August 22, 2016

National Western Center Campus receives state grant to advance historic preservation work

Project team to explore feasibility of a year-round public market in the historic 1909 Stadium Arena

DENVER, CO –The National Western Center campus project will receive a $200,000 grant from the History Colorado State Historical Fund to study the potential adaptive use of the Stadium Arena as a year-round public food market that would promote Colorado-based products. In April, the 1909 Stadium Arena was designated a local historic landmark by the Denver City Council.

The State Historical Fund grant, which will be used to conduct a historic structural assessment and economic feasibility study, is another step in the National Western Center’s Historic Resources Implementation Plan to honor the history of the National Western Stock Show.

“Preservation has been at the heart of the National Western Center Master Plan,” said Kelly Leid, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center. “At the same time, the National Western Center has an opportunity to increase healthy food access for residents in this part of Denver by incorporating a year-round food market. We thank History Colorado for making it possible to evaluate the structural and economic feasibility of the public market in order to continue exploring this exciting opportunity.”

The State Historical Fund focuses on fostering the preservation of historic resources through grants for projects with direct and demonstrable public benefit. “We are very pleased to help fund the Master Plan and Feasibility Study for the Stadium Arena at the National Western Stock Show,” said Cynthia Nieb, Director of the State Historical Fund. “The proposed plan saves an iconic building in western history and retains its original purpose as a place to showcase champion steer, while also reinvigorating the area as a public market. It’s a win-win for the economy, heritage, and local residents who seek jobs and fresh produce.”

Reusing the Stadium Arena as a public market has become a key component of a strategy to bring healthy foods and economic opportunities to the food desert neighborhoods of Globeville, Elyria and Swansea. The arena also has the potential to offer other community-serving uses such as a restaurant, commercial kitchen, and multi-use event space.

The public market, which would serve as one of many campus attractions, will help drive an anticipated 2 million visitors annually to the 250-acre site dedicated to become the global destination for agricultural heritage and innovation. The offices of the National Western Center and Community Planning and Development will manage the project with support from a technical advisory committee.


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