COLORADO SPRINGS — The City of Colorado Springs announced on Wednesday plans to move forward with a downtown stadium and indoor events center.
The two separate facilities will be "state of the art, multi-purpose venues designed to host professional, Olympic and amateur sporting events as well as entertainment and cultural events," according to a release from the City of Colorado Springs.
The facilities will be the fourth part of the "City for Champions" project that began in 2013.
City for Champions also includes the now-under-construction United States Olympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy Gateway Visitor Center and the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center on the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus.
“It gives me great pride to announce that the City of Colorado Springs is ready to effectively leverage $27.7 million in State City for Champions funding to build a downtown sports stadium and events center” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, in a news release.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a lot of hard work and incredible collaboration between a number of private partners," said Suthers. "While this project represents a significant benefit to our city’s economy and cultural and sports offerings, we have remained committed to the desire of our voters to accomplish this feat through private partnerships and investments and not with local general fund tax money. To that end, I’m incredibly pleased to announce that we have an excellent proposal and a plan to move forward on these facilities."
The stadium will be located in southwest downtown Colorado Springs bordered by Cimarron to the North, Moreno to the South, Sierra Madre to the West and Sahwatch to the east.
The stadium will have a seating capacity of 10,000 for sporting events and 20,000 for concerts.
The outdoor downtown stadium will become the permanent home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, a United Soccer League franchise that currently plays in a stadium in northeast Colorado Springs.
“In 2013, when I was looking to start a professional Soccer franchise somewhere in Colorado, Colorado Springs stuck out as a City that had a passion for sports and a vision for growth,” said Ed Ragain, owner of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, in a news release. “It is amazing to be standing before you today announcing our plans to complete a long desired downtown sports stadium in this great City.”
“I am very excited to see the City of Colorado Springs get behind professional soccer like numerous other leading cities around the country,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Steve Trittschuh, in a news release. “The downtown stadium will help us compete at a higher level and represent the City well.”
The stadium will be constructed with a mixed-use residential and commercial development in partnership with Weidner Apartment Homes, who will have the naming rights to the facility.
According to the City of Colorado Springs, the stadium will cost $20 million and the mixed-use development around the stadium will cost $40 million.
City for Champions will contribute $10 million, the Switchbacks $10 million and Weidner Apartment Homes $40 million.
Indoor Events Center
The indoor events center will be built on the block of downtown Colorado Springs bordered by Nevada Ave., Cache La Poudre, Tejon and Dale Streets on the Colorado College campus.
The center, which will be named the Edward J. Robson Arena, will be home to the Colorado College Tigers hockey team, allowing the program to play games on campus for the first time since the program started in 1938.
With a 3,000 seat capacity, the events center will have less than half the seats of the Broadmoor World Arena, where the team currently plays, but will be comparable in size to similar universities and hockey teams, says the City of Colorado Springs.
“This is an exciting time for Colorado College and for Colorado Springs,” said Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler, in a news release. “Robson Arena will become known as a premier destination for CC’s Division I competition as well as national and international events with our Olympic partners.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the City on this important project. This is a game-changer for both Colorado College and downtown Colorado Springs,” said Colorado College Director of Athletics Ken Ralph, in a news release. “This is one of those rare circumstances where it is a win for all involved.”
“The Broadmoor World Arena has been a wonderful home for CC Hockey for more than 20 years and we will forever be grateful to El Pomar Foundation for facilitating the construction of that arena,” said Ralph. “It will be very exciting for the community to have two outstanding venues in the city.”
The events center will cost approximately $39 million, of which $9.2 million will be funded through City for Champions.
No construction date for the facilities has been announced.
The City of Colorado Springs says the next step in the project is "the presentation of the business plan and finding of commencement of substantial work toward the project by the Colorado Economic Development Commission at its meeting in September."