Population wise, Denver is the smallest city in the country with five major professional sports teams — Denver Broncos football, Denver Nuggets basketball, Colorado Rockies baseball, Colorado Avalanche hockey and Colorado Rapids soccer. That should tell you something about the way Coloradans feel about their sports.
These professional teams rule downtown Denver. Just across I-25 from the three-time Super Bowl champion Broncos' home at Mile High Stadium, the Nuggets and Avalanche vie for playoff spots each season at the Pepsi Center. And a few blocks away is Coors Field, home base to Colorado Rockies fans. In fact, “Rocktober” was a phrase coined during the team’s fall 2007 run up to the World Series in honor of a record-breaking winning streak that culminated in the National League Championship win and unmitigated Rockies fever across the state. You can see two of the team's minor league affiliates as well: the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and the Grand Junction Rockies.
Aside from the big four, there are many other opportunities for taking in an pro sporting event in Colorado — from NASCAR races at the Colorado National Speedway in Weld County to PGA tournaments at Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Rock.
Colorado also boasts several teams that have amassed cult-like followings. Major League Soccer’s 2010 champion Colorado Rapids take to the field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, just a few minutes’ drive east of downtown Denver; Colorado Mammoth indoor lacrosse brings loyalists to the Pepsi Center; Major League Lacrosse's Denver Outlaws play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High; and the Glendale Raptors play at Infinity Park just east of downtown.
Other Colorado Spectator Sports
- Colorado Eagles, Central Hockey League, www.coloradoeagles.com
- Colorado Pro Rodeo Association, www.coloradoprorodeo.com
- Colorado Springs Sky Sox Baseball Club, AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, www.skysox.com
- Junior College World Series in Grand Junction (every May), www.jucogj.org
- National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing at Bandimere Speedway, www.bandimere.com
- Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (July), www.ppihc.com
Colorado is also home to many loyal college-sports fans out for football, basketball, hockey and other sports. The Pac-12 NSD's University of Colorado Buffaloes play in Boulder, Colorado State University Rams in Fort Collins, University of Denver Pioneers just south of downtown Denver and the United States Air Force Academy Falcons in Colorado Springs. The University of Northern Colorado Bears, who play in Greeley, are members of the NCAA Division I FCS.
Photos: Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium (copyright Denver Broncos); Colorado Rockies at Coors Field; Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (courtesy of Visit Denver, The Convention & Visitors Bureau).