Alan Roach left the Broncos, but not Denver.
Alan Roach doesn’t like listening to recordings of his own voice. So when he’s traveling through Denver International Airport, “I hope I’m on the Adele Arakawa train,” he says, referring to the longtime KUSA anchor with whom he’s shared announcement duties on that airport train for eleven years, urging passengers to “Hold on, please,” and warning pushy latecomers that “YOU are delaying the departure of this train.” But on Friday, when Roach flew to Minnesota to announce the Minnesota Vikings game, and on Sunday, when he returned to Denver from another win by his hometown team, “for the first time probably since 2006, I heard my voice on the train and smiled and liked it,” he recalls. “I was melancholy a bit, but I did really like it.”
That’s because the airport is currently looking for new voices for the train. In June 2016, Roach made headlines when he revealed that he was ending his Broncos gig after sixteen years for the “opportunity of a lifetime” as the PA announcer for the Minnesota Vikings, his favorite team since he was four — and then Arakawa retired and moved to Phoenix this summer. The two were only the second ones to speak for the airport since it opened in 1995: The late Pete Smythe and Reynelda Muse, Denver’s first African-American anchorwoman who moved to Indiana shortly after getting the gig, were the original voices; Arakawa and Roach took their spots in 2006.
And last week, the airport announced a contest to find replacements for Arakawa and Roach; the competition is open to any radio or broadcast personality with seven years of experience in this town. According to the contest rules, posted on flydenver.com, “Candidates must exemplify Colorado and reflect Colorado values that would represent the airport, city and state well.”
Alan Roach’s handle and heart are in Denver.
Who delayed the departure of this train?