COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Denver Broncos have been around since 1960. But there’s a push to change the team’s name to better reflect its broader fan base.
Michael Scanlon launched an online campaign to gather 76,000 signatures.
If he gets that many, he’ll deliver them to the team — and start a conversation with it about changing the popular brand to include fans beyond Denver.
“Broncos Country is so much bigger than Denver county that perhaps this idea makes sense,” said Scanlon, the membership director at the Commerce City Chamber of Commerce, which has no connection to the campaign.
That idea is to change the name of the Denver Broncos to the Colorado Broncos.
Scanlon has even bought the domain name — and launched a website — for people to sign a petition, if they like the idea.
“We are not looking to change team colors. We are not looking to change the team logo. We’re not asking the team to move, just simply to start a statewide discussion of whether it makes sense to upgrade the geographic identity of the team,” he said.
Scanlon said the Colorado brand is more inclusive of the Broncos broad fan base — and it could follow in the tradition of teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, New York Giants and New England Patriots.
But some say fans should call a personal foul on the idea.
“It’s the tradition I think, leaving the tradition like it always has been for the fans and everyone in the city,” fan Sherry Camp said.
“I am not from here, but I think of the Denver Broncos as my football team,” said Spencer Anderson, visiting from Utah. “They don’t have to change it to the Colorado-Utah Broncos so I feel included. I think they should just leave it where it’s at.”
Scanlon realizes a change could be a Hail Mary pass.
“This isn’t just something we are doing on a whim, and frankly, if the town is not interested, if Broncos fans are not interested, it will die a slow, quiet death,” he said.
Even if Scanlon gets 76,000 signatures — nearly the number of seats at Sports Authority Field at Mile High — it carries no legal weight. The decision for change rests solely with the team.
The Broncos did not return a call for comment.