National Western Stock Show announces deal to stay in Denver

DENVER - The National Western Stock Show announced Tuesday a deal to keep the show in Denver and not move to a planned multi-million dollar venue in Aurora.

During the announcement, the show said its future exists in the city where it began 106 years ago. The 107th Annual Stock Show is scheduled to run January 12-27 in Denver.

"This is a wonderful day in the Mile High City," Mayor Michael Hancock said. "We are unequivocally committed to the stock show."

The show's leaders also said the City's commitment to the show and the existing facility factored into their decision.

"We hope to keep it for the next 100 years," Hancock said.

The show's CEO previously said they need to spend more than $14 million to upgrade the 100 acre facility.  That includes the Events Center, Hall of Education and stadium areas, as well as elevators, sprinklers and smoke alarms.

Hancock acknowledged the facility is antiquated and requires an update. He also suggested the future of the facility will likely include a new arena funded by taxpayers.

"We're at a moment now that's similar to where we were when it was time to look at the Broncos facility, when it was time to look at the Nuggets," he said.

Although show leaders insist the annual event is not losing money, they admit a stampede of deficiencies.

"We cannot afford the deferred maintenance that's on the complex, said Paul Andrews, president and CEO of the National Western Stock Show.  Andrews said deferred maintenance is now nearing $100 million.  

Stock Show organizers flirted with the idea of moving out towards DIA, when Gaylord Entertainment was talking about building the state's largest hotel there. That plan never got off the ground.

After nearly a year now of studying the redevelopment neighborhood issues and the stock show's business plan when compared to other shows and facilities, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority's report is due Wednesday.

The mayor said the show will stay put at its 95-acre location on Brighton Blvd. and I-70.  "But until we know what the vision is, it's hard to speculate on what it will cost and where those dollars will come from," he said.

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