In October 1995, the Colorado Rapids were introduced as one of Major League Soccer’s 10 charter teams. As one of the league's longest tenured members, the organization has brought a number of landmark moments to Denver, highlighted by a MLS Cup victory in 2010. Three years before their championship campaign, the Rapids became the centerpiece of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—a sprawling complex that features a total of 24 fully lit sports fields. During Rapids matches, fans get swept up in the park’s lively atmosphere driven by Centennial 38, the team's official supporters group. In their designated “Supporter’s Terrace”, C38 members lead raucous cheers and wave massive flags to inspire their side.
The American Basketball Association has nearly 90 teams. But ever since their founding in 2010, the Colorado Kings have resided amongst the elite, leaving most of the league in their wake. During their inaugural season, the Kings made quite the impression: they went 24-1, and advanced to the ABA's Elite 8 round of the playoffs. Instead of celebrating that success by having all of its players dipped in gold, the team followed up with a record-setting effort in 2011, when it recorded an ABA-best 32 victories in a row. For as much success as the Kings have had on the court, they've also made an impact off of it. The organization's players give back to the community in a number of ways, including by running youth basketball camps and hosting charity golf tournaments.
More than two dozen flat-screen TVs line the walls of Cleatz Sports Bar & Grille, casting a glow across an arsenal of pool tables, poker games, and decadent fare created by the kitchen’s veteran chef. As the wait staff shuffle around deep-fried mushrooms, catfish poboys, and buffalo wings drenched in a spectrum of sauces—from sweet molasses to XXX hot—a DJ spins live tunes before the munching and swaying crowd. On Friday nights, live jazz music replaces the electronic beats, and musicians welcome locals on stage to jam with the band or turn their middle-school diary into a new song. As for every other night of the week, the bar hosts a range of events, such as pool leagues, poker tournaments, and karaoke.
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites—including three female players—takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard TNT sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker Quake, whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 Too Tall and 7-foot-4 Stretch, the team’s tallest member.
During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters’ extensive travels haven’t gone unnoticed: they’re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
On April 10, 2012, the Central Hockey League announced the Denver Cutthroats as the league's newest member. A little more than six months later, on October 19, the team played its first game ever—a 4–3 overtime loss to the Missouri Mavericks. Despite the outcome, the game marked the return of hockey to Denver Coliseum, which hadn't been skated professionally since the IHL's Denver Rangers' 1988-89 season. As an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, the Cutthroats—a name chosen in honor of Denver's state fish, the Greenback cutthroat trout— immediately developed a connection with local hockey fans. Fans get to share their support directly with The Stream, a place right outside the home team's locker room covered with inspirational messages and lasagna recipes inscribed on paper fish by the Cutthroat faithful.