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May 13, 2015

DENVER BRONCOS OWNER PAT BOWLEN ELECTED INTO RING OF FAME

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen was elected as the 28th member of the team’s Ring of Fame, it was announced on Wednesday after the club’s selection committee held its annual meeting.
The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, Nov. 1, at halftime of the Broncos’ Sunday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (6:30 p.m. MST kickoff).

Entering his 32nd year as owner of the Broncos, Mr. Bowlen has guided the franchise to an unprecedented run of success during his three-plus decades in Denver. His indelible contributions to the Broncos, the community and the NFL have established him as one of the greatest contributors in professional football history.

The only owner in NFL history to achieve 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons, Mr. Bowlen has totaled the most regular-season wins (301), overall wins (319), winning seasons (19) and playoff appearances (17) among his colleagues since he purchased the team in 1984. The Broncos are the only NFL team to post at least 90 wins in each of the last three decades while posting the fewest losing seasons (5) during that span.

Mr. Bowlen’s six Super Bowl appearances rank second all-time among NFL owners. The Broncos’ back-to-back titles in 1997 and ‘98 make him one of just 11 owners in history with multiple World Championships.

Denver’s success and recognition nationally was confirmed by a 2014 Harris poll that named the Broncos “America’s Team.”

Locally, the Broncos have operated with the best homefield advantage in the NFL during Mr. Bowlen’s ownership, ranking first in the league in home winning percentage (.730 / 181-67). The team has also sold out every regular season and playoff contest as part of the team’s NFL-record 369-game sellout streak dating back to 1970.

With improving the fan experience a top priority under Mr. Bowlen, the team commissioned $30 million worth of upgrades to Sports Authority Field at Mile High during the 2013 offseason. The investment increased the size of the scoreboard by three times and while enhancing the stadium audio/visual elements, connectivity, suites and concourses.

In addition to his unmistakable impact with the Denver Broncos, Mr. Bowlen has had a profound influence on the growth of the NFL. He has served on nine league committees during his ownership, helping negotiate record-breaking television contracts and ensuring years of labor peace with several extensions to the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Broncos have been at the forefront of the NFL’s international ventures under Mr. Bowlen, playing eight contests on foreign soil (seven American Bowls, one regular-season game in London) to represent the third?most such games in the league.

Mr. Bowlen’s championship mentality—to be “No. 1 in everything”—includes an unwavering commitment to the community. As chairman of the board of Denver Broncos Charities, he has donated more than $25 million to charitable organizations in the Denver area since the inception of that fund in 1993.

In 2013, Mr. Bowlen received the Mizel Institute Community Enrichment Award, the region’s most prestigious philanthropic accolade, for his community leadership. 

The Ring of Fame, which is displayed on the Level 5 façade of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, was created by Mr. Bowlen in 1984 to honor former players and administrators who played significant roles the franchise’s history.
 
STATEMENTS ON PAT BOWLEN’S ELECTION TO THE DENVER BRONCOS RING OF FAME
 
“On behalf of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame Committee, I am very pleased to announce that Owner Pat Bowlen has been elected to the Ring of Fame by a unanimous vote. Nobody is more deserving of this prestigious recognition than ‘Mr. B,’ whose contributions to the Broncos, this community and the National Football League are truly immeasurable.

“Pat Bowlen’s iconic, three-decade ownership of the Broncos includes an extraordinary winning tradition and a positive impact in our community. He has also had a profound influence on the growth of the league through his tireless work and dedication serving its various committees and initiatives.

“This is a great day for the Denver Broncos and our fans. We look forward to honoring Pat and celebrating his achievements with the Bowlen family when he is officially inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame this season.”
 
“I am incredibly proud of Pat joining the Broncos’ Ring of Fame. It’s very humbling for my family to see Pat receive this honor for everything he has meant to the Broncos during his 32 years as owner.

“Pat created the Ring of Fame when he first became owner as a way to pay tribute to this team’s all-time greats. It’s fitting that he will now stand alongside these amazing Broncos who have had such an outstanding and lasting impact on this franchise.

“Pat’s contributions to the Broncos and the National Football League are the result of his competiveness, humility and generosity. From day one, Pat has kept an intense focus on winning and doing things the right way while always viewing himself as a steward of a team that ultimately belongs to the fans.

“My family is absolutely thrilled that Pat Bowlen is the newest member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.”
 
“I’ve had the privilege of working for Pat Bowlen for nearly 30 years, and he is the most deserving of anyone ever elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. As one of his players for many years and now in my current role, Pat has given us every opportunity and every resource to put the best football team on the field and compete for championships.

“Pat has been such an integral part of what the Denver Broncos have become as well as what the National Football League has become. His dedication to the success of his team and the growth of the league define his ownership of the Broncos.

“In my opinion, Pat Bowlen is one of the greatest contributors in the history of professional football—not just the Denver Broncos. I congratulate Pat on his election to the Broncos Ring of Fame and look forward to the day he is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
 
“I’m very happy for Pat and the Bowlen family with the announcement that ‘Mr. B’ is the Broncos’ newest Ring of Famer. Mr. Bowlen has been an extremely important man in my life for the last 30-plus years as both a player and coach.

“I have immense respect for Pat and consider myself fortunate to have seen up close what he has meant to the Denver Broncos and the National Football League throughout his ownership.

“When you talk about Pat Bowlen, you have to mention the high standard he has, how much he wants to win and how well he treats others. His kindness has extended to my entire family, and I believe that is one of the key qualities that makes him so successful as an owner.

“Mr. Bowlen is an unbelievable owner. His election to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame is a tremendous honor that is very much deserved.”
 
Name Pos. Yrs. w/Broncos Year Inducted
Pat Bowlen Owner 1984-pres. 2015
Dan Reeves Coach 1981-92 2014
Rick Upchurch WR 1975-83 2014
Gene Mingo HB/K 1960-64 2014
Tom Nalen C 1994-2008 2013
Rod Smith WR 1994-2007 2012
Shannon Sharpe TE 1990-99, ‘02-03 2009
Terrell Davis RB 1995-2002 2007
Steve Atwater S 1989-98 2005
Gary Zimmerman T 1993-97 2003
Karl Mecklenburg LB 1983-94 2001
Dennis Smith S 1981-94 2001
John Elway QB 1983-98 1999
Louis Wright CB 1975-86 1993
Tom Jackson LB 1973-86 1992
Randy Gradishar LB 1974-83 1989
Craig Morton QB 1977-82 1988
Haven Moses WR 1972-81 1988
Jim Turner K 1971-79 1988
Billy Thompson S 1969-81 1987
Charley Johnson QB 1972-75 1986
Paul Smith DT 1968-78 1986
Frank Tripucka QB 1960-63 1986
Gerald H. Phipps Owner 1961-81 1985
Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin S 1960-66 1984
Rich Jackson DE 1967-72 1984
Floyd Little RB 1967-75 1984
Lionel Taylor WR 1960-66 1984

* - Ranks as the second-longest tenured current owner in the NFL.

* - First owner in professional football history to win 300 games in his first 30 seasons.

* - Appeared in six Super Bowls (2nd most in history) during three different decades, capturing AFC Championships in 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998 and 2013.

* - One of five owners in history to win back-to-back Super Bowls (1997-98).

* - Broncos have won the second most regular-season games (301) and have experienced the fewest losing seasons (5) during Mr. Bowlen’s ownership tenure.

* - Denver is the only NFL team to win 90-plus games in each of the last three decades with Mr. Bowlen as the owner.

* - During Mr. Bowlen’s ownership, every Broncos regular season and playoff contest has been sold out as part of the club’s 45-year, 369-game sellout streak that is the longest in the NFL.

* - The Broncos owns the NFL’s best home record (181-67 / .730) in the NFL during Mr. Bowlen’s ownership (1984-pres.).

* - Denver has led the NFL in attendance during Mr. Bowlen’s tenure, drawing nearly 20 million fans to their home games from 1984-2014.

* - The Broncos have dominated the AFC West Division under Mr. Bowlen, posting more division titles (12), conference championship game appearances (8) and Super Bowl appearances (6) than any other club in the division.

* - The Broncos have played in an NFL?high 315 nationally televised games during Mr. Bowlen’s ownership, a total that includes a league?best 176 prime?time games.

* - Contributed more than $150 million to the construction of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, which opened  in 2001, and commissioned $30 million worth of stadium upgrades during the 2013 offseason to improve the fan experience.

* - Mr. Bowlen has served on nine league committees during his ownership of the Broncos, including chair of the Broadcast Committee (2001-06) and co-chair of the Compensation Committee (2007-09) and the Management Council Executive Committee (2007-10).

* - Helped negotiate the NFL’s $18 billion television contract in 1998, the most lucrative single-sport contract in history.

* - Played a key role in several extensions of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

* - The Broncos have played eight international games in six different countries under Mr. Bowlen’s ownership (7 American
Bowls, 1 regular season game in London), marking the third?most such games in the league.

* - Mr. Bowlen has maintained a substantial profile in the community during his three decades as the Denver Broncos’ owner, including donating more than $25 million to charitable organizations in the last 20 years.

* - Introduced as the majority owner of the Broncos on March 23, 1984; Mr. Bowlen and the Bowlen family acquired 100 percent ownership of the Broncos in July 1985.

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