Mile High Stadium Seats in Sun & Shade

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Empower Field at Mile High (also referred to as New Mile High or Mile High Stadium) serves as the battleground for the Denver Broncos and is a must-visit for any die-hard football fan. Denver’s high-altitude climate is characterized by weather extremes. Games early in the season may take place in the heat while games later in the season may be in the bitter cold. Seeking a seat either in the shade or sun is a critical consideration on gameday at this open-air venue. Fans can use this guide in conjunction with the Mile High seating chart to identify where to find seats in the shade or where to bask in the sun.

Where Are the Seats in the Shade and Sun at Mile High Stadium?

Generally speaking, shaded seats at Mile High Stadium are found:

  • On the Broncos’ home (west) side of the stadium

Conversely, seats in the sun at Mile High Stadium can be located:

  • On the away team’s (east) side of the stadium
  • Behind the end zones

Most Broncos games kick off around 2:30 p.m. local time to accommodate the NFL’s television schedule, placing them in the late-afternoon time slot on the East Coast. Since the Broncos almost never play during the NFL’s early time slot, mid-day games are the norm. For Sunday Night or Monday Night games at home, kickoff is around 6:15 p.m.

Mile High Stadium Orientation to the Sun

Mile High Stadium is oriented in a north-to-south direction. By 1:00 p.m., the sun is high in the sky above the south end zone. Over the course of the afternoon, the sun moves across the sky to the west and eventually behind the stadium structure on the home side of the field.

The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on October 1st.

Shade and Sun at Ravens Stadium at Empower FieldClick or tap here to see a detailed seating chart at Mile High Stadium

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Early Afternoon Mile High Stadium Games

As one of only two NFL stadiums in the Mountain Time Zone and the only open-air venue, Mile High Stadium games almost never start earlier than 2:00 p.m. This ensures that some seats will always be in the shade, as long as you know where to look.

For a 2:30 p.m. kickoff, seats in the shade will primarily be on the home (west) side of the stadium. Upper-level seats will be shaded first, and as the afternoon progresses, middle and lower-level seats will also move into the shade. If you’re looking for shade, consider sections 100-110, 300-316, or 500-514. The farther back in the section you sit, the earlier your seat will be in the sun.

Conversely, Denver’s climate may make a seat in the sun preferable. Seats on the east (visitor’s) side of the stadium will largely remain sunny for most of an early afternoon game. Seats behind both end zones will also be sun-soaked, but the northern end zone will likely remain entirely in the sun, while the southern end zone may offer some rows in the shade as the scoreboard blocks the sun from behind.

Shadows on the stands at Mile High Stadium in Denver

Choose a seat on the home (west) side of the stadium if you’re looking for shade and the visitor (east) side of the stadium if you want sun. Joseph Sohm /

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Late Afternoon Games at Mile High Stadium

When the Broncos are scheduled for Sunday Night or Monday Night games, it may already be past sunset in Denver by the time the game kicks off. However, earlier in the season, the first quarter or two might be played in daylight. By this late hour, seats behind the end zones and on the home (west) side of the stadium will be out of the sun.

On the east (visitor’s) side, the shade will begin to cover the seats closest to the field first and then move upward. It will initially reach the 100-level, followed by the 200-level, and finally the 500-level. Be cautious when choosing a bleeder seat on the east side of the stadium if you’re sensitive to the sun, and don’t forget to bring sunglasses. You might need them, especially early in the season, as the sun will be directly in front of you for the first quarter or two.

Ready to Get Your Broncos Tickets?

Use the individual game links on the side (or middle of the page on mobile) or click or tap here to see an upcoming list of games at Mile High Stadium.

Enjoy the game!