Colorado Springs City Council approves downtown stadium, entertainment district

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Changes are coming to the downtown area in Colorado Springs after Tuesday’s city council meeting.

After a short discussion, the council approved the city’s first entertainment district, allowing open alcohol containers and concerts in the shopping center north of Moreno and in between Tejon and Cascade.

“We really wanted to show the vibrancy, we want to show the artistry of both culinary and craft cocktail individuals,” said the operations manager of the Trolley Entertainment district Aaron Ewton. “We really have a passion for live and activity-based entertainment that don’t surround just eating and drinking.”

Ewton said in his conversations with Colorado Springs Police, they’re only concern is people leaving the designated area with alcohol. CSPD’s chief was in attendance to answer any questions from the council, but they had none.

Organizers behind the district will have to still get a fire and safety plan approved before it is officially allowed to operate. Ewton hopes that comes by springtime in 2020.

The district will operate from 7 a.m.-2 a.m. with the city’s 10 p.m. noise ordinance enforced.

The city’s representative from the planning commission said, after a multi-week notice period, they received no complaints or concerns from neighbors.

That cannot be said for the council’s next big-ticket item: The downtown soccer stadium.

The proposed stadium is $35 million that will play host to the Switchbacks Soccer team, some NCAA Soccer championships and, organizers hope, other large events. The Stadium is expected to hold over 8,100 people.

After intensive public comment, neighbors are overwhelmingly concerned about parking in the Mill Street neighborhood south and southeast of the proposed stadium grounds.

Councilors also worried about the whole of the area’s development—as the Olympic & Paralympic museum will be a five-minute walk away and Colorado College’s Robson Arena is likely to be built a few blocks north of that.

“If we maximize everything that we are going to be putting in that particular area even though, there may not be this ten-minute walk between Robson [Arena] and the stadium, there is going to be a multiplying kind of an impact,” Councilman David Geislinger said.

Several neighbors told the council that directly, though all but one person said they still were excited for the stadium to come to that area of Colorado Springs.

The plan to authorize the land for the stadium passed unanimously. Councilman Don Knight and Councilman Bill Murray voted against a related initiative that vacates the stretch of Moreno between Sierra Madre and Wahsatch for stadium construction.

“I’m not really concerned about parking,” Councilwoman Jill Gaebler said. “I’m more concerned about us creating an amazing downtown that’s vibrant and filled with people who want to be apart of all the amazing things happening in Colorado Springs.”

Developers behind the project plan to break ground December 7, in conjunction with the Parade of Lights.

On the third high-interest item, the city council punted. The council voted to postpone a vote on Non-Owner Short Term rentals until November 25.

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