World’s largest sports park coming to Windsor, creators hoping to revive the game of baseball | SummitDaily.com

World’s largest sports park coming to Windsor, creators hoping to revive the game of baseball

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

A $225 million sports park, described by developers as "the world's largest of its kind," will be built on about 413 acres of land three miles north of Windsor just off Colo. 257, organizers announced today.

The complex is expected to include 65 fields, including a major-league size baseball park with a 10,000-person capacity, five high school/collegiate fields, 10 youth fields, four T-ball fields, 16 tournament baseball fields and 16 tournament softball fields, 12 multi-use fields, and an additional 207 acres for commercial development.

"It will be the most advanced facility in the world, but with a throwback feel to it," said Mike Billadeau, the president and director of operations for Rocky Mountain Sports Park.

The town of Windsor and Rocky Mountain Sports Park announced the plan in a Tuesday morning press conference at the Windsor Town Hall. The sports park will be built on the northern edge of land annexed into Windsor at Colo. 257 and Weld County Road 74, three miles north of the Windsor Lake.

Rocky Mountain Sports Park

Ryan Spilborghs, a former Colorado Rockies player and sports broadcaster, serves as the vice president for RMSP, and Billadeau said he and others involved in the project hope it will help revive people's love of baseball.

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The complex will include an indoor training facility that could be utilized year-round.

"You'll have two complete infields, six hitting lanes, six pitching lanes and other training rooms geared towards those sports," Billadeau said.

A stadium will be built to MLB standards, Billadeau said, with 10,000 spectators able to watch games. Developers acknowledge they hope to find a minor league team to use this stadium. A "Miracle Field" will also be built for players with disabilities.

Shawn Logan, the director of marketing for RMSP, and Billadeau said they hope to hold tournaments in the complex, which will also include space for commercial development. With the possibility for hotels to build on the land, Billadeau said, families will be able to stay nearby if their children participated in the tournaments.

About 207 acres will be available on the property for commercial development, added Stacy Johnson, the director of economic development for the town of Windsor.

Hotels, shops and restaurants could be built on the site with the sports complex, which Johnson said would keep more dollars local to Windsor.

"We're looking to be an ultimate stay and play," Logan said.

Tournaments will be held from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Logan said, and he hopes families will be able to follow the students who play in the tournaments and then spend their time and money in Windsor.

"We want them to be able to come, watch baseball, watch their team, and then enjoy great retail," he said.

Why Windsor

Colorado is central in the United States, and near many other states where baseball and softball are common, Logan said.

With an international airport nearby, and national parks and Denver, teams could also venture outside the sports park, Billadeau said, making the location ideal for the sports park.

"Colorado is America's playground," he said.

Logan, of Windsor, said although baseball is popular in northern Colorado and in Windsor, choices of where to play are limited.

"Here in Windsor, we have so much baseball, we don't have the fields to play," he said.

The town also offers more to visitors than baseball, Billadeau said.

"Windsor has that small town feel that goes to the core of what baseball is," he said.

The town of Windsor, both agreed, has been working to help the complex come to the town as well, to help "put Windsor on the map."

Community Impact

Billadeau and Logan said they hope area students will utilize the complex, especially because options in Windsor are currently limited.

"We don't really have anything here" Logan said.

During the winter, when tournaments are no longer underway, Billadeau said Spilboroughs' connections may allow for opportunities for clinics and training in the indoor training field.

"We want to build baseball back up again," he said.

Because the land was initially slated for industrial development, Johnson said she is also hopeful residents near the complex will be excited for the baseball fields and retail.

According to Logan, the sports park will create more than 50 full-time jobs in the first phase of the project, with additional seasonal employees and the opportunity for employment after retail develops.

RMSP hopes the park will bring more than 100,000 annual visitors and more than 80,000 hotel room nights in a 14-week tournament season.

What's next

Logan said the project is expected to start construction between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1 this year, with the completion of the first phase in the fall of 2018, which will include the indoor training facility geared to baseball and softball. The final phase, Logan said, is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.

The second phase will include the rest of the fields, all built with artificial turf to cut down on watering and increase "playability," Billadeau said.

"There's nothing like this in the world," he said.

Rocky Mountain Sports Park

For more information about Rocky Mountain Sports Park, visit http://www.rmspark.com.