Antlers Park has been scratched as the site of a new Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC stadium, but the city and project backers are expected to discuss a different location.
Led by the Ragain family, owners of the Switchbacks, and Colorado Springs attorney Perry Sanders Jr., owner of The Antlers and Mining Exchange hotels, a push has been taking place for the construction of both a new 8,000-seat Switchbacks stadium and a separate 2,000-seat indoor event center. The project was pitched for Antlers Park, but concerns had surfaced after the City Attorney’s Office opined that construction of the venues would violate restrictions that protect public use of the space.
On Monday, Sanders announced that the group will no longer pursue Antlers Park and could instead focus on an alternative location that should not face the same restrictions as the park. That exact site was not revealed. More from The Colorado Springs Gazette:
So, Sanders said, he and his partners were “blessed” last weekend when City Council President Richard Skorman called with an alternative site.
“We think they have a better location,” Sanders said. “One that won’t cause anybody noise issues, and it’ll have more room, et cetera, et cetera.”
Neither Sanders, Skorman nor Nick Ragain would identify the alternative site, but Skorman said it will be announced in about a month.
Antlers Park was dedicated to the city in 1882 by Gen. William Jackson Palmer, the city’s founder.
The venue has been pitched as part of the City for Champions project, and the city faces an important deadline when it comes to funding. As part of the funding mechanism for the project, the Colorado Economic Development Commission granted the city up to $120.5 million in state sales tax rebates over 30 years. That amounts to $27.7 million per venue, which can be applied to the new soccer stadium. However, the city risks losing that money if substantial work does not begin by December 13, Thus far, three of the City for Champions projects are underway–including an Olympic Museum, Air Force Academy visitors center, and a UCCS sports medicine and performance center–but the soccer stadium/event venue has been left behind.