DENVER - Denver’s National Western Stock Show is known as the “Super Bowl” of stock shows and Mayor Michael Hancock wants to make sure it stays that way.
On Tuesday, he released the results of a feasibility study which calls for major improvements to the National Western Complex.
“What we build today will create Denver’s tomorrow,” he said. “Signature development projects will strengthen our economy, create jobs and improve neighborhoods.”
The study, which looked at the livestock industry and the NWSS’s main competitors around the country, recommends new facilities to generate year-round use, including:
- A new multi-purpose 10,000 seat Arena with up to 40 suites
- A new multi-purpose 5,000 seat concrete floor Livestock Stadium Arena
- Re-creation of the Stock Yards with modern flexible pens
- A new Equestrian Complex with multi-purpose Events Center, Arena, Barn, Covered Exercise Area and Flexible Exhibit Space
- New Exposition Hall with 350,000 leasable square feet that could house an Olympic Speed Skating Oval.
The 10,000 seat arena would be build north of I-70 and would replace the coliseum, which would be repurposed for other uses.
The mayor said the improvements will enable the Stock Show to maintain its place as the top stock show in the country.
When asked how much it’s going to cost to draw up a new master plan and rebuild the stock show grounds, Hancock said, “We don’t know yet.”
He said that’s the next step, to come up with a plan and put a price tag on it.
“We owe it to the public to be responsible and to have some sensible form and ideas that we can take to them and say ‘here’s what we want to do, here’s the cost and here’s the plan to get there.’”
“It’s critical because we are the fabric of what Colorado is,” said Paul Andrews, President and CEO of the National Western Stock Show. “Generations of Coloradans have come to the show. People from forty-two states come every year to show their livestock in the Super Bowl of livestock shows.”
Andrews told 7NEWS that a revamped complex that’s tied in with the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, Brighton Boulevard Corridor Redevelopement, I-70 reconstruction and RTD station development would have a $200 million a year economic impact.
He said the improvements would allow the National Western to better compete with facilities in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas. He also said it would help position Denver as a top destination for large national horse and livestock events.
Mayor Hancock said it would be a major project requiring cooperation from many groups including the neighborhoods, CDOT, RTD, the business community and the Stock Show itself.
Councilwoman Judy Montero cited the recently completed Union Station project as an example of what can be “accomplished when we all work together.”
Richard Scharf of Visit Denver talked about marketing a redeveloped Stock Show Complex with the Colorado Convention Center.
“If we do nothing,” he said, “we risk losing business.”
Back in 2012, the National Western Stock Show announced a deal to keep the show in Denver and not move to a planned multi-million dollar venue in Aurora. The Stock Show started in Denver 108 years ago.