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Switchbacks getting new stadium in downtown Colorado Springs

Plan includes indoor arena at Colorado College

City for Champions advances in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs leaders will move forward with the fourth City for Champions project: a sports and events center. 

Organizers announced the plans on Wednesday at the stadium site.  The project will be compromised of two separate facilities. An outdoor stadium will be the permanent home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and an indoor event center will be the new home of the Colorado College ice hockey team. 

Colorado College, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and Weidner Apartment Homes partnered together to provide the private funding for the projects. 

"The original plan was to have both venues at the stadium location," said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.  "But it actually works better to separate them.  Both will be multipurpose venues that can be used for a variety of purposes."

The Stadium

The proposed downtown stadium will be located at the corner of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets, next to the Drake Power Plant.

The stadium will contain 10,000 spectator seats for sporting events and will accommodate 20,000 people for entertainment events.

The cost of the outdoor stadium is estimated at $20 million plus a mixed-use development project costing approximately $40 million for a total of $60 million. State tourism revenue will provide a $10 million bond towards the stadium, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks will be contributing another $10 million and Weidner Apartment Homes $40 million. 

The Arena

The indoor event center will be named the Edward J. Robson Arena and will feature 3,000 permanent seats and capabilities to host ice-based sports, as well as entertainment events.

The new arena for Colorado College ice hockey will be on the block bordered by Nevada Ave., Cache La Poudre, Tejon and Dale streets.

The arena allows the CC hockey team to play games on campus for the first time since the program started in 1938.

Colorado College is set to handle all operations and scheduling for the Robson Arena.

People who live and work near the proposed locations have mixed feelings about them.

"I think it's good for the city," said Lacey Lawrence, who has lived around the corner from the stadium site for 12 years.  "My only concerns are how will it affect the neighborhood, and if people get bought out, can they find somewhere else to live at current real estate prices?"

Tammy McBride works at a bookstore across the street from the proposed indoor arena.

"I'm surprised because I don't know what they'll do with all the college students who live in the homes in that area," she said.  "Parking also is a big concern because working here, we have no designated parking for those who work in the building."

Organizers said they expect the new venues to open in 2020, a year after the nearby Olympic Museum opens.  The projects are part of the City for Champions four-phase plan envisioned by previous mayor Steve Bach.

"I think what we've done so far is very close to the original vision," Suthers said.

Still being planned are a visitors center at the Air Force Academy and a sports medicine center at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Organizers say once completed, the projects will create hundreds of jobs and bring more than a million visitors to the area annually.

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