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Denver Broncos, with visions of an entertainment district, are ready to say goodbye to south stadium parking lots

The Denver Broncos and public officials are ready to pull the trigger on an idea that for years has fueled speculation and intrigue: tearing up the sprawling south parking lots at the former Sports Authority Field to make way for an entertainment district.

Officials from the team, the stadium district and the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development provided the first glimpse Wednesday of a new master-planning effort that will be launched soon by the city, with community meetings to solicit input.

The resulting master plan will form the basis for redevelopment of as many as 52 acres of stadium parking lots — about half of the stadium parking — in phases over the coming seven to 10 years. In place of the lots, officials envision mixed-use redevelopment that’s heavy on bars, restaurants and other game-day draws, plus housing and other potential components.

Team and stadium district officials said redevelopment would help ensure the 17-year-old, taxpayer-owned stadium’s long-term viability by generating a new source of income that can pay for upkeep.

But city planning officials see a major opportunity to reconnect Sun Valley to the rest of the city with the addition of a regional draw.

“This is really game-changing,” said Brad Buchanan, the planning department’s executive director, before apologizing for the bad pun. “It really is game-changing for our city, and it gives the opportunity to, we think, find the right, smart, new ways to develop in our city in a time when that really takes some smarter approaches than we have needed to use in the past.”

A map provided by the city shows the potential redevelopment area of about 52 acres.
A map provided by the city shows the potential redevelopment area of about 52 acres.

Any plan will replace the

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