Peyton Manning is looked upon by many Denver Broncos fans as a franchise savior. To the suits upstairs, he's also big business.
Case in point: Forbes.com reported Tuesday that demand for premium seating has been so high since Manning signed in March that the Broncos are now planning renovations to their stadium in order to create more suites.
Even in the throes of Tebowmania last season, five of their 130 total suites (cost: $115,000 per season) were not leased. Now the Broncos are so sure they'll sell out, they're planning to convert two 32-person party suites into six to eight mini suites, which would be sold on a seasonal basis for $60,000.
"You sign a Peyton Manning, the most popular man in football, that's bound to help you," said Ryan Barefoot, the team's senior director of premium seating. "The downfall with the signing of Manning is that expectations rise, and we need to sell out."
So far, so good for the Broncos, who have already sold three times as many multi-year suite leases this offseason than they typically would have by now.
"We knew we'd be busy," Barefoot said. "Even when (Manning) came out for a visit a week before he signed, we received quite a buzz. People calling in saying what do you know, what do you hear? I need to get my tickets. So anyone who was on the fence, that was a budge in the right direction."
We're a tad curious on the big-picture vision for the renovation. Manning is 36 and won't play forever. Far be it from us to say this planning is short-sighted, but what happens when No. 18 is no longer around and demand returns to pre-Peyton levels?
We call these "Ryan Barefoot Problems."