As home to seven professional sports teams, more than 300 days of sunshine and endless opportunities to watch or participate in sporting events, Denver is considered a top sports destination. This summer, The Mile High City will host several new international events – including the first-ever U.S. stop for Festival International des Sports Extrêmes (FISE) – alongside home team games, solidifying its status as a true sports destination.
“Denver has long been known as a sports capital, attracting visitors who want to experience and participate in the outdoor urban adventure of the city, to those who want to enjoy watching one of our seven professional sports teams in action under blue skies at our gorgeous, world-class soccer and baseball stadiums,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “But Denver is also a fantastic city for people to actually participate in sports and recreational activities, with 85 miles of paved bike trails and one of the nation’s largest park systems. You can train on the steps of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, kayak through downtown on the South Platte River, or hike to the top of Lookout Mountain for the gorgeous view from Buffalo Bill’s Grave, and still be in the City of Denver.”
Blockbuster Summer Events
FISE World Denver – USA, Sept. 3-5
Metropolitan State University and Downtown Denver
The worldwide action sports series that attracts many of the top international athletes in BMX, skateboarding, mountain biking, inline skating and wakeboarding – has announced that Denver has been selected as the first U.S. city to ever be included on the tour, making it one of only five international cities to host the event in 2016. FWS also includes the first ever UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup. FISE launched in Palavas, France in 1997 and has since grown into an international phenomenon for extreme sports competitions throughout the world.
FISE World Denver – USA will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5, 2016, and will feature events in skateboarding, BMX and flatland competitions, for both amateurs and professionals. Metropolitan State University of Denver and downtown Denver’s Sculpture Park will host the competition, which is expected to draw thousands of spectators.
Chevrolet Brazil Global Tour – Brazil vs. Panama, May 29
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will host two major international soccer games this summer – starting with the Brazil vs. Panama match of the Chevrolet Brazil Global Tour on May 29. The Senior Men’s National Soccer Teams of Brazil and Panama will face each other in Brazil’s final friendly match before the Copa America Centenario 2016.
U.S Women’s National Team vs. Japan, June 2
The U.S. Women’s National Team squares off against Japan at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in early June. This will be the first meeting between both teams since the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, during which the U.S. women won 5-2 in a record-setting game.
Professional Sports – Colorado Rockies and Colorado Rapids
Not only does Denver boast seven professional sports teams, those teams also play in some of the most stunning stadiums and arenas in the country. Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies host home games at Coors Field, a classic ballpark in the heart of downtown Denver with sweeping views of the city and Rocky Mountains and a new rooftop bar and patio. The Rockies’ season runs from April through September, and schedules and tickets are available through the team’s website. Tickets are very affordable, and "Behind the Seams" tours of Coors Field are also available Monday through Saturday during the season.
Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids play from March through the summer in the high-tech Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – an 18,000-seat soccer stadium. The Rapids feature an international roster, and have boosted Denver’s, Colorado’s and the U.S.’s presence in soccer since their founding in 1995 and their 2010 MLS Cup Championship win.
The Denver Outlaws, the city’s Major League Lacrosse team, plays at Sports Authority Field at Mile High from May through August. The Outlaws represent the immense lacrosse culture in Denver, which reaches across all age groups, from university level to professionals, and maintains a significant fan base.
Sports Museums & Attractions
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Recently named to the National Historic Register and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor concert and recreation venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. The only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world, Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and ambience, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails. Several local studios also run organized fitness series throughout the summer at Red Rocks, including Yoga on the Rocks, Red Rocks Fitness Challenge and more.
World-class whitewater rafting can be found just outside the city, often only a half an hour away. The mountains received a hefty snowfall this winter, and the runoff will make for high tides and exciting rapids throughout most of the summer months.
Extreme Sports Parks
The Mile High City loves all sports – extreme sports are no exception. Denver features a collection of extreme sports parks where visitors can bike, kayak, skate and more, all within the metro area. From year-round rugby at Infinity Park to BMX and mountain biking at Evolve Action Sports Park to whitewater kayaking in the center of downtown at Confluence Park, extreme sports are readily available all around Denver.
City Parks & Denver Bike Trails
The Mile High City boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres, more than 300 acres of designated rivers and trails and an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks, plus 85 miles of paved, off-street bike trails. Whether visitors rent a bicycle through the Denver B-cycle program or select their favorite recreation activity (kayaking, paddle boating, running, etc.), there is no shortage of space to enjoy.
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Denver is home to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Sports Authority Field at Mile High – home field of the World Champion Denver Broncos (NFL) and Denver Outlaws (Major League Lacrosse) – features the Hall of Fame, which highlights the remarkable achievements of Denver and Colorado sports teams and athletes.
National Ballpark Museum
Recognized as one of the finest baseball collections in the world, highlights at the National Ballpark Museum include tributes to Colorado baseball history, seats from classic ballparks around the country, one-of-a-kind baseball artifacts, autographed jerseys, baseballs, uniforms and bats. Visitors can take a personalized tour led by Curator Bruce Hellerstein.
For more information on 2016 sporting events this summer in Denver, the city’s professional sports teams and hotel deals during the events, go to the VISIT DENVER website.