Downtown Colorado Springs might see new sports, event center

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The City of Colorado Springs is considering a proposal for a multi-million dollar sports stadium and events center in downtown Colorado Springs in Antlers Park.

This means the Colorado Springs Switchbacks could be getting a new home. 

The proposal first came about in February of last year, and it would play host to many different events, not just soccer. But, there could be an issue standing in the way.

"Antlers Park is a problem, and it's been a problem," Nick Ragain, President of the Switchbacks, said. 

"Right now, it's really an inactive park, and it's really full of needles and really problematic stuff," Perry Sanders, co-sponsor of the proposed sports and events center, said.

The Switchbacks and local business leaders are hoping to bring the fan experience from eastern Colorado Springs to downtown. 

"The fan experience is penultimate. It's very important," Ragain said. "And in order to have a great fan experience, we feel like, location to live, work, play, type of environment, is also very important."

The sports and events center wouldn't just be for the Switchbacks.

"The Switchbacks would be a primary tenant," Ragain said. "But there would be a lot of additional uses on top of the Switchbacks." 

Sanders, who also owns the Antlers Hotel, wants to do more than just run an events center.

"I think we should devote part of the sales tax proceeds that come from this to help address the homeless problem," Sanders said. 

For now, the stadium proposal is up in the air. The City Attorney said the venue would violate restrictions on public use of the park.

"We've come up with an idea that will generate money and pay for itself," Sanders said. "Our hope is that, when it's built, it will be paid for the day it's built." 

Sanders said they're not talking about giving the park away, or even selling it. He assures it won't cost the citizens a penny out of the general fund. He, and the Switchbacks, just want the proposed venue to be a nice place to hangout. 

"This is Olympic City, so citizens will start to be able to comfortably go sit in a beautiful park that's a public park, nobody's gonna own it except the citizens, and they'll be able to watch people do all sorts of things," he said.

 


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