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.
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“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
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.