Incorporating unique, public art projects into the site of the new Broncos stadium was an important element in enhancing the stadium site and adding to the enjoyment of fans on game day and for visitors and guests every other day of the year. The process to select these projects started in 1999 when the Metropolitan Football Stadium District (MFSD) appointed a nine-member committee, the Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC), to manage and oversee the selection of four individual art projects that would be located on each side of the stadium.
The PAAC sought a broad representation of local, regional and national artists to submit "site specific" proposals. Over 263 proposals were received and reviewed and ultimately narrowed to 11 finalists from which the final four projects were selected.
In addition to the four projects selected by the PAAC, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen commissioned at his cost, the creation and installation of a spectacular water feature outside the stadium called "The Broncos" which today is one of the signature areas of the stadium site.
"Pass Through the Land"
Located within the Platte River Park on the east side of the stadium, "Pass Through the Land" consists of massive, flat-top boulders, placed in concentric rings within an Aspen Grove representing the mesas and plateaus of Colorado. At the entrance to the grove are five 28' high towers with metal mesh and trembling disks which catch the light and create wind chimes. On game day, thousands of fans coming from light rail and the parking areas east of I-25 walk through "Pass Through the Land", enjoying the area as a location to picnic, people watch, or simply to take in the game day environment.
"Equipment Field" encompasses seven individual sculptures in locations spread throughout the Counties Gateway Plaza on the stadium’s west side, appearing like larger-than-life pieces of athletic equipment discarded by giant football players as they leave the stadium following a match centuries ago.
Three new sculptures by Massachusetts artists Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schecter were added to the north side of the stadium in 2004. The series of three “Pigskin Variations", individually titled Sisyphus, Buster, and Lilliputia, offer a spectrum of metaphoric imagery relating to Colorado history and culture. These Colorado sandstone and bronze pieces suggest sport, challenge, exertion, control, and conquest.
A gift from Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and the Bowlen Family to the people of Colorado, "The Broncos" were created in Florence, Italy by sculptor Sergio Benvenuti. The feature incorporates five broncos, one mare, and one colt, appearing as a snapshot in time bounding through mountainous terrain and up a raging mountain stream towards the stadium along side of the fans. The feature incorporates over 150 tons of locally quarried Colorado Navajo Moss boulders in an irregularly shaped pond circulating 850 gallons of water/minute.
March 2002 Article from Magazine "Water Shapes" About "The Broncos".