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Businesses prep for first Broncos home game of the season

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Broncos are making their way home for the 2021 football season with their first home opener on Sunday against the New York Jets. This will be the first time fan capacity will be at 100% since the 2019 season but for everyone who doesn’t have tickets, bars and restaurants in the area are ready to host large crowds for the game.

“I love the atmosphere of Broncos games,” Eva Riggs, a server at Cilantro off Federal Boulevard and W. 17th Avenue said.

Cilantro is located right across the street from the entrance and parking lots of Empower Field at Mile High, Riggs said the two years she has worked there they depend on the games’ traffic to keep business going.

“The distance from the Broncos stadium has been the best,” Riggs said.

During the 2020 season, when only a small percentage of fans were let in, she said that was when they counted on regulars who came to the cantina to stay afloat. She said the money from Broncos games brings security.

“It’s usually the first place they see if they are leaving the game and they are walking,” Riggs said.

Like the majority of places not only in Denver but across the country, Riggs said Cilantro is facing staffing shortages but that isn’t stopping the staff there from working hard and providing the best possible service to patrons. She said that support will step up come Sunday’s home football game.

“It doesn’t seem like we’re short staffed because of the support of my team,” Riggs said.

Parker the Snow Dog and his owner Dustin Schaefer swung by for some tacos at Cilantro following a visit to the stadium Saturday.

“We always walk by Cilantro the day of the game and it’s always pretty busy,” Schaefer said.

He said he and his dog go to every Broncos game and he said he’s excited to see businesses in the area benefiting from that.

“People need to be patient. They’ve gone through a lot, they are short staffed,” Schaefer said.

Kick off against the Jets is at 2:05 p.m.

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