By VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, Special for USDR
With seven professional sports teams, more than 300 days of sunshine and the Rocky Mountains as its playground, Denver is known as a sports and recreation capital. This summer, The Mile High City will take its reputation as a top sports destination to new levels, with a new, international professional cycling event and world-class soccer matchups, in addition to its already abundant outdoor sport and recreation activities.
“Denver’s natural assets and its diverse professional sports fan base and outdoor lovers continue to attract new, exciting sporting events and recreation opportunities,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “As a destination, we are happy to welcome these events and their fans, creating more reasons to visit and showcasing the inherent spirit of urban adventure throughout the city.”
Below are some of the highlights happening this summer in Denver – for more information on schedules, tickets, special events and hotel deals, go to the VISIT DENVER website.
Blockbuster Summer Sporting Events
FIFA World Cup Qualifier – U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago, June 8
In conjunction with U.S. Soccer, the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club announced that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will host a FIFA World Cup qualifier between the United States Men’s National Team and Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday, June 8.
Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo, July 7-9
The Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo is one of the country’s best and biggest gay-centric rodeos. It features classic rodeo events, live music, food and merchandise vendors and more.
CONCACAF Gold Cup, July 13
Denver will host a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup group C stage double header at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, featuring matches between the Mexican national soccer team and the Jamaican national team, and El Salvador against Curacao.
NEW Colorado Classic & Velorama Colorado Festival, August 11-13
Professional bike racing will return to the Centennial State with the new Colorado Classic, a four-day series of races that will bring together top international men and women cyclists. Races are scheduled in Colorado Springs and Breckenridge with a big finale weekend in Denver, where the women’s criterium will be on Friday, followed by the men’s Peak to Peak Highway out-and-back race on Saturday, and the exciting men’s city circuit through Denver’s neighborhoods and the beautiful City Park on Sunday, all culminating in an exciting finish in the center of the hip RiNo Arts District.
The Denver stages will also include a three-day street party spanning more than 12 city blocks. The aptly-named Velorama Colorado will feature live music – including headliners Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie – a bike expo with 150 exhibitors, food, craft beer and various cycling events in the River North Art District (RiNo). It will be coupled with an expanded Denver Flea highlighting nearly 200 artisan vendors.
Rocky Mountain Showdown, September 1
The Rocky Mountain Showdown celebrates a 120 year-old football rivalry between the University of Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State University Rams. Played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos, the game features pregame events, music, entertainment, marching bands, cheerleaders and giveaways.
Denver’s Professional Sports Teams
Denver is home to seven professional sports teams, including Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids and Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws – who all play throughout the summer. Schedules for all teams can be found online.
The Rapids play the Seattle Sounders on the Fourth of July, and fans can stay late to watch the fireworks display over the field after the game. The Outlaws will also have fireworks after their July 4th game against the Atlanta Blaze.
Sports Museums & Attractions
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
Recently named to the National Historic Register, 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 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.
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 108 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. A record 16.4 million visitors stayed overnight in Denver in 2015, generating $5 billion in spending, while supporting nearly 55,000 jobs, making Tourism one of the largest industries in Denver. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER or by phone at 800 2 Denver. Denver International Airport (DEN; flydenver.com) connects The Mile High City to more than 180 destinations worldwide including nonstop service to 23 international destinations in 9 countries. Follow Denver’s social media channels for up-to-the-minute updates at: Facebook.com/visitdenver; Twitter.com/visitdenver; Instagram.com/visitdenver; and YouTube.com/visitdenver.
SOURCE VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau