Sports and event center could take two years to plan

Published: April 14, 2014, 6:54 pm, by Monica Mendoza

It may be two years before the finance details of the proposed downtown sports and events center are finalized, according to a supplement milestone report sent by the city to the state regarding the City for Champions.

?Discussions are currently taking place with a leading national and international design, development and operating consultants of sports stadiums and arenas. The milestone will be further clarified with the progression of these discussions,? says a March 28 letter from Bob Cope, the City for Champions Project Manager, to the Colorado Economic Development Commission.

The city turned in a milestone report in mid March that updates the timelines of the four planned tourism projects ? a downtown sports and events center, a downtown Olympic museum, a university sports medicine and performance center and an Air Force Academy visitors center.

State officials asked the city for more information, which was sent as a supplement to the state March 28.

The downtown Olympic museum board is seeking a design architect for the $60 million facility and could begin construction in summer 2015, and officials at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs have their eye on two ossible sites on North Nevada Avenue for the sports medicine center. Organizers of the Air Force Academy visitors center are working on a feasibility assessment to help predict how much time it will take to identify and obtain private funds to build the center.

And ?the Colorado Sports and Event Center is actively pursing a more enhanced plan of finance, which will clarify details about each funding source, including the addition of provate investments,? the milestone report says.

This month, the city also turned in to the state a resolution, or a contract, which provides more details about project oversite, tax increment financing and how $120 million in state sales tax rebates will be distributed to the four projects.

That contract is being reviewed, said Jeff Kraft, director of business funding and incentives at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade ? the office that oversees the states Regional Tourism Act program.

Kraft expects that the OEDIT staff will have questions about the proposed resolution. Nothing, he said, has been sent in writing to the city yet. Once all questions have been answered the resolution will go the Economic Development Commission for approval. Kraft said he had no predictions on when that might be.

?It?s a fairly complex process,? Kraft said.

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