Dec 18, 2011 11:40 PM by John Romero
As the Denver Broncos prepare to take the field against the New England Patriots, local sports bars like Flatiron's Grill and The Dublin House begin to swell up with fans decked out in orange and blue. "There are a lot more Broncos fans coming out." says Dublin House manager Han Hoeckel, "A lot more than what we had last year."
Standing alone atop the AFC West, the Broncos are relevant in the NFL for the first time in a long time. That means big business for sports bars. "We have seen a decent increase in the (number of) people coming in, especially the Broncos fans. They're definitely coming out a little thicker now than they were at the beginning of the season." says Flatiron's Grill manager Phillip Jarvis. "We've actually increased a little bit of our business." explains Hoeckel, "Mainly during the afternoon games or even away games, we get more people coming in.'
Not only are fans staying and paying throughout the game, but many are showing up in the 2nd half in anticipation of a little Mile High Magic. "It seems like right after halftime people come in a little bit faster and a little bit more." says Jarvis, "They fill up some more seats. Then we'll start getting the restaurant side of things with people cheering over there as well with the overflow."
And though the home town team lost on this Sunday afternoon, both bars we spoke to say it's just fun to be part of all the excitement. "Everybody is a lot more enthusiastic than what they were." says Hoeckel, "It's actually pretty fun!"