The Denver Broncos 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 estate of Pat Bowlen and currently play home games at Empower Field at Mile High (the stadium was formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High from 2001 to 2010, Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2011 to 2017, and Broncos Stadium at Mile High from 2018 to 2019). Prior to that, the club played its home games 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 eleven 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). The Broncos have eight primary members enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Terrell Davis, Champ Bailey and Steve Atwater, along with late club owner Pat Bowlen. In 2021, Peyton Manning (who won two AFC Championships, Super Bowl 50, and an NFL MVP during his four seasons as a Bronco) was inducted as well.