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Colorado’s biggest stories of 2016

DENVER -- A lot happened in Colorado in 2016.

As we usher in 2017, let's take a look back at some of the biggest stories of 2016 in Colorado, in no particular order.

Brawl at motorcycle expo (January) 

In the first month of 2016, a motorcycle expo at the National Western Complex near Interstate 70 lead to a brawl involving gunfire and knives.

The fight broke out in the middle of the day between two rival motorcycle clubs, the Mongols and the Iron Order. One person died and seven others were injured in the melee.

“There were two shots fired on the stairs and they were running down this hallway and one of the guys turned around right here.  Two more shots,” said a witness to the violence.

Broncos win Super Bowl 50 (February)

Who could forget when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in February? At Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, 24-10.

“I got a ring.  You got one too.  I got a ring.  You got one too,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller chanted on the field after the win.

Days later several thousand people attended the Broncos victory parade in downtown Denver.

Just one month later, quarterback Peyton Manning hung up his jersey, announcing his retirement.

“I fought a good fight.  I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years its time.  God Bless all of you and God bless football,” Manning said at his retirement news conference.

RTD opens the University of Colorado A Line (April)

In April, Denver took a step into the future opening the University of Colorado A Line.

While the 23 miles of rail were supposed to make travel easier than ever, the line has been plagued by malfunctions and delays.

In May, 81 commuter rail passengers leaving Denver International Airport were stuck on a bridge 50 feet above Pena Boulevard for more than two hours.

RTD said it was power outage caused by lighting but the delays and problems just kept coming.

“Well we have a flight to catch so we’re going to be able to catch a cab or something if we can’t catch this bus here.  It’s kind of a bummer because I was looking forward to riding it for the first time,” said a passenger affected by one of the delays.

Sports Authority goes out of business (May)

In May, Sports Authority, the country’s largest sporting goods retailer, which was headquartered in Englewood, announced it was shuttering all 450 stores across the U.S.

The store sponsored the Broncos' stadium, Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Since the company could no longer pay for the naming rights, the Broncos bought the naming rights to the stadium. The team has the right to sell those naming rights to a new sponsor.

Cold Springs Fire near Nederland (July)

During a particularly dry and hot July, out-of-state campers ignited a wildfire in Nederland.

More than a 1,000 residents had to be evacuated and for more than a week, firefighters fought to contain the flames which scorched more than 500 acres and destroyed eight homes.

Two men accused of failing to properly extinguish their campfire were arrested and charged with arson

Goodbye Hughes Stadium (November)

In Fort Collins, this year marked the end of an era. For 49 seasons, and more than 250 games Hughes Stadium was home to the Colorado State Rams football team.

On a Saturday night in late November, CSU beat New Mexico in the final game to be played there.  Next season, the Rams move to a new on-campus stadium.

“It’s a wonderful old stadium, but it has served it time,” said a fan.

Cannabis sales up 30 percent

Hitting a milestone to end the year, Colorado, now most well-known for weed topped $1 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2016. The year-to-year increase, up roughly 30 percent.  That also means Colorado collected more than $150 million in taxes from the marijuana industry.