Broncos president Joe Ellis, in a wide-ranging interview Friday, said the team's 2013 schedule, which includes five primetime appearances, means the team's profile is back where owner Pat Bowlen wants it.
In a 31-minute question-and-answer session, Ellis covered a wide variety of topics, including the long-term future of John Elway, executive vice president of football operations. Ellis praised Elway's work ethic and discipline as an executive . "He's dug in," Ellis said. "I think he's going to be here for a while."
Ellis said the team's marquee schedule is an indication of progress on the field in the wake of the 13-3 finish last season and the type of schedule the team would not have had a couple years ago.
"To be the opening game of the 2013 season with somewhere north of 25 million people watching us, hopefully we put on a good show," Ellis said.
Ellis also outlined improvement projects at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and the team's Dove Valley complex. At Dove Valley, the Broncos are replacing two of their fields and installing heating units under both to maintain the quality of playing surface in the winter months.
"That's good for our players," said Ellis, who added the Broncos have plans for an indoor practice facility at Dove Valley in the future.
There also are about $30 million in improvements underway at the stadium, with the focus of improving the gameday experience for those on hand. Included in the project are new high-definition video boards in the stadium, including what will be one of the biggest in the league - 8,800 square feet — at the South end of the stadium.