Home to seven professional sports teams including the 2016 Super Bowl 50 Champion Denver Broncos, and host of numerous playoff and championship games at both college and professional levels, Denver is a premier sports destination. The Denver sports scene kicks off 2016 with several unique and first-in-the-region events that stir up longtime rivalries, as well as highly anticipated annual games, making Denver a great place for a sports lover's winter getaway.
Professional hockey takes center stage - outdoors - at the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium SeriesTM, when the Colorado Avalanche play host to longtime rival Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field on February 27 - the first ever outdoor game for the Avalanche. And, perhaps equally as anticipated as the regular game, the night before will feature former Avalanche and Red Wings players - many from the 1996-2002 seasons in which the teams faced each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs five times - in a special alumni game at Coors Field on February 26 that is sure to revive the old rivalry.
The first new event this year will be when the University of Denver Pioneers Hockey hosts the rival Colorado College Tigers for the "Battle on Blake" at Coors Field on February 20. This will be the first collegiate game ever played at the Major League Baseball stadium that is regularly home to the Colorado Rockies, and the first-ever outdoor face-off in this more than 65-year-old matchup.
College basketball madness will heat up The Mile High City on March 17-19, when Denver hosts the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds. Denver has previously hosted the opening rounds in 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2011.
Denver will also host the NCAA Division II Spring Sports Fest for the first time in 2016. The Spring Sports Fest, taking place May 16-21 on the Metropolitan State University campus, is a six-day national championship event for Men's and Women's Golf, Women's Lacrosse, Men's and Women's Tennis and Softball.
Every year, thousands of Colorado Rockies fans head to downtown Denver and Coors Field dressed in their finest Rockies gear to celebrate the Colorado Rockies Home Opener, which takes place this year on April 8. The annual tradition draws huge amounts of spectators hoping to experience the beautiful Denver spring weather and the first home pitch of the season.
"With all the great events we have coming up, now is an ideal time to come to Denver," says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Whether it is to see an event that has never been hosted in our region before or to cheer on a favorite hometown team, there are plenty of opportunities to make an exciting sporting event a highlight of a weekend visit to the city."
Denver has previously hosted the 1990 NCAA Men's Final Four; the NBA, MLB and NHL All-Star games; the NCAA Frozen Four and NCAA Women's Final Four in 2012; the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships and 2015 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals; the inaugural Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse in 2015; the 2014 BMW Championship; and the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge since 2011, among other major sporting events. Denver was also a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Community Partner in 2015, helping to promote the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements by hosting national and international events, promoting USOC sport outreach initiatives and supporting sanctioned programs and clubs in The Mile High City.
Additionally, Denver is home to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Sports Authority Field at Mile High features the Hall of Fame, which highlights the remarkable achievements of Denver and Colorado sports teams.