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|| News Item: Posted 1998-12-05

NFL Stadium Report

By Bryan Kelson, Pueblo Chieftain

A good rule of thumb is to show up one and a half hours prior to the game 2 hours if you have computers to set up. The 17th street exit off of I-25 North bound is the best way to get to the stadium. Parking isn't much of a problem. There are plenty of pay lots close to the stadium if you don't get a parking pass. The lots around McNichols Sports Arena (across the street) are a safe bet (either with or without a pass).

The Broncos are one of the few teams that treat shooters like the rest of the media, they feed us in the press box with everyone else. The food isn't half bad either. I usually go for the brats, they aren't as good as the ones that the Packers put out, but a close second. On the field, there hasn't been much of a problem with the new sideline work space rule that has pushed us back (we have more of a problem with ball boys than with the network jerks and their cable yankers).

However, the sidelines are rather crowded with people who should either be in the seats or at home. I am talking about everyone from friends of the coach, owner, practice squad members and cheerleaders to those people wearing Bronco jerseys and holding on to point and shoots while watching the game from the sidelines.

The sidelines are patrolled by members of the Broncos staff and they do a pretty good job of making sure that those of us who need to be there are allowed to do our job. This season the sidelines have gotten a lot more crowded since the Broncos are the defending champs. I was kind of hoping that they would lose a game or two so the attention may shift away from Denver.No such luck.

Bring knee pads to Denver. As most of us already know, kneeling can be a plus when talking about getting into the helmets of players on the field. And while kneeling isn't required here, it sure helps give more opportunities for sideline positioning. For the most part Mile High is a good stadium to shoot in. I would say though, that with the new rule it sure is a good idea to have a 600mm to shoot with until the light goes bad.

There are just too many angles and obstacles to get a clear and tight shot with a 400mm on every play. I switch to the 400mm when the light goes to crap. There is a bit of a shadow problem on sunny days and if you like to shoot the back lit side (the visitor's side) you should make yourself an extra hood to tape on to your lens to help fight the flare. It can suck.

In the third quarter this time of year the light goes to 500th @ 2.8 on 800ASA and to 1600 in the fourth quarter. But, it is a good strong 500 @ 2.8 on 1600 :) As far as what to bring clothing wise. I would suggest bringing everything that you have. A rain suit, Sorrels, knee pads, a warm hat, a baseball cap, and whatever kind of gloves you can wear while shooting. Not to mention garbage bags for your gear.

This is Colorado folks, it can be sunny and 65 at kickoff and we can be standing in a foot of snow by the end of the game. Post game traffic sucks. If you have to transmit you shouldn't have to worry.

But if you are trying to make a flight right after the game, good luck. It can be bottle neck city. Of the stadiums I have been to, only 3Com (Candlestick) has worse post game traffic.

If the traffic is bad and you are hungry there is a sports bar and restaurant called Brooklyn just on the south end of the McNichols' parking lots that has great burgers and beer. Otherwise a restaurant called "Good Friends" on Colfax has been known to be a post game shooter hangout.

Much of "Lo Do" (Denver's lower downtown) is closed on Sunday nights except for a hand full of sports bars near Coors Field unless you what to eat with a bunch of drunk Bronco fans.

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