City officials have removed a new downtown Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) from an application for state funding, keeping the team at Security Service Field.
The application to the Colorado Economic Development Commission requested funding for a new Sky Sox ballpark — a development not necessarily embraced by Sky Sox ownership — as well as an Olympic museum, a UCCS sports medicine center and ;a new Air Force Academy Visitor Center. But a state analysis of the proposal concluded it did not meet guidelines for state funding, and city officials submitted a new plan calling for a 10,000-seat multiuse venue that would be more appropriate to host Olympic events. (Baseball, alas, is not an Olympic event.) From the Colorado Springs Business Journal:
Sky Sox owner Dave Elmore had not signed on to the idea of moving downtown, and there had been indications in public forums and from surveys of fans that many didn’t want the franchise to move from its Stetson Hills stadium located east of Powers Boulevard on Barnes Road.
Other factors entered into the decision to change the downtown stadium’s focus, according to Doug Price, CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau and one of the working group members who revised the RTA application….
“There’s been a great deal of community dialogue,” Price noted, “and we’ve all seen that the stadium has been under a lot of public scrutiny. The citizens of Colorado Springs have made it clear that they want the Sky Sox to stay where they are — and if the Sky Sox want to stay out on Powers, more power to them.”
It’s not clear what support there was for a new ballpark other than from the mayor’s office: a poll to determine support for a new facility didn’t yield strong support for a downtown move, and as noted the Sky Sox ownership wasn’t totally enthusiastic about the plan.
Image courtesy city of Colorado Springs.
RELATED STORIES: Proposed Colorado Springs ballpark in trouble?; Results of Colorado Springs ballpark poll under wraps; Mayor requests state aid for new downtown Colorado Springs ballpark; Who is pushing new Colorado Springs ballpark?; New downtown ballpark under consideration in Colorado Springs
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