World’s largest sports park coming to Windsor; creators hoping to revive the game of baseball | MyWindsorNow.com

World’s largest sports park coming to Windsor; creators hoping to revive the game of baseball

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

A $225 million sports park that includes a stadium capable of housing a minor league baseball team will be built three miles north of Windsor, organizers announced Tuesday morning.

The complex is expected to include a baseball park with a 10,000-person capacity, five high school/collegiate fields, 10 youth fields, four T-ball fields, 16 tournament baseball fields and 16 tournament softball fields, 12 multi-use fields, and an additional 207 acres for commercial development. It will take up more than 400 acres of land.

"It will be the most advanced facility in the world, but with a throwback feel to it," said Mike Billadeau, the president and director of operations for Rocky Mountain Sports Park.

The town of Windsor and Rocky Mountain Sports Park announced the plan in a Tuesday morning press conference at the Windsor Town Hall.

The sports park will be built on the northern edge of land that has been annexed into Windsor at Colo. 257 and Weld County Road 74, three miles north of Windsor Lake.

Rocky Mountain Sports Park

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The stadium will be built to Major League Baseball standards, Billadeau said, and developers acknowledged that they hope to find a minor-league team to fill it.

But it will also include an indoor training facility that could be utilized year-round.

"You'll have two complete infields, six hitting lanes, six pitching lanes and other training rooms geared towards those sports," Billadeau said.

A "Miracle Field" will also be built for players with disabilities.

Shawn Logan, the director of marketing for the park, and Billadeau said they hope to hold tournaments in the complex.

Those tournaments, he said, could feed into commercial development around the park. An additional 207 acres will be available for that commercial development, added Stacy Johnson, the director of economic development for the town of Windsor. Some of that could include hotels, shops and restaurants.

"We're looking to be an ultimate stay and play," Logan said.

Tournaments will be held from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Logan said, and he hopes families will be able to follow the students who play in the tournaments and then spend their time and money in Windsor.

"We want them to be able to come, watch baseball, watch their team, and then enjoy great retail," he said.

Community Impact

Ryan Spilborghs, a former Colorado Rockies player and sports broadcaster, serves as the vice presid• • •

ent for Rocky Mountain Sports Complex and has been involved in the project for two years. Spilboroughs' connections may allow for opportunities for clinics and training in the indoor training field.

"We want to build baseball back up again," Billadeau said.

Windsor Town Manager Kelly Arnold said the location of the park should mean it will have less of an impact on nearby residents.

"The immediate area of Windsor should feel minimal impact," he said.

But growth will continue as it has in recent years, Arnold said, and the town will continue to work on the roads and other infrastructure, especially with the addition of the sports park.

According to Logan, the sports park will create more than 50 full-time jobs in the first phase of the project, with additional seasonal employees and the opportunity for employment after retail develops. Johnson said "thousands of jobs" will become available across the park once it is completed.

RMSP hopes the park will bring more than 100,000 annual visitors and more than 80,000 hotel room nights in a 14-week tournament season.

Why Windsor

Colorado is central in the United States, and near many other states where baseball and softball are common, Logan said.

With an international airport nearby, and national parks and Denver, teams could also venture outside the sports park, Billadeau said, making the location ideal for the sports park.

"Colorado is America's playground," he said.

Logan, of Windsor, said although baseball is popular in northern Colorado and in Windsor, choices of where to play are limited.

"Here in Windsor, we have so much baseball, we don't have the fields to play," he said.

The town also offers more to visitors than baseball, Billadeau said.

"Windsor has that small town feel that goes to the core of what baseball is," he said.

What's next

Logan said the project is expected to start construction by Oct. 1.

The stadium, indoor training facility and the offices for RMSP should be completed by the fall of 2018, with the rest of the outdoor fields, dorms and athletes' campus slated for completion by spring of 2019, Logan said.

Retail development in the area may not be completed by 2019, Johnson said.

"There's nothing like this in the world," he said.

Rocky Mountain Sports Park

For more information about Rocky Mountain Sports Park, visit http://www.rmspark.com.

• • •

By the numbers

According to Rocky Mountain Sports Park, the park will include the following:

» 65 fields

» A 10,000-person capacity “Feature Stadium”

» A “Miracle Field” for children with disabilities

» 5 high school/collegiate fields

» 10 youth fields

» 4 T-ball fields

» 16 tournament baseball fields

» 16 tournament softball fields

» 12 multi-use fields

» 620 total park acres

» 413-acre sports park

» 207 acres for commercial development

» $225 million initial investment

» More than 50 full-time jobs in the first phase

» More than 100,000 annual visitors expected

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