The new Larimer County Fairgrounds has become increasingly visible along I-25 over the last several months and is almost ready to begin serving the Northern Colorado community.
Phase I, including the Budweiser Events Center, the First National Bank Exhibition Hall and Ranchway Feeds Indoor Arena, will be open to the public on opening weekend Sept. 19, 20 and 21.
The second Phase will include a 4-H building, approximately 30,000 square foot show rings, a small livestock building and possibly a large outdoor rodeo livestock arena, though plans are not finalized yet.
“We wanted to get the first phase up and running and operating before we begin phase two,” said Chris Kiser, the director of Corporate Marketing for The Ranch, the official name of the fairgrounds.
Phase I is the culmination of approximately four years of planning and $70 million, largely funded by a sales tax continuation in 2000, Kiser said.
“It’s going to add a lot to the economic energy of our community,” Kiser said.
The Exhibition Hall will be a multi-purpose facility hosting conventions, shows, company parties and more. The Indoor Arena will be an equine center with 1,300 seats for equine shows.
“There’s a huge demand (for equine events) in Colorado,” Kiser said.
The Budweiser Events Center will be the home stadium for the Colorado Eagles, a Central Hockey League team with 32 home games planned next year and the Colorado Chill, a women’s basketball team with 12 home games planned next season.
The Events Center will also host family shows, like Seseme Street and Disney, the Globetrotters, concerts, rodeos and equestrian events, said Lou D’Angeli, the director of marketing and sales for the Events Center.
“It’s really a little bit of something for everybody,” D’Angeli said.
On July 31 the Events Center will be announcing the events for opening weekend and when tickets will go on sale, including Sept. 20, when the Colorado Avalanche will play the Florida Panthers.
The stadium seats anywhere from 2,500 people up to 7,500.
“It’s kind of a mini-Pepsi Center almost but it’s in Northern Colorado,” D’Angeli said.
The Events Center is built partly out of stones from the Larimer County Courthouse.
“These stones add a very unique and historic feel to our new building and bring a piece, literally, of Larimer County to our new arena,” said Ann Larson of Global Spectrum in a press release. Global Spectrum will manage the Events Center.
The Eagles have already sold 4,000 season tickets.
“It brings entertainment right to the heart of Northern Colorado,” D’Angeli said. “People are used to driving from one to three hours for entertainment.”
The Events Center is looking for interns in marketing, PR, operations and more. Call Lou D’Angeli at 619-4106
Visit www.budweisereventscenter.com for more information