Saturday morning the highly anticipated Budweiser Events Center
at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland celebrates its grand
The 7,200-seat multipurpose venue has been under construction
off the I-25 and Crossroads exit just south of Fort Collins for
almost a year. Larimer County owns the arena, but Global Spectrum,
which owns and operates about 30 other major public venues in the
United States and Canada, runs it.
The Budweiser Events Center is home to the Colorado Eagles, a
Central Hockey League expansion team, and the Colorado Chill of the
recently formed National Women’s Basketball League.
To celebrate the grand opening, Larimer County and Global
Spectrum are holding an open house for the general public. From 10
a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday students and community members have the
opportunity to take a tour of the new arena, meet some of the
Colorado Eagles and Colorado Chill players, converse with Miss
Colorado USA, Miss Teen USA, and a few of the Harlem
“This will be an awesome weekend for people throughout Northern
Colorado,” said Ralph Backstrom, the president and general manager
of the Eagles. “We will be packaging this game with a lot of
interesting activities which will begin in the morning. It is going
to be a fun-filled day that will always be remembered.”
The free open house also offers rodeo demonstrations and wild
mustang shows in the Ranchway Feeds Indoor Arena, which is adjacent
to the Budweiser Events Center. Other events planned for the day
are live bands performing throughout the day courtesy of 99.9 The
Point, Regent Broadcasting and TRI 102.5.
Furthermore, the new ice rink inside the events center, which
was just recently painted and shaved in preparation for the NHL
preseason game between the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers,
will serve as the site of a public free-skate from noon to 2
As the main event of the grand opening the Avalanche-Panthers
exhibition game takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday. It is the first
sporting event at the Budweiser Events Center and although tickets
are still available, less than 100 now remain.
Lou D’Angeli, the director of marketing and sales for Global
Spectrum has been giving tours of the construction site for the
past few months for members of the media.
D’Angeli said he has anticipated the grand opening for some time
as well, waiting for the entire public to experience what the new
arena in town offers.
“The open house tomorrow will be a celebration of the new events
center and will be a free event featuring numerous activities,”
The wide variety of sporting events and concerts scheduled
throughout the semester could attract students from CSU and other
Some of the events already scheduled at the Budweiser Events
Center are a matchbox twenty concert, a live Bill Cosby performance
and a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game.
Those events, combined with 32 home regular season games for the
Colorado Eagles and 14 Colorado Chill games, give Northern
Coloradoans the chance to take part in entertainment events that
otherwise would not come to the area.
The Larimer County Fairgrounds, otherwise known as “The Ranch”
is directed by Jay Hardy, who has worked feverishly for months to
have all the activities ready for the Saturday grand opening.
“We’re excited to have professional hockey games one night and
then professional basketball the next. It’s a great lineup,” Hardy
said. “We are tremendously excited to host the Avalanche in the
first hockey event at the Budweiser Events Center.”
To see a complete schedule of events and for more information on
the new arena, visit the Web site at