Rocky Mountain Sports Park project gets underway with groundbreaking ceremony |

Rocky Mountain Sports Park project gets underway with groundbreaking ceremony

Emily Wenger

Krazy Karl's Pizza, Scooter's Coffee, Under Armour, iHeartRadio, a Studio 6 hotel and others have committed to joining the Rocky Mountain Sports Park, officials announced Tuesday.

Ground was broken in Windsor Tuesday afternoon for the sports park, which creators say will be the largest in the world.

The $225 million project, owned by former Colorado Rockies baseball player Ryan Spilborghs, is expected to complete its first phase next fall.

Shawn Logan, director of marketing for RMSP, said the first phase will include 25 fields and more than 250 full-time jobs. The stadium capable of housing a minor league team, indoor training facility and the offices for RMSP should be completed by fall 2018, Logan said previously.

Three multi-use fields have been added to the project since it was announced in May, bringing the expected total from 65 to 68 fields, according to the RMSP website.

Logan, with the help of his son, 8-year-old Cooper, introduced the mascot for the sports park. Fighting tears, Logan said his name is Cooper the Cougar, and he will help raise awareness for Kawasaki disease.

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Logan's son was diagnosed with the rare disease when he was 3 years old, and Logan said Cooper was ecstatic when he learned the mascot would be named after him.

Cooper and Cooper the Cougar happily tossed baseballs and T-shirts to the crowd.

Others who spoke at the groundbreaking, including representatives from 4 Square Construction and Management, Hellas Construction and the town of Windsor said they are excited for work to begin.

Steven Chasteen, COO of 4 Square, announced several of the businesses that have committed to coming to the park, and said solar, wind and recycled water will make the project stand out as environmentally conscious.

Its impact to the town will be positive, too, said Dan Rasher, who has done a demand study and economic impact analysis for RMSP. Rasher expects it will generate $10 million in local and statewide annual taxes.

That may be one reason the town of Windsor has been supportive of the project. Stacy Johnson, economic developer for the town, said working on bringing the project to Windsor for the past three years has been an economic developer's dream come true.

"There is nothing like this project," she said.

It was standing room only at the event, with more than 50 people watching to see the project begin at Colo. 257 and Weld County Road 74, three miles north of Windsor Lake.

But not everyone is feeling excited for the sports park. As guests to the groundbreaking arrived, two residents stood across the road holding signs, and by the time they began leaving, five protesters stood, waving at passers-by.

One, Dave Ruane, said they were all residents living close to where the sports park plans to build. One concern for him and his neighbors, he said, was RMSP hasn't approached neighbors to talk about the possible impact of the sports park.

Some neighbors of his, Ruane said, had land within the boundaries of initial drawings released in May. He and others also were frustrated by the secrecy surrounding the project and the invite-only groundbreaking.

"It's coercive," he said.

Project officials did not immediately return calls for comment.

The event came to a close with the event-goers singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and ceremonial dirt tosses by RMSP and Windsor officials, to cheers from the watching crowd.

Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez said she hopes the park will improve the lives of the youth who come to play ball games.

"Put me in, coach, Windsor is ready to be part of your team," she said.

By the numbers

Rocky Mountain Sports Park broke ground on the $225 million facility Tuesday, and according to the park’s website the following is expected to be included in the park:

» 68 fields

» 4,500-person capacity feature stadium

» Miracle Field and program for physically challenged athletes

» 5 high school/collegiate fields

» 10 youth fields

» 4 T-ball fields

» 16 tournament Baseball fields

» 16 tournament Softball fields

» 15 multi-use fields for football, soccer and lacrosse