In the summer of 1959, Bob Howsam, owner of minor league baseball’s Denver Bears, had a problem. He’d expanded Bears Stadium to 34,000 after Denver was named a charter member of the Continental League, a proposed third major league. However, the league died when the established major leagues granted expansion franchises to two of its cities (New York and Houston) and moved an established team to a third (the Twin Cities). Howsam was now saddled with a heavy debt load and a stadium far too big for a minor-league team.
Howsam concluded the only way out of his financial bind was to extend Bears Stadium’s season by bringing football to Denver. He first tried to get an expansion NFL franchise to Denver, but he was denied a team by NFL owners under the leadership of Chicago Bears owner George Halas. The snub led Howsam and four others to start up a rival to the NFL. The new league, the American Football League, announced its formation on August 14, 1959, with Howsam’s Denver team as a charter member. A 1960 “name-the-team” contest yielded the nickname “Broncos.” The first general manager of the new team was Dean Griffing, and the first head coach was Frank Filchock.
Quarterback John Elway arrived in 1983. Originally drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball (he was drafted by the New York Yankees to play center field) unless he was traded to one of a selected list of other teams, which included Denver. During the 23 seasons prior to Elway’s arrival, Denver used over 24 different starting quarterbacks.
Super Bowl XXXII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Green Bay Packers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1997 season. The Broncos defeated the Packers by the score of 31–24. The game was played on January 25, 1998 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, the second time that the Super Bowl was held in that city. Super Bowl XXXII also made Qualcomm Stadium the only stadium in history to have the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.
During the 1997 season, Elway and Davis helped guide the Broncos to their first Super Bowl victory, a 31–24 win over the defending champion Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Although Elway completed only 13 of 22 passes, throwing one interception and no touchdowns (he did, however, have a rushing touchdown), Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl–record 3 touchdowns to earn the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award – this while overcoming a severe migraine that caused him blurred vision. The Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions the following season, defeating the Atlanta Falcons (led by Elway’s longtime head coach Dan Reeves) in Super Bowl XXXIII, 34–19. Elway was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 18 of 29 passes for 421 yards, with an 80-yard touchdown to wide receiver Rod Smith and one interception.
Following the 2010 season, Joe Ellis was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to team president, while John Elway returned to the organization as the team’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations.
On March 20, 2012, the Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning reached an agreement on a 5-year contract worth $96 million. The following day, the Broncos traded Tim Tebow and a seventh-round draft selection to the New York Jets in exchange for fourth- and sixth-round draft selections. Shortly after acquiring Manning, the Broncos also signed tight ends Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme, as well as former Cleveland Browns’ safety Mike Adams.
Super Bowl 50 was an American football game to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2015 season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers 24–10 to earn their third Super Bowl title. The Broncos took an early lead in Super Bowl 50 and never trailed. Newton was limited by Denver’s defense, which registered seven sacks and forced him into three turnovers, including a fumble which they recovered for a touchdown. Carolina’s defense kept the game close by holding Denver’s offense without a touchdown until late in the fourth quarter; defensive end Kony Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to have an interception and three sacks. Denver linebacker Von Miller was named Super Bowl MVP; Miller recorded five solo tackles, 2½ sacks, and two forced fumbles in the game.
The Denver Broncos are an American football team based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust. The Broncos have played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High since 2001, after previously playing at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000.
1970 – Present / National Football League
1960 – 1969 / American Football League
1960 – Present / Denver Broncos
Broncos – A “bronco” is an unbroken or untamed horse, and it is a reference to Denver’s Wild West heritage. The Broncos nickname came about by being the winning entry of a name the new team contest that the new Denver AFL franchise had in early 1960. The winner out of only 162 entries was by Ward M. Vining. There was a previous pro team in Denver with the same name an Independent minor league baseball club in the 1920s named the Denver Broncos.
Super Bowl 3
2016, 1999, 1998
2019 – Present / Empower Field at Mile High
2016 – 2019 / Broncos Stadium at Mile High
2011 – 2016 / Sports Authority Field at Mile High
2001 – 2010 / Invesco Field at Mile High
1960 – 2000 / Mile High Stadium
1984 – Present / Pat Bowlen Trust
1981 – 1984 / Edgar Kaiser
1961 – 1981 / Gerald Phipps
1960 – 1961 / Bob Howsam
7 John Elway
18 Frank Tripucka
18 Peyton Manning
44 Floyd Little
*Blue is this team’s history