U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum sets opening date

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs on July 20, 2020. / Sarah Hempelmann - FOX21 News

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs on July 20, 2020. / Sarah Hempelmann – FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in downtown Colorado Springs will open on July 30 after a three-year construction project.

The 60,000-square-foot museum will feature 12 galleries that include exhibits on athlete training, the Summer and Winter Games, and the USOPC Hall of Fame.

General admission tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Ticket prices are:

  • Adults: $24.95
  • Children (3-12): $14.95
  • Seniors (65+): $19.95
  • Military (active duty or retired) and first responders with ID: $19.95
  • Children 2 and under: free

Memberships are available now. Tickets and memberships can be purchased at tickets.usopm.org.

The project was conceived in 2012, as Olympic leaders looked to establish the first full-fledged Olympic museum in the United States. The Olympic Training Center, located a few miles from the museum, draws more than 130,000 visitors a year but had limited exhibit space.

At the groundbreaking for the museum three years ago, leaders said they were hoping to draw up to 350,000 a year, though the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on attendance. The museum is putting safety precautions in place that will include a timed-ticketing program designed to limit the number of people in any exhibit at one time.

The project is estimated to have cost around $91 million, which is about $15 million over the figure reported by The Associated Press at the groundbreaking in 2017. The increased cost is to cover state-of-the-art technology that will allow each visitor to receive a near-personalized experience. For example, visitors will be able to pick a favorite sport or athlete, and a chip embedded into their ticket will prompt specific content to come up at each exhibit. The museum will also have an interactive map that allows visitors to learn about the more than 12,000 athletes who have competed for Team USA.

About $65 million of the building cost was covered by private fundraising. The museum also received $26.2 million from the State of Colorado Economic Development Commission.

The opening comes during the 40th anniversary of the Moscow Olympics, which were boycotted by the U.S. team in a government protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Many of the athletes who had qualified for the 1980 team never got another chance to compete at the Olympics, and decades later, they are being honored at the new museum. Their story will be told at the end of the Summer Olympics exhibit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local