Fort Collins exploring options for large-scale sports complex

FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins officials are in the early stages of exploring options to build a potentially multi-million dollar sports complex to draw regional and national sports tournaments.

A city-commissioned report, reviewed by the city’s Economic Advisory Commission today, is only conceptual and doesn’t include any possible locations to build. But it does indicate the city’s interest in securing a cut of a growing sports tourism market.

Technavio, a London-based market research firm, expects the global sports tourism segment to grow by 36 percent over the next five years as demand for amateur and professional events rise.

Huden Strategic Partners, the firm that authored the report, suggests either complex would give Fort Collins a stronger draw for regional and national tournaments.

One of Huden’s scenarios includes a 90,000-square-foot building with eight volleyball and basketball courts, which is estimated to cost around $27.8 million. The report also explores attaching a 97,900-square-foot indoor fieldhouse to host winter training and offseason tournaments for young players.

A facility of that size could compete with Power 2 Play Sports Events Center in Windsor and the Gold Crown Foundation to host large-scale tournaments in the region.

The other scenario is a 16-diamond baseball and softball complex that can be converted into senior and youth-size turf fields. That complex could range between 80 to 90 acres if built and is estimated to cost around $26.9 million.

The report says the Fort Collins Soccer Complex and Rolland Moore Park have space to host outdoor sports that use grass fields, but the complex lacks lighting, and Rolland Moore lacks the support amenities needed to draw organizers. It also noted only the Northside Aztlan Community Center has more than two indoor basketball courts, which all but eliminates Fort Collins from hosting basketball or indoor volleyball events.

Triple Crown Sports, a Fort Collins-based event manager that produces hundreds of sports events across the U.S., told the report authors the city isn’t living up to its potential as a tourist 

attraction because it lacks the sports facilities and the hotel spaces during the summer to host regional or national tournaments.

“Fort Collins offers everything organizers and families are looking for in a sports destination, including nature, recreation, attractions, restaurants and infrastructure. The only thing it lacks are appropriate event facilities and lodging options,” the company said.

Triple Crown suggested the baseball and field complex would likely be the best of its kind in Colorado and draw weekend events for up to 20 weeks out of the year. However, the report said Fort Collins could lose some of that economic benefit to nearby communities if hotel capacity doesn’t increase to accommodate extra visitors in the summer months. 

Denver-based representatives from USA Volleyball said an indoor facility would be consistently used by Front Range-area clubs during the week and one-day weekend tournaments throughout the year.

In the report, Amateur Athletic Union’s basketball wing said the Denver market isn’t a major destination for NCAA scouts in the first place, so it’s unlikely Fort Collins would host a national high school event. However, the organization did say an eight-court complex could pull middle school-level club tournaments for up 15 to 20 weekends over the course of a year.

FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins officials are in the early stages of exploring options to build a potentially multi-million dollar sports complex to draw regional and national sports tournaments.

A city-commissioned report, reviewed by the city’s Economic Advisory Commission today, is only conceptual and doesn’t include any possible locations to build. But it does indicate the city’s interest in securing a cut of a growing sports tourism market.

Technavio, a London-based market research firm, expects the global sports tourism segment to grow by 36 percent over the next five years as demand for amateur and professional events rise.

Huden Strategic Partners, the firm that authored the report, suggests either complex would give Fort Collins a stronger draw for regional and national tournaments.

One of Huden’s scenarios includes a 90,000-square-foot building with eight volleyball and basketball courts, which is estimated to cost around $27.8 million. The report also explores attaching a 97,900-square-foot indoor fieldhouse to host winter training and offseason tournaments for young players.

A facility of that size could compete with Power 2 Play Sports Events Center in Windsor and the Gold Crown Foundation to host large-scale tournaments in the region.

The other scenario is a 16-diamond baseball and softball complex that can be converted into senior and youth-size turf fields. That complex could range between 80 to 90 acres if built and is estimated to cost around $26.9 million.

The report says the Fort Collins Soccer Complex and Rolland Moore Park have space to host outdoor sports that use grass fields, but the complex lacks lighting,…