Patriots to practice at Air Force Academy week after Broncos game

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The New England Patriots will stay in Colorado next week after playing the Broncos on Sunday night.

The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots play the Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High before playing the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City on Nov. 19.

Azteca Stadium in Mexico City is at 7,280 feet and the Air Force Academy’s practice facilities are at 6,800 feet.

“One of our folks ran down there and told them,” Air Force athletic director Jim Knowlton told The Gazette. “They said why are we coming back to New England and then flying down to Mexico City?”

Instead of flying home to Massachusetts then going to Mexico City later next week, the Patriots will set up in Colorado Springs and make use of the academy’s practice fields and indoor facility until Wednesday.

The Patriots will fly to Mexico City on Thursday to face the Raiders.

Practices most likely will not be open to the public.

“It’s going to be really low key,” Knowlton told the newspaper. “(New England coach Bill) Belichick doesn’t want a lot of fanfare. We just said, ‘Throw us a bone. Something for this community.’”