Sep 182003
Authors: Justin Goldman

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,”

D’Angeli said.

The wide variety of sporting events and concerts scheduled

throughout the semester could attract students from CSU and other

regional schools.

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




 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.