Power To Play Sports opens up 52,000-square-foot facility in west Windsor, fulfills owners’ lifetime dream | MyWindsorNow.com
Katarina Velazquez
kvelazquez@greeleytribune.com

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Power To Play Sports opens up 52,000-square-foot facility in west Windsor, fulfills owners’ lifetime dream

Michael Peterson loves basketball.

It's probably the one thing in his life that he loves most, besides his 15-month-old daughter, A.P.

The Minnesota native played the sport in high school and continued throughout college "like a lot of guys out there," he said, and then went on to coach at those same levels.

That was originally his main source of income — coaching. His own business, Power To Play, was something he did on the side. Power To Play organizes events for basketball and some volleyball. Peterson started it about 17 years ago to cater primarily to youth basketball through tournaments, leagues and club teams throughout Colorado.

Years ago, Peterson took a leap of faith and made Power To Play his main focus. It started with 16 teams in 2000. Now, Power To Play has about 3,200 total teams.

This year marked a huge landmark — literally — for the northern-Colorado-based company. After 15 months of building and construction, Power to Play opened the doors for its new 52,000-square-foot facility at the beginning of February in western Windsor.

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The complex — which sits on 4.7 acres of commercial land near the Budweiser Events Center — features six basketball courts with volleyball nets that swing down from the ceiling with a push of a button. There are 187 parking spaces, with 180 more on the way for the west side of the building, according to Peterson. There is also an outdoor patio area facing north that Peterson has already rented out for graduation parties and other celebrations.

Three courts sit on each side of the building, and between those is a lounge area that Peterson describes as "a sports bar without the alcohol." Seven TVs and professional basketball memorabilia — featuring big-name players such as Larry Bird and Stephen Curry — hang on the walls, while bar tables and large sofas fill the area. The area also has fronts for concessions and Power To Play swag, as well as a kids' play room.

Peterson has about 175 basketball and volleyball officials that work for the company, as well as 40 part-time employees and six full-time employees.

He said he had two partners in bringing the facility to fruition: Eric Greene, owner of Mail N Copy in Windsor and now co-owner of the facility; and John Turner, who is the sport complex's land owner.

Greene has printed items for Peterson's business for years, and they'd sometimes play basketball with each other. One day, Greene said Peterson and he decided to follow through with building an official location for Power To Play. Since Greene had previous business experience, he decided to help out with that aspect.

After all, his love for basketball was as profound as Peterson's.

"I have a passion for kids and sports and basketball, so for me, it was an easy fit," Greene said. "This (complex) puts Windsor on the map for competitive basketball."

Power To Play is located on the Windsor side of Larimer County Road 5. The exterior landscaping for the building will be completed come spring when the winter weather begins to disperse, Peterson said.

He said as much as he loves the sport of basketball, he tried to make the facility more family-oriented than just player-focused. That's why there are no bleachers, but rather 1,000 chairs with backs for support. It's also why he chose Windsor as the facility's location, after scoping out various locations near the Interstate 25 corridor.

"Windsor is a really good sports town and it's really active," he said. "If you could pick a spot in the country to run our type of family destination environment, there's no better place in the country. You can do anything safe and family-driven here."

He also said where the facility is located is easy to get to from all areas of northern Colorado — Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Johnstown, you name it. That makes it a more convenient place to host large tournaments, and is easily accessible by teams all around the region for practices and more.

"It's like the Mecca of northern Colorado," he said.

Peterson said more than 16,000 people have experienced the facility in its first month. That number is from people visiting for weekend tournaments, pick-up games and practices.

Stacy Johnson, director of economic development for Windsor, said the facility is a huge opportunity for the town to continue to capitalize on its youth sports programs. She said it will also likely draw in tourism regionally and nationally, which then spreads to Windsor's other local businesses, restaurants and more. That's obviously a good thing, she said, especially since Windsor officials will continue to grow the amenities on that I-25 corridor as much as possible.

"We knew it was an 'if you build it, they will come' scenario — we just didn't know how many," Johnson said. "It's a good testament for how powerful youth sports is in this region. … Everything we can continue to do to diversity our revenue streams and our industry is huge because it makes us more stable as an economy."

Peterson attended the University of Northern Colorado for graduate school and got his master's degree in sports management. That was his stepping stone to the Front Range. He hasn't looked back since then, even though sometimes he feels nostalgic for his small hometown of about 400 people in the Midwest.

He said 25 years of his life in the sports industry led up to the moment of opening Power To Play's complex. He dreamed as a teenager of owning his own basketball facility, but he wasn't sure if or when that day would come.

"This is all about having a passion, and loving it," he said. "This facility will open up avenues for everybody, whether that's the kid casually playing basketball or the hardcore athlete."

Future goals? Peterson said expansion. He eventually wants to grow up to 10 courts.

"We're already too small," he said with a laugh. "We need more space."

Also on his to-do list is to build a 2,500-seat capacity college facility for high-end training purposes and to attract more competitive playoff games at the state and collegiate levels.

But for now, he's relishing in his basketball dream.

Peterson still makes sure to shoot some hoops to this day, obviously on the shiny new courts in his new complex. Those shiny new courts are also where he enjoys watching A.P. sprint her little legs from sideline to sideline. The facility is not only his dream-come-true, but a place where he can now combine his two greatest loves into one place.

"You always hear people say they wake up every morning doing what they love," he said. "I just can't believe that I'm actually doing what I love."

Where to go

Power To Play Sports is located on the east side of Larimer County Road 5, across the street from Budweiser Events Center. Its address is 5699 Crooked Stick Drive in Windsor.

The complex is open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, for “pick-up”, “drop-in” and “open gym” time. This includes volleyball and basketball play.

Cost is $5 for a daily pass. Memberships include single-person for $240 a year, or $20 a month, and family memberships for $360 a year, or $30 a month. Seniors get in free. Members receive full access during available hours with a membership card.

For more information, call (970) 800-3035, email info@powertoplaysports.com, or go to http://www.powertoplaysports.com/.