The Prairie Gateway development is a joint project of Kroenke Sports Enterprises and Commerce City that will include a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, two regulation size soccer fields and up to 20 practice fields. Additionally, the site will contain the new city offices of Commerce City, retail development and a visitors center that will serve as the entryway to the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Refuge and the offices of the US Fish and Wildlife service.
2. What is the cost of the project?
The project is budgeted at $131 million and will include construction of the stadium, playing fields and infrastructure improvements such as roads.
3. Who are the principles behind Prairie Gateway?
Prairie Gateway is being developed by Kroenke Sports Enterprises - owner of the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, NLL Colorado Mammoth, Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Altitude Premium Consulting, Opera Shop production services group and co-owner of the AFL Colorado Crush and Universal Lending Pavilion - and the city of Commerce City, Colorado.
4. How much will taxes increase to pay for the complex?
Commerce City residents will pay no additional tax. All costs are being paid by Kroenke Sports Enterprises or through issuance of bonds that do not require taxpayer subsidy.
5. Is all financing in place for the stadium complex?
The finance plan is in place in the form of a unique public-private partnership between Kroenke Sports and Commerce City. Final plans are contingent on voter approval of a Commerce City bond issue this November.
6. Who is contributing to stadium complex cost?
Kroenke Sports and Commerce City will nearly split the cost of the project evenly with KSE and Commerce City providing roughly $65 million each. A number of other entities have or may contribute including Adams County Open Space, Great Outdoors Colorado, the city of Denver and a number of foundations and developers.
7. Is voter approval required to build the complex?
Yes and no. While the city council of Commerce City already has approved the development, voters will be asked to approve the bonds Commerce City will use to fund improvements such as roads that will be required in building the project.
8. Where is the project located?
Prairie Gateway is located nine miles northeast of downtown Denver in Commerce City. It is a little more than a mile north of the intersection of I-70 and Quebec Street.
9. Is this type of complex unique in U.S. soccer?
While a "soccer-specific" stadium is not a unique idea - the Columbus (Ohio) Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy MLS teams both play in new stadium complexes - the Prairie Gateway complex will be the largest in the United States.
10. What is the most convenient way to reach the stadium?
The Prairie Gateway site is less than two miles north of Interstate 70 in northeast Denver. It is also close to I-225 and 270. It is near RTD's Stapleton Transit Station and Commerce City Park & Ride stop.
11. Who will own the stadium?
Commerce City will own the stadium. Kroenke Sports will operate the venue.
12. Who can use the stadium facilities?
The stadium will be rented to interested parties by Kroenke Sports. The practice fields will be available to a wide variety of youth and adult sports leagues.
13. Will the stadium be used for other events?
Yes. The venue will be suited for concerts and other sporting events such as youth lacrosse and other outdoor sports.
14. Does Kroenke Sports receive any tax break for building the stadium complex?
Kroenke Sports does not specifically receive any tax breaks for building the stadium. Kroenke Sports does plan to utilize development incentives - such as guaranteeing bonds issued by Urban Renewal Authorities - in order to piece together the sizable amount of money needed to complete Prairie Gateway.
15. How many jobs will this bring during the construction?
The construction of the stadium may provide as many as 500 jobs over the next two years. Development of the entire parcel may take up to 10 years so those construction and development jobs may continue in some form for most of the next decade.
16. How does this stadium fit in with the other Denver sports venues?
Denver sports fans have long embraced new venues as a means for improving the city's sports culture and Denver is one of an elite few cities to have built a new football and baseball stadium, multi-purpose arena, and state-of-the art college facility within the past decade. A soccer specific stadium should provide numerous options for improving the sport, and developing youth programs in Colorado.
17. What is the impact on neighborhoods near the complex?
18. What is the project's timetable?
Preliminary designs for the site and stadium should be made public in late 2004, with groundbreaking for the stadium taking place in Spring 2005. The stadium will be completed in time for the opening of the 2007 Colorado Rapids season. Other phases of the project will be developed over the next 10 years.