A sign above the visiting locker room entrance at Sports Authority Field at Mile High reads: "ELEVATION 5,280 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL."
For visiting teams, coming to a an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level to play a football game presents numerous physical and mental challenges that are always part of an opponents game plan.
The human body performs at maximum efficiency in sea-level air, where the concentration of oxygen is 20.9 percent. The higher you climb, the lower that number gets. For athletes experiencing a 5000+ change in elevation, the high altitude environment of Sports Authority Field can be difficult to adjust to.
While it may be scientifically proven that the human body behaves differently at higher elevations than at sea level, NFL coaches and players disagree as to the true impact of the elevation when it comes to Broncos home games and the home field advantage the Broncos have enjoyed for so many years.
“Honestly, the altitude does play a difference,” former Broncos defensive end Shaun Phillips
said. “But, after you have played a couple quarters and blown your lungs out a little bit, you’re usually good after that.” Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis however says it's "not that big of an issue."
While opinions about the altitude may vary, the mile high elevation where Sports Authority Field resides remains as one of the most internationally recognized characteristics of any sports venue in the world.
This webpage is a collection of news reports and video clips regarding the elevation of Sports Authority Field at Mile High and debating its impact..