City looking to replace proposed downtown sports center with new C4C project

Photo courtesy City for Champions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The City is exploring other options after a study conducted indicated that municipal funding would be required for the proposed downtown sports center to be successful, city officials said in a statement released Tuesday.

The sports and events center was initially proposed as one of four projects to be funded in part by the State’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) City for Champions award.

“The vast majority of major arenas, and virtually all sports stadiums rely on government funding. While we wanted to investigate options for possible private funding, the study shows municipal funding is almost always required. The fact is, our citizens do not currently support using public funds for this project, and with the infrastructure needs facing our city, I concur,” said Mayor John Suthers. “We hope that in the future, potential investors might be able to build a downtown sports and events center, but at this time, it makes sense to explore an alternative viable project that might be able to utilize C4C funding.”

Over a year ago, the City was approached by the World War II Aviation Museum, which requested consideration to replace the sports and events center with a museum and events center as the fourth C4C project if the sports events and events center didn’t pan out.

“We recognize that a lot of things have to happen to repurpose this funding,” said Suthers. “However, the WWII Museum appears to be a viable project that is not only ready to get in the ground, but that may meet the requirements of the C4C award, complement the facilities around it and bring thousands of visitors to our city. I look forward to working with the RTA Advisory Board and Urban Renewal Authority on consideration of this project.”

For that project to happen, the state would have to pass an amendment to the Regional Tourism Act application procedures, allowing municipalities to substitute projects.

The project would then have to be accepted by Mayor Suthers, be reviewed with recommendation by OEDIT and be approved for funding by the Colorado Economic Development Commission.

 

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