World’s Top Athletes Raise the Competitive Bar in Denver This Summer
DENVER (May 18, 2015) - When it comes to cheering on big-time sports, Denver's voice is one of the loudest in country. With seven professional teams, a top-ranked collegiate lacrosse squad, and top-notch sports venues, The Mile High City serves as the ultimate sports destination for the nation's toughest competitions in 2015.
"Denver, with its 300 days of sunshine and unlimited outdoor activities, is one big playground," said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER. "Travelers to Denver are attracted to the city for the same reason as its residents - access to unparalleled urban attractions and the Rocky Mountain backdrop to choose your own adventure. Our professional sports teams, competitive collegiate teams, and the fan-base to support games at every level, including youth leagues, make Denver a unique sports city."
Competitions kick off in May and run throughout the summer, with major play every month and professional league home games nearly every day.
The Best of 7s
WHEN: May 23-24
WHERE: University of Denver
Forty-eight of college rugby's finest men's and women's programs will descend upon the University of Denver campus May 23-24, 2015, to compete in three tournament fields-Men's Division I, Men's Division II and the Women's Division. Surrounded by a community increasingly known for its rugby prowess, the University of Denver's beautiful campus will make the ideal setting for the College 7s National Championships. While the 15-man Union style of rugby is the most common version of the game, there are other variations of the sport. One popular adaptation is Sevens Rugby where seven players per side participate in the game. Consisting of two seven-minute halves, Sevens Rugby combines shorter games with fewer players for a faster-paced version of rugby. Rugby Sevens will now be played at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games and this is the perfect opportunity to watch Olympic hopefuls compete for a spot on Team USA.
Urban River Race
WHEN: June 27-28
WHERE: Confluence Park in Downtown Denver
Get ready to test your balance on a stand-up paddle as you navigate the South Platte River. The Greenway Foundation's signature event, the Coors Light South Platte RiverFest, will be held on June 27-28, 2015, at Confluence Park in downtown Denver. The two-day event will feature stand-up paddle boarding lessons and demos, a variety of water and river activities, fitness classes, live music, food, and drink. Not ready to take the dive into the South Platte? The Coors Light South Platte RiverFest will also feature Amateur and Pro Standup Paddleboard Races and a RiverArt Competition for artists to create a work of art inspired by The South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Many of the activities are free, but the Standup Paddleboard Races and Art Competition will require separate registration fees. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting The Greenway Foundation.
Smaller Champions - Bigger Dreams
WHEN: July 2-4
WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
The Inaugural Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse, presented by The Coca-Cola Company, will be played July 2-4, 2015, in Denver. A blue ribbon panel of youth lacrosse coaches and administrators will help select a total of 16 U-13 boys' teams from around the U.S. to compete, with a total of four teams each representing the north, south, east and west regions. All teams will play five games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The top two teams will advance to the Championship Game, which will be played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on July 4, 2015. A World Champion will be crowned live at 1 p.m. MT on ESPN2. Throughout the three-day competition, highlight films and interviews with players will be created and aired during the live broadcast of the Championship Game.
WHEN: July 29
WHERE: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Major League Soccer will bring the top men's soccer players from across the world to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. The annual showcase will feature several exciting days of events surrounding the match such as concerts, community service initiatives and player appearances. In addition, the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game, featuring the best homegrown players from across the league, will return for the second consecutive year.
The Colorado Rapids, one of MLS' original clubs, will host the All-Star Game for the second time since 2007, the stadium's inaugural season. Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni, who played for the 2007 MLS All-Star team, will serve as head coach of the All-Stars in July. The opponent for this summer's game will be Tottenham Hotspur from England's Premier League.
A Strong Finish for America's Race
WHEN: August 17-23
WHERE: Various locations throughout Colorado with the finale in downtown Denver
For seven consecutive days, the 2015 USA Pro Challenge (UPC) will bring the high speeds and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations more than two miles high in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world - the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The UPC swings into action in its fifth year with a new circuit start in Steamboat Springs on Monday, August 17, and then it makes its way through another eight stunning host cities for the race finale in downtown Denver on Sunday, August 23. A fun, free festival with an awards ceremony, music and food trucks will follow in Civic Center Park. (LIFEBLOOD 5K CANCELLED) For the second year, the UPC will host the LifeBlood 5K run/walk along the Denver route where afterwards participants will be treated to an exclusive festival area for premium views of the finish, music and beverages. LifeBlood 5K proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. New for 2015, the "Women's USA Pro Challenge," will take place over the course of three days, in conjunction with the men's race. The women will race on parts of the men's race course in Colorado this August and race daily for the same prize money as the men. This is the first time since 1988 that some of the best men and women in the world will be sharing courses at a major, international stage race in Colorado.
Going for Gold
WHEN: October 6-7
WHERE: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Later this year, Olympic hopefuls will compete in Denver for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) unveiled the four U.S. cities which will host the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship 2015, scheduled for October 1-13. Denver, Kansas City and Los Angeles will serve as hosts for group stage matches, with Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, hosting all eight qualified teams for group stage Match Day 3 on October 6 and 7. The 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship will feature eight qualified nations divided into two groups. The tournament host United States will be seeded in Group A, while 2012 Olympic gold-medalist Mexico will head Group B. The top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advance to the semifinals. Ticket information will be made available at a later date.
The Mile High City is home professional basketball, baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey and rugby-with some of the world's best athletes on the rosters.