“In 1999, I found myself the unlikely leader of a community-based effort to protect what was arguably Colorado’s most important brand, and one once thought to be untouchable: the ‘Mile High’ part of Denver’s Mile High Stadium.”
So begins an excerpt from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s new book, The Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics, as it appears on theatlantic.com.
At the time, Hickenlooper was still holding down the fort at his Wynkoop Brewery, his first run for mayor of Denver a couple of years away. The excerpt discusses how Hickenlooper and Wynkoop regulars including Lew Cady, Andrew Hudson and Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, along with Mayor Wellington Webb, campaigned to preserve Denver’s beloved Mile High moniker.
“I got a blue-chip consulting company to estimate how much the name was worth. The appraisal showed that the liquid gold brand value of ‘Mile High’ to the metro Denver area was well over $100 million,” the governor writes in his book.
In the end, the naming rights were sold and the Broncos’ new stadium became Invesco at Mile High. “We kept our stadium Mile High, and no one ever called the stadium by the full name,” Hickenlooper said.
Invesco became Sports Authority at Mile High, of course, and now that the sporting goods merchandiser has augured into bankruptcy, could a new naming controversy be brewing?