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Colo. Springs closer to becoming 'City for Champions'

City for Champions funding approved

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The state Economic Development Commission approved $120 million in state incentives to help fund the City For Champions project Monday.

The $250 million project includes construction of four venues - a US Olympic Museum downtown, a Sports and Event Center downtown, a Sports Medicine and Performance Center at UCCS and a new US Air Force Academy Visitors Center. The EDC approved all the funding project supporters requested.

"We were stunned this morning," Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau President Doug Price said. "You don't go into something where there is so much money at stake thinking that you're going to get it all."

The funding comes from the state's Regional Tourism Act. It lets local governments apply for money for tourism and entertainment projects that will generate revenue from out of state.

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said this day will go down in history as one of the most important days in the region.

"(The project) will have a tremendous impact on jobs, we're going to see a lot more sales tax revenue, which our city and our county need," he said.

The $120 million cover only part of the project. Now, supporters must figure out where the other $130 million come from.

"We've talked about public and private financing, we know that philanthropic giving will have a big part of this, and we know that the local community is going to have to weigh in on this if we're going to do bonds" Price said.

Mayor Bach said if any city money is used, he will ask for voters' approval first.

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