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Volume 24 No. 216
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Broncos' First Losing Season In Seven Years Translating Into Empty Seats At Home Games

The Broncos yesterday beat the Jets for their first win since Week 4, but even a "strong showing on a sun-splashed 60-degree day couldn’t erase the evidence that some in Broncos Country had long checked out," according to Kyle Newman of the DENVER POST. The team "extended its league-best sellout streak to 394 games, but there were also 5,186 unused tickets." As late as Saturday, half-price offers for yesterday were "being made on the NFL Ticket Exchange starting at about $40 -- an indication of the unusual affordability" of Broncos tickets on the secondary market. TickPick Dir of Client Relations Jack Slingland said, “From the start of the season to right now, the Broncos listing prices on our site are down about 40 percent." The Peyton Manning era in Denver, from '12-15, "marked a high point in Broncos ticket prices, both online and on the street" (DENVER POST, 12/11). 

FALL FROM GRACE: In Denver, Nicki Jhabvala noted in Pat Bowlen’s three-plus decades of owning the Broncos, "never once did he describe his team as a 'rebuild.'” But the 4-9 Broncos "will have little choice in January, when their first losing season since 2010 culminates and gives way to an offseason of change." Two years removed from winning the Super Bowl, the Broncos "have lost their way" (DENVER POST, 12/10). In Colorado Springs, Woody Paige wrote Bowlen "wouldn’t tolerate such a precipitous fall from grace." But Bolwen, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, is "unaware, and unable to do anything about it." Bowlen’s "permanent absence has begun to produce rising resentment in Colorado," although the team of President & CEO Joe Ellis and Exec VP/Football Operations & GM John Elway "produced five years of success without its commander." The Broncos are "overseen" by trustees Ellis, Broncos General Counsel & Exec VP Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly. According to Bowlen’s orders, they "eventually are to choose a new owner from among Pat’s seven children." The two candidates "are daughters Beth Bowlen Wallace (46) and Brittany Bowlen (27)." In all "probability, both will become franchise executives, but not immediately, and have indicated in rare interviews they would follow their father’s predominantly orange blueprint." Bowlen would do "whatever it takes to put the Broncos back on top" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 12/10).