By Zachary Aedo, KRDO | The Colorado Springs City Council gave final approval Tuesday to build an 8000-seat multi-use stadium in downtown Colorado Springs.
City Council President Richard Skorman, who is a downtown business owner himself, says the new venue will increase the city’s sales tax revenue and attract more people to live near downtown.
“It’s been the dream for a long time and we’re finally getting to that point where it’s starting to really happen,” Skorman said. “All that will really help the economy.”
The stadium is expected to be complete in March 2021. It’s being funded primarily through the Colorado Springs Switchback soccer team and partner Weidner Apartment Homes, a Seattle-based development company. An additional state grant to increase tourism is also filling in the gaps for the project’s budget.
“We won’t be spending taxpayer’s money on this,” Skorman said, wanting to assure Colorado Springs residents.
The outdoor stadium will be built on an empty 5-acre lot southwest of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets downtown.
Bob Cope, the city’s economic development officer, said the venue can accommodate for more than 15,000 people for larger events including concerts and Olympic sporting events. He says the increased tourism will increase business and residential property value.
“If you’re a business owner — especially if you’re into the retail, restaurant or bar business — I think it’s going to be a huge, huge plus,” Cope said.
During public input meetings, residents and local business owners voiced concerns about parking availability for the downtown venue.
“There is capacity currently, but we’re also working on expanding capacity,” said Susan Edmondson, the president of Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. “Particularly in that node south of Cimarron.”
Cope said the stadium is a major element of City for Champions — four Colorado Springs projects designed to increase state tourism. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum is another City for Champions project expected to open in 2020 a few blocks north of the stadium.
“These really are setting a vision for what a downtown lifestyle could be,” Edmondson said.