Fireworks go off as Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC leadership and guests performed the ceremonial groundbreaking for the club's new 8,000-seat stadium on Saturday evening. | Photo courtesy Isaiah J. Downing / Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC have won 59 games since joining the USL Championship for the 2015 season.
Saturday night, though, was the biggest win in the club’s history.
With Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, City Council President Richard Skorman and USL Chief Operating Officer Justin Papadakis on hand the Switchbacks broke ground on a new $35 million, 8,000-seat stadium in downtown Colorado Springs that will be competed for the 2021 season.
“This day is a culmination of a lot of hard work and effort,” Switchbacks President Nick Ragain told the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Amanda Hancock. “It’s a big win. In the sports business, we’re all about winning. Tonight, with those shovels in the ground, that is a win.”
The facility will be a multiuse stadium that will also host concerts and other sporting events. The venue is already slated to host the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships in December 2021. Part of the bigger City of Champions project – which is also set to include an indoor arena on the campus of Colorado College – the new stadium is part of a bigger regeneration occurring around Colorado Springs.
“Colorado Springs has an incredible amount of momentum,” Suthers told the Gazette. “This stadium, beginning in 2021, will be a big part of it.”
“When you think about what we have, it’s a downtown we’ve never had before,” added Skorman. “This is the center. This is going to be the heart.”
As the Switchbacks enter a new era under former USL Championship Coach of the Year Alan Koch in the 2020 season, the club’s sustained growth in the stands since its launch is set to continue as it prepares to move into its new home, bringing a new identity to the city it calls home.
“The city of Colorado Springs really doesn’t have a sports culture,” said Ragain. “This is a historic moment to bring professional sports downtown and having the city adopt the Switchbacks. Us being downtown is more than us putting up a stadium here. It’s the city saying yes to the Switchbacks and saying yes to professional sports.”
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC welcomed Mayor John Suthers, City Council President Richard Skorman and USL Chief Executive Officer Justin Papadakis for the official groundbreaking on its new 8,000-seat stadium, scheduled to open in 2021.
Appreciate @EdRagain and @nickragain for including @TrailheadsSG members in the Festival of Lights parade with @SwitchbacksFC and Greg Cerbana of @WeidnerAptHomes for inviting us to join them after at Coquette’s Bistro for a celebration. Great night and exciting times ahead! pic.twitter.com/g5iRCEm8A0— Annie Coffman (@AnnieCOSPGS) December 8, 2019