- even for just one game -- to give the players a better and safer surface than the previous two games," Broncos kicker and union rep Brandon McManus told NFL.com. "It means a lot that Greg and the owners took action after the field didn't play or look up to the standard."
Fresh grass is hardly the only new improvement the Broncos will see at Empower Field at Mile High. In December, the franchise also announced they are