Big (Possible) Plans for Stock Show Complex

A feasibility study released this week suggests a new arena and livestock stadium for the National Western site, but the price has yet to be determined.

May 14 2014, 11:10 AM

A feasibility study on improvements to Denver’s National Western Stock Show complex makes some mega suggestions for gussying up the old site near Interstate 70.

The study, released Tuesday amid years of questions about the stock show’s future, imagines massive upgrades to the area near Interstate 70, including a new 10,000-seat arena, a 5,000-seat livestock stadium, and a 350,000-square-foot exhibition hall that supporters say would make Colorado more competitive in a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

The cost? Well, that’ll take some time. A master plan and a budget are expected to be completed by the year’s end, the Denver Post reports.

In addition to replacing the 62-year-old Denver Coliseum with a fixed-seat arena—complete with 40 suites—and eliminating the 105-year-old Stadium Arena for a spiffier outdoor facility, the study proposes boosting the 16-day stock show to 23 days, which planners estimate would bring overall attendance from roughly 750,000 to 920,000 people annually. That, planners have said, could be worth as much as $180 million in additional revenue each year.

The study, the Post says, also proposed adding a ballroom, meeting space, and technology upgrades to the Colorado Convention Center. In a press release, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock hailed the feasibility study as a way for the city to “think holistically about its current facilities to continue growing our convention and tourism business. The recommendations made by the study could help strengthen Denver’s position as a global city as well as a desired convention destination that would generate local and regional job growth for years to come.”

Proposals over the stock show complex have been ongoing for years as the stock show and the city figure out how to make the area more financially viable. While the idea of a revamped stock show—and goodies for an Olympic bid—could put a spotlight on Denver internationally, we’ll hold off on the excitement until we see the price tag.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock