“On a bitterly cold January day in 2013, then-Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco heaved a hail mary pass into the endzone for a touchdown that eventually helped knock the Denver Broncos out of the playoffs. It was a heartbreaking loss.
In the stadium that day was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, sitting in a suite paid for by United Airlines, the largest carrier at Denver International Airport. The airport is owned and operated by the city. The two tickets he received were worth an estimated $2,000.
Hancock has made a habit of accepting costly sporting event tickets from companies with close ties to the city. In 2016, the mayor sat courtside at a Nuggets game courtesy of Comcast, which has a cable franchise with the city. Hancock got six suite tickets in 2014 to see the Broncos in the AFC Championship game. Four of those tickets came from Centerplate, which has a concession contract at the Colorado Convention Center and Performing Arts Complex. Two of the tickets came from Rod Tafoya, who runs Mission Yogurt, which has an airport concession contract. The total value of those six tickets: an estimated $3,516, according to the mayor’s gift disclosure.
CPR spent six months looking into the different ways companies, particularly lobbyists, are connected to Denver’s city government. As part of that investigation we reviewed Hancock’s campaign finance records and gift disclosures going back to his first days as mayor. It turns out lobbyists aren’t big gift givers, but developers and companies with large city contracts are.”
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Markus, Ben. Colorado Public Radio 12 April 2019.