The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver. The Broncos compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The team began to play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and currently play home games at Empower Field at Mile High (formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High from 2001–2010, Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2011–2017, and Broncos Stadium at Mile High from 2018–2019). Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000.
The Broncos were barely competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not have a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years later, they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL’s most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons. They have won eight AFC Championships (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, 2015), and three Super Bowl championships (1997 (XXXII), 1998 (XXXIII), 2015 (50)), and share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses (5 — tied with the New England Patriots). Thirteen players who have played for Denver are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Andre Reed, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law, Champ Bailey, and Steve Atwater, along with late club owner Pat Bowlen.