USDA and Windsor officials visit Future Legends as work continues on 118-acre sports complex – Greeley Tribune

The rural landscapes of the United States are changing as communities adapt to new economic realities.

The city of Windsor, once known for its thriving sugar beet industry, is home to a prime example of these changes, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official noted on Wednesday during a tour of the 118-mile Future Legends Sports Complex. acres.

“For viability, economic sustainability, here’s what’s happening: you see this landscape changing,” said Armando Valdez, Colorado state director of rural development at the USDA.

With more than 20 sports fields, a stadium that can accommodate thousands of people, a specialized field for athletes with physical disabilities, two hotels, nearly 80,000 square feet of retail space, an inflatable dome covering 4 acres, an esports arena and more, Future Legends is set to bring major changes to East Windsor and the region as a whole. On Wednesday, Future Legends founder Jeff Katofsky led Valdez, along with Windsor Mayor Paul Rennemeyer and City Manager Shane Hale, on a tour of the complex, which is under construction.

Valdez, who grew up on a farm and ranch in Colorado, said he’s passionate about keeping agriculture viable, but investing in rural communities by diversifying the economy is key to keeping communities vibrant. rural areas. Future Legends received a $13 million business and industry loan guarantee this month through Rural Development’s Business Programs Division.

The entrance to the stadium is seen during a tour of the Future Legends Sports Complex in Windsor on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided the project with a $13 million loan guarantee through its rural development division.

The guarantee gives traditional lenders extra confidence that they can move forward with almost no risk to them, Valdez explained. If something were to happen to a project, rural development could prevent default on 80% of the loan.

The guarantee was part of a $1.4 billion investment by the Department of Agriculture to help rural America keep resources and wealth at home through skills training, business expansion and technical assistance, according to a press release from the agency. Business and industry loan guarantees provided record investment last year.

By encouraging investment in projects like Future Legends, Valdez hopes to see a multiplier effect breathing new life into communities across the state.

“It’s not just $1 in, $1 out. We put in $1 hoping to get $3, $4 or $5,” he said. “A project like this can have a significant multiplier effect.”

Katofsky is using Jaco General Contractor, a company based in Wichita, Kansas, for the project after issues with Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Greeley. John Walker, president of Jaco, said nearly all of the project’s contractors are based in Colorado.

Keeping businesses local will continue to be a priority once the complex is operational, Katofsky said. With dormitories for the teams and on-site hotels, project officials expect to bring approximately 3,000 people to the resort during the stay-and-play tournaments. The retail space will primarily consist of restaurants, offering to those staying nearby have options beyond the typical stadium concessions.

The stadium – which will host USL League One’s Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC and the Pioneer League’s Northern Colorado Owlz – will be able to accommodate up to 22,000 fans for concerts, 6,500 for football matches and 5,500 for games baseball. A secondary stadium will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 people for football games and baseball games. The esports arena, slated to open next year, will accommodate around 1,000 people.

Two hotels will be attached to the main stadium: a Hilton Garden Inn and a Hampton by Hilton. Most will have a view of all the matches taking place inside the stadium.

Jeff Katofsky, founder of Future Legends, shows where two hotels are being built during a tour of the Future Legends sports complex in Windsor on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the project a loan guarantee $13 million through its Rural Development Division.

Valdez said the resort has serious implications for the future of recreational tourism in the region. Katofsky added that youth sports alone is a growing $19 billion industry.

One feature that will stand out is an inflatable dome that will contain a soccer field and multi-purpose courts that can be set up for eight basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts. The dome, which will be one of the tallest structures in Windsor at 96 feet tall, is a mild steel system over three layers of insulating fabric. Katofsky said the structure would hold about 9 million cubic feet of air.

The athlete dorm, which will accommodate 64 teams, will have enhanced security features including an RFID wristband, 24/7 on-site security and facial recognition – the latter of which can be disabled by parents.

“It’s exciting,” Valdez said. “The American people’s money is invested in this multiplier effect.”

Comments are closed.