Denver, Colorado has long held its “Mile High City” moniker due to the city’s positioning east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s not uncommon for visiting sports teams to make additional preparations for its unique elevation. To some, the challenge is simply part of the game. To others, well, not so much.
Spike Eskin, a radio program director at 94WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia, has taken to Twitter to protest the “unfair and unreasonable” advantages gained by Denver’s sports teams.
For added emphasis, Eskin followed that tweet up with a second thought reading, “imagine at a sports arena if they pressurized it so the away team would have trouble breathing? it would be disallowed immediately. this is basically what happens in Denver. #BanDenver”
The tweet appears to have been triggered ahead of the November 8th meeting between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, a matchup in which Philadephia came up short in Denver, 100-97.
In addition to the Nuggets, four other major professional sports teams currently call the city home: the Denver Broncos (NFL), Colorado Rockies (MLB), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), and Colorado Rapids (MLS). If it were up to Eskin, all five wouldn’t be allowed to play home games at their current elevation of 5,200+ feet.
On Friday, the radio personality even started a Change.org petition to ban professional sports from Denver. As of this writing, nearly 300 people have signed and seem to share Eskin’s point of view on the matter.
The excerpt below, taken from the petition’s landing page, directly refers to Denver’s geographical placement as a form of “cheating.”
The elevation in cities like Denver creates an unfair advantage for the home team. As has been public knowledge for a long time, athletes who travel to Denver who do not have the proper amount of time for their bodies to adjust, have trouble breathing when performing. A person from a cold weather climate participating in hot weather, that’s tough. A person from sea level competing in Denver, that’s cheating.
We propose that all professional sports move teams out of Denver, so we can have fair outcomes for the sports we all care so much about.
On Thursday, Eskin again took to Twitter to draw attention to the matter, this time citing photos of what he claimed to be warning signs at Denver sports arenas. However, it should be noted that the signage is actually from the Air Force Academy, located about 60 miles south in Colorado Springs.
Pro sports to remain in Denver long term
Unfortunately for Eskin, Denver’s professional sports teams are tied to the city for the long haul. This past May, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), owners of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and their home area the Pepsi Center, reached an agreement with the City and County of Denver to keep the teams in town until at least 2040.
Back in September, the Broncos found a new stadium sponsor, Empower Retirement, who agreed to a 21-year stadium naming rights deal through 2039. The Rockies have also recently re-upped their commitment to the city, signing a new 30-year, $200 million lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District (state division owners of Coors Field) back in 2017.
Despite his efforts, the Philadephia radio personality has since told CBS Denver that his comments were more toungue-in-cheek than anything.
“I think it’s funny that people are so angry,” Eskin said. “I think people took all of this a little too seriously.”
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