The final beam to be placed into Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC's new downtown stadium gets signed on Friday at a Topping Off Ceremony attended by Mayor John Suthers. | Photo courtesy Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC reaching a major milestone in the construction of the club’s new 8,000-seat downtown stadium on Friday as the final steel beam was installed at the construction site.
Among the guests at the ceremony were Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, while fans were also in attendance during the socially distanced ceremony, watching from their cars as the piece was loaded into place.
“It's a lifelong dream,” Switchbacks FC owner Ed Ragain told reporters. “It's a family business to some degree and we've been dreaming about this project for a long, long time.”
Construction has safely continued on the venue, part of the City for Champions project throughout the city, over the course of the year. The stadium remains on track to open for the 2021 USL Championship season, and Mayor Suthers was enthused by the progress that had been made since last December’s groundbreaking at the site.
“I'm really really excited about this,” Suthers told reporters. “I'm a sports fan, I've always dreamed of a downtown stadium, I think a lot of people have dreamed about a downtown stadium. Here we are, it's getting pretty close to reality.”
Fans had received the opportunity on Thursday to sign the beam that was put into place on Friday afternoon at a socially distanced event, allowing members of the Trailheads to leave their individual mark inside the new venue.
The Switchbacks’ stadium is one of numerous current stadium projects occurring in the Championship following the completion of Louisville City FC's Lynn Family Stadium earlier this year. The Charlotte Independence are also set to open a new home in 2021 with renovations to Memorial Stadium currently ongoing, while and OKC Energy FC received approval for a new downtown stadium late last year as part of the MAPS4 initiative.
Discussions are also being held by New Mexico United leadership with local officials regarding the opportunity for a venue that would serve as a Sports & Cultural Center, while future projects including those in Des Moines, Iowa, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island could bring the Championship to those cities in the coming years.