(PUEBLO, Colo.) — Dutch Clark Stadium will receive two phases of renovations from $5.2 million in tax incremental financing. Pueblo School District (D60) and the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority (PURA) shared the news on Wednesday morning of the new improvements coming to the iconic stadium.
“In this particular case, we had an economic development project that was reaching completion,” PURA Executive Director, Jerry Pacheco, said. “And as part of that completion, we had surplus tax increment dollars available to go back to our tax increment partners and in exploring ways to get those funds back to our partners, we looked at D60 and found that they had a need for improvements to the Dutch Clark Stadium facility.”
Dutch Clark Stadium has been around since 1950.
“Again, this isn’t something that happens all the time,” D60 Director of Athletics, Aaron Bravo, said. “And I think it’s been quite a long time ago that there has been, you know, any attention paid here in terms of, you know, major upgrades. You know, this is a big district, there’s a lot of needs all over town here and to get our time for improvement, I’m glad we have it.”
The stadium is unique in that you cannot see it from your eyesight, as it is an underground bowl.
“If you’ve ever been to Dutch Clark Stadium, you know it’s a horseshoe, it’s in a bowl, it’s in an old historic drainage,” Pacheco said. “It’s a really neat facility, but it needed some badly needed stormwater repair improvements because it gets washed out every year.”
The first phase of renovations will focus on promoting safety and accessibility on the site. The second phase will focus on improvements to the locker rooms, press boxes, and restrooms.
“Again, we’re very fortunate back in 1950 that the leadership at the time had the guts to build this place,” Bravo said. “And I appreciate the Pueblo Urban Renewal (Authority) for seeing the needs that we have here and it’s our responsibility to maintain this a great, great place.”
Along with the facility improvements, D60 will also launch a new logo of the 1934 NFL Legend and Central graduate Dutch Clark.
“Well, when our students and families come in, wherever they’re from, not only will they see this wonderful mural here,” D60 Director of Communications, Dalton Sprouse, said. “But they’re also going to be seeing our new logo, and it’s going to be all over, from things like our signage to apparel to hopefully even some of the tents that we use on the field.”
Dutch Clark was featured in LIFE Magazine as “the perfect football face.”
“So right here in Pueblo, we’ve got the all-time perfect football face here,” Sprouse said. “That’s going to be our new logo and design and so we’re really excited for that.”
For Pacheco, he reflected on how the stadium is filled with iconic memories both from childhood and from the present.
“You know, having been a little kid watching games here, having been a player marching on this field under the lights and being a parent, watching your own kid, you know, play on this field, it’s great,” Pacheco said. “It’s such a wonderful community facility, it brings together all the local teams.”
Bravo also expressed his appreciation of the stadium and the immense meaning it has on the city of Pueblo.
“Again, I don’t think we could build a venue like this now with the current cost of things,” Bravo said. “And you say it’s iconic for Pueblo, I think it’s iconic for the state. We have teams that when they understand or when they learn that they’re playing a Pueblo team and they get to play here, they’re excited to come down here and experience what we do here in Pueblo.”
The renovations will go on to help the many sports teams who play in the stadium.
“Not only is this our prized football stadium, but we also play all of our soccer games here,” Sprouse said. “We also run track and field and not just at the high school level, but even for our middle school students… And with all of these improvements that are on the way, we know it’s only going to grow and be even greater.”
The renovations are set to begin in April 2023 with expected completion by Fall 2024.