Colorado College, in partnership with Colorado Springs’ City for Champions initiative, has unveiled a proposal to build the Edward J. Robson Arena as an on-campus competition arena. If approved, this new facility with 3,000 permanent seats would become the home of CC Tiger Hockey.
The arena would be comparable in size to the arenas of colleges and universities that have similar numbers of students and Division I hockey programs. The venue, proposed for the block bordered by Nevada Avenue and Cache La Poudre, Tejon, and Dale streets, would provide many firsts: For the first time since the program’s founding in 1938, the CC hockey team would be able to play games on campus. Students, coaches, staff, faculty, and local fans would be able to walk to attend practices and games. Student athletes won’t have to leave campus for practice and competition, giving them more time to focus on academics. And for the first time, the entire on-campus community would be able to gather in one indoor location.
Robson Arena was originally planned to be a practice venue. Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler says the city’s investment through City for Champions, as well as commitments from a number of donors, has allowed the college to envision a multi-purpose, sustainable, state-of-the-art competition venue that would benefit both the college and the city.
“Thanks to this partnership and the generosity of donors including alumnus Ed Robson ’54, the George Lyon family, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and others, the college is moving forward with this ambitious project,” says President Tiefenthaler. “We’re grateful to the City of Colorado Springs for partnering with us and supporting this hockey arena, which will greatly benefit both the college and downtown.”
With support from donors, and if the City for Champions initiative is approved, CC will have received more than $28 million in commitments toward the approximately $39 million arena.
Colorado College joined the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, a member of the United Soccer League, in making the announcement on July 25. The Switchbacks also unveiled plans for a new outdoor stadium on the southwest side of the city during the announcement. The next step in the project is presentation of the business plan to the Colorado Economic Development Commission at its meeting in September.
Robson Arena would be unique in size and scope, easy to manage and maintain, and optimized for high-level athletic competition due to its comprehensive sports-medicine facility, in-house TV production capability, flexible floor space, and experienced staff.
The arena, which would have about half the number of seats as the hockey team’s current home, The Broadmoor World Arena, is part of CC’s master plan that was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees in 2015. The multi-purpose arena would offer a wealth of opportunities not only for Colorado College, but also for the Colorado Springs community and the larger Pikes Peak region. The venue could host regional, national, and international events in partnership with the USOC and related governing bodies, further enhancing Colorado Springs’ vision to become America's Olympic City.
This proposal, along with the recent alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and CC’s leadership role with Pikes Peak Community College, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and the United States Air Force Academy on the Quad Innovation program, underscores the college’s commitment to enriching the Colorado Springs community while providing further opportunities for CC students.
As with Colorado College’s recently renovated Tutt Library, the largest carbon-neutral, net-zero energy academic library in the United States, the new arena would further CC’s commitment to sustainable design.
“Colorado College is dedicated to enhancing Colorado Springs’ vibrant city center,” says Susie Burghart ’77, Chair of the Colorado College Board of Trustees and a resident of Colorado Springs. “Robson Arena, and the college’s recent alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, are enhancing downtown development and creating a variety of events and experiences for both the college and the city.”
The new venue would help strengthen CC’s ties to the community while improving access for student athletes as well as students, faculty, and staff attending games.
“We are thrilled to partner with the city on this important project. This is a game-changer for both Colorado College and downtown Colorado Springs,” says Colorado College Director of Athletics Ken Ralph. “This is one of those rare circumstances where it is a win for all involved.”
“This is an exciting day for the Colorado College hockey program. To be able to walk across the street to see the Tigers play not only benefits our players, but our students and faculty,” says CC Hockey Coach Mike Haviland. “Personally, I cannot wait for our players to compete in an on-campus arena; that is what collegiate athletics is all about.”
Tiger hockey would continue to be played at the Broadmoor World Arena until the new facility is completed. Colorado College would handle all operations, scheduling, and maintenance for Robson Arena.
“The Broadmoor World Arena has been a wonderful home for CC hockey for more than 20 years and we will forever be grateful to the El Pomar Foundation for facilitating the construction of that arena. It will be very exciting for the community to have two outstanding venues in the city,” says Ralph.
“I believe our fans will be proud of this collaboration, which will enhance their experience in downtown Colorado Springs and at future Colorado College hockey games,” says Haviland.
A recent economic impact study, “Colorado College’s Economic Impact: 2011-2016,” conducted by Samuel Ayers ’18, who worked with Pedro de Araujo, vice provost and associate professor of economics, concluded that the college’s annual impact on the area results in $166 million in revenue annually. If approved, CC’s partnership with the City for Champions initiative would elevate that amount significantly.