DENVER — Leaders in the sports industry know just how exciting a league's championship series can be. Now, they're hoping those new to the world of sports lean into the thrill.
"It's really hard to overstate the significance of hosting a major championship series like this," said Matthew Payne of the Denver Sports Commission. "I think people are going to understand that we're a major sports destination. I think you can feel it with our fans and people going into the game. It's pretty palpable, the excitement that's going on, and it hasn't even started yet."
On Monday, preparation ahead of the Game 1 broadcast was underway outside of Ball Arena. Several ESPN crews arrived in the early morning hours to begin setting up at least two ESPN stages.
"It's hard to have specific economic impacts in general. They're kind of difficult to calculate for sporting events without knowing the local, regional and out-of-state attendance," Payne said. "We do know that beyond ticket sales, sports are a huge economic driver for our city and a major part of Denver's brand as a top sports destination. Sports help build restaurants, bars, hotel rooms. They bring a large number of people to our downtown corridor."
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the holding company that owns the Avs and Ball Arena, says it's excited for Denver sports to be highlighted on a large platform.
"Energy is off the charts, and it's all coming from the team, to the fans, and we're all feeding off that energy," said Declan Bolger, a spokesperson for the company. "It is an amazing setup, and you realize that this game is going to go across the world, over 185 countries! So you can imagine the number of cameras, microphones, and special effects mics that we have in place."
For fans who decide to watch the Stanley Cup Final from the comfort of home, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has set up a website for fans to be able to purchase their own set of pompoms.