The flagship building and the primary entertainment destination at the National Western Center.

The Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center and the National Western Center Authority have proposed that funding for the arena and rehabilitation of the 1909 Stadium Building be included in the 2021 Denver GO Bond. Read on to learn what’s proposed. 

ABOUT THE ARENA 

  • A modern event venue  
  • Designed for live music, family entertainment, sporting events, expos and more 
  • Thousands of short- and long-term jobs 
  • Envisioned in the 2015 National Western Center Master Plan, but not funded
  • Fact sheets: The Arena (PDF)  |  la Arena – en español (PDF)  

The proposed 10,000-seat arena fills a gap in the metro area for an indoor venue of its size.

CULTURE & COMMUNITY IN A MODERN VENUE 

Located near I-70 and Brighton Boulevard, the arena will be a new and modern venue to showcase and advance arts and culture in Denver, and transform the visitor experience for events currently held at the 70-year-old Denver Coliseum.  

The 10,000-seat arena fills a gap in the metro area for a venue of its size, particularly for indoor, winter concerts to complement Denver’s many summer venues.  

A new arena could host events like the Denver March Powwow, high school tournaments, and National Western Stock Show rodeos.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY 

The arena represents an investment in our local communities and our region. Its construction is expected to yield 4,500 jobs over the next three years, and will provide new opportunities for local and small businesses — all in line with Denver’s workforce and M/WBE equity targets.  

In the long term, the arena will create economic opportunities for myriad businesses and good-paying jobs for thousands of residents.  

The arena would be a new and modern venue that would transform the visitor experience for events currently held at the 70-year-old Denver Coliseum.

PARTNERSHIP AND COMMITMENTS 

The National Western Center and the partners (City and County of Denver, the National Western Stock Show and the CSU System), are committed to the full vision of the campus. Building the arena is a major step toward campus completion. Funding the arena will create a modern community and cultural asset, create jobs, and deliver on the promise of the National Western Center.  

 

FAQ

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Isn’t the National Western Center project already funded?

In 2015, Denver voters approved ballot measure 2C to fund construction of the first phases of the campus, underway now. Later phases on the southeast side of the campus, which include the future arena, have always been contingent upon the availability and timing of future funds. 

The arena and other public assets were to be built as part of a public-private partnership (P3), for which procurement had begun in 2019 and 2020. However, as a result of COVID-19, the city cancelled the procurement. Tourism tax revenues would have been used to support the P3, but those revenues are not expected to overperform at pre-pandemic levels for years to come; therefore, City and County of Denver officials felt timing was inappropriate to commit the city’s general fund dollars to this delivery method.  

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What role does the arena play on the broader National Western Center campus?

The new arena is envisioned to be the flagship building and the primary entertainment destination on the campus. It will be the biggest source of supporting revenue for the campus, making other future campus assets possible, and active. For example, frequent activity at the large arena will drive the success of the future public market. The public market will rely on activity and foot traffic from the arena. 

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Why does Denver need this arena?

The arena will transform the visitor experience for events currently held at the 70-year-old Denver Coliseum — such as the National Western Stock Show rodeo, the Denver March Powwow and Colorado high school sports — while drawing all-new events from around the world and our own backyard. Its construction and long-term operation will create positive economic impact in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, the city of Denver as a whole, and the region.

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What benefits can neighbors in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES) expect from the arena?

Its construction is expected to yield 4,500 jobs over the next three years, and will provide new opportunities for local and small businesses — all in line with Denver’s workforce and M/WBE equity targets.  

In the long term, the arena will create economic opportunities for myriad businesses and good-paying jobs for thousands of residents.  

Once open, the arena is expected to be the greatest source of funding for the National Western Center’s Community Investment Fund, benefiting the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. 

Design and planning for the arena would include community engagement. 

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Is this project shovel-ready?

A market analysis, feasibility analysis, concept design, and infrastructure master plan are complete. Concurrent site work is underway on the campus. Design and construction of the arena could begin relatively quickly.

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What would it mean for the Stock Show, its rodeos, and its regional economic impact?

The new arena will draw nearly 300,000 rodeo attendees in January alone, driving NWSS’s economic impact to the region well beyond its current $100+ million annually.

The Stock Show is in desperate need of a new arena to stay competitive in the world of rodeo and livestock shows. The competition is fierce across the nation; a new arena can solidify the NWSS rodeo as one of the best in the nation at a top-notch facility. According to NWSS leadership, the arena, coupled with the public market, would more than secure the future of the NWSS for generations to come.

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How does it contribute to Denver's recovery?

Funding the arena aligns with Denver’s broader economic recovery strategy following the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and addresses many of the 2021 Rise Denver GO Bond priorities. It is a strong recovery project that supports the city and the state.  

  • Bring back and enhance lost jobs. Create jobs. Creates short-term construction jobs and long-term operations jobs.  
  • Strengthen small-business and nonprofit growth and resiliency. Opens the door to small business opportunities and workforce development opportunities — specifically training and hiring for those in our under-resourced communities here in Denver. 
  • Revitalize Denver’s neighborhoods through targeted community support. In addition to creating jobs, the arena will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the campus, along with the economic impact that creates.  
  • Accelerate public investment. The arena and the public market, working together, will further the mission and vision of the publicly-funded campus in an economically sustainable way. 
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Has the feasibility of this arena been studied?

Yes. Click to view a feasibility study that includes analysis of a proposed arena and other topics.

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