The Rocky Mountain Sports Park – Major Changes to Windsor and Severance

Officials break ground for the Baseball/Softball Sports Park near Windsor

On Tuesday afternoon, October 24, participating officials broke ground for what will be the world’s largest sports park. 3 miles north of downtown Windsor, the park will focus on baseball and softball, with 65 fields fit for toddlers through collegiate athletes. But baseball and softball won’t be the only games in town when the sports park opens its gates. Shawn Logan, the director of marketing for the project, reports the 12 fields will be multipurpose, also targeting soccer, lacrosse and football.

“In Colorado, there’s just not enough fields for youth,” he says. “There are waiting lists for kids to play. The big push will be for international and U.S.-based tournaments.”

Hence, Rocky Mountain Sports Park includes a fourplex dedicated strictly to T-ball fields. There are 16 tournament-ready fields apiece for baseball and softball, 10 youth fields and five diamonds suited for high school and college games.

High season will be Memorial Day through Labor Day. A facility fact sheet predicts more than 80,000 hotel room nights will be filled annually over the 14-week tournament season and more than 100,000 visitors are expected per year.

Much of the construction will be the work of Hellas Construction, Inc. out of Austin, Texas, a company specializing in sports and stadium construction. Hellas advertises solar power, LEED credit, 100% organic infill and recycled water. Of particular interest is the Matrix turf, constructed of Geo Plus, an organic infill alternative made from 100% environmentally friendly materials consisting of coconut fibers and cork. Geo Plus, with a full sprinkler system, reduces surface temperatures by up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit through resisting heat absorption and retaining humidity in a cooler field. Geo Plus also increases foot stability and is highly permeable.

Project manager, Steve Chasteen and his wife, CEO Emily Chasteen, owners of 4-Square Construction & Management, LLC, proudly advertise themselves as a Native American owned company.

The project is the brainchild of Mike Billadeau, a local coach and umpire. Former Colorado Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs will serve as a liaison to bring in professional and college ballplayers to instruct youth.

The project is expected to cost $225 million dollars, and provide over 250 jobs in the first phase of construction. The site will cover 489 acres,  and provide 68 fields. The highlight of the project will be the 10,000 seat stadium. There are plans for an athlete’s campus with dorms where all visiting teams will stay. Retail shops, restaurants and hotels are in the long-term planning goals for the site.

There are those opposed to the project. One of the protestors, Becky Ruane comments: “I understand that many feel the need for this kind of park. However, I am giving this as close to a zero as I can because the PEOPLE in charge of this project are not who I want as a Neighbor. They have bullied property owners to tears. They have a “deal with it” attitude. They have made NO effort to communicate with their new neighbors, much less WORK with them to address concerns (and there are many). To date, this whole thing has been handled callously and unprofessionally.”

Her husband, Dave Ruane adds:  “The neighborhoods include Northwest Estates on the North, Roth and Alexander Estates on the West, and Soaring Eagle on the East. There is also the new Home Ranch Estates in the center that is hugely impacted. The traffic, artificial lights, and noise are the major concerns at this time, as well as property values and quality of life in this country feel area… there are so many other places that are more suitable for a project like this…”

The first phase of planned construction includes the “stadium district,” with developers aiming for a fall 2018 completion. The second phase of the park includes all of the other playing fields ready by spring 2019. The park is privately funded.

 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the balanced coverage NFN!

    Here are some additional reasons why this project should be very concerning to Windsor and the surrounding communities:
    -The lack of experience the stakeholders have in a project like this.
    -The way these stakeholders have treated landowners in and around the ever-changing borders of this park proposal. I look forward to hearing about some of the planned land purchases that apparently have “fallen through”
    -the lack of communication with landowners and surrounding neighborhoods – they think it is OK to say “call us” rather than being proactive and sending out letters or arranging meetings. Even oil & gas develpoment have more respect for surrounding neighborhoods than RMSP!
    -they even published a map on May 30 that turned homes into parking lots without even trying to contact those homeowners
    – The inner turmoil they appear to be having within their own ranks – the “founder/president/director of ops” was apparently ousted even before the groundbreaking!
    – The location: Seriously – the Harmony Road Corridor is a thruway – not a place for a “tourist destination”. It is already a mess and they still show the same size roadways in their maps.
    – The impact of artificial lights and noise on surrounding neighbors and neighborhoods appear to be of no concern to these guys. They have even told homeowners that asked – :”you cannot do anything about the noise and lights because of the zoning” and something about 2am!
    – The impact of traffic and parking to the neighboring neighborhoods and communities like Severance appear to be of no concern to these guys. (I watched two near collisions occur for people trying to enter their ‘invite-only’ groundbreaking). BTW, why was the groundbreaking “invite-only” and why did they post a Windsor Police Officer at the entrance?
    – The lack of permits thus far…
    – Their primary contractor is an out of state (Casper, Wyoming) company (they cannot even use local service providers??)
    – The open-ended support they are getting from city of Windsor. The mayor was unaware and even denied that there were homes within the border of their May 30 published map! Is the city planning on using taxpayer money to rebuild the infrastructure for this project? Are they planning on buying it when it becomes apparent it is failing (my guess is that will occur within the first 5 years).
    – The low to mediocre response to the project on social media. I know photographers that get more followers in a shorter amount of time than these guys! Does this reflect the real interest of the project?
    – The confusion that this is somehow a “community” project for kids – kinda like a Parks & Rec department at a city. It is NOT – it is a commercial, for-profit, pay-to-play sport park!

    So many more reasons that I am aware of and will certainly become evident in the next few months. I guess it is easy to spend overpaid baseball players’ surplus money, but that doesn’t make this project a good thing for the community. I do agree with the mayor that this project “will forever change the face of Windsor” – but more like a nasty scar…

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