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Winter Highlights: # 3 Colorado Springs’ Sports EcoSystem Booms in 2017 and Beyond

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As the headquarters location of the U.S. Olympic Committee for nearly 40 years, home to 23 National Governing Bodies of Olympic Sport and U.S. Paralympics as well as the future home of the nation’s only U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, there was little need for evidence that Colorado Springs is Olympic City USA.

But the year past raised further the city’s reputation and boosted its growing sports ecosystem to new heights.

The economic impact of the Sports industry in Colorado Springs is estimated at $420M annually. Approximately $215M of that can be attributed to the presence of the Olympic movement.

“This was a remarkable year for professional and amateur sporting events held in Colorado Springs – truly one of the best ever in terms of economic impact, media exposure and community engagement” said Doug Martin, Chief Operating Officer of The Sports Corp and Co-Chair of the Chamber & EDC’s Sports Economy Team.

Here are some specific impacts of the sports industry in Olympic City USA

  1. The ground-breaking for the U.S. Olympic Museum earned thousands of media impressions and drew a crowd of over 200 to the south end of Vermijo St. The Museum is projected to draw 350,000 visitors annually* and its future opening has spurred development in the area SW of downtown.
    (*2013 Feasibility Study)
  2. The Colorado Classic cycling event drew 240M+ viewers via television and digital broadcasts. The event featured 17 Olympians and nine national champions. Race-affiliated travelers accounted for 2,520 room nights in local hotels.
  3. Colorado Springs hosted Stage 7 of the inaugural Mavic Haute Route Rockies on June 30. The 415 cyclists that participated in the event were treated to some of Colorado Springs’ most iconic spots including Garden of the Gods Park, Old Colorado City, Blodgett Peak and Rock Ledge Ranch.
  4. The NFL’s New England Patriots trained at the Olympic Training Center prior to the team’s trip to Mexico City.
  5. The fourth annual Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack saw record attendance with more than 7,136 fans at the Colorado Springs Airport. Spectators enjoyed watching 267 competitors roar down the runway while breaking numerous U.S. and World Records. The event was seen via live broadcast by 1.58 million viewers.
  6. The 95th Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a June highlight in the Pikes Peak Region. As America's second oldest motorsport race, the PPIHC celebrated its 101st Anniversary with a field of fast competitors from across the globe. Fan Fest, held on June 23, brought more than 30,000 racing fans to downtown Colorado Springs to meet with some of the world's top drivers and riders, and see their autos and motorcycles.
  7. The Sports Corp helped continue the 41-year tradition of a balloon festival in Colorado Springs with the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off. Working with Hot Apple Productions and Rainbow Ryders, this event saw a record number of spectators with 165,000+ attendees over Labor Day weekend in Memorial Park.

And coming in 2018 …

1. The 2018 Olympic Downtown Celebration 

Tejon Street & Pikes Peak Avenue will welcome as many as 30,000 people from 5-10 p.m. on Friday, February 9. The celebration is a city-wide event that is FREE AND OPEN to the public to celebrate the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea and the 2018 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams.  Eric Heiden, the greatest speed skater in history, will light the Olympic City USA cauldron. 

"I am honored to appear and light the Olympic Flame or the PyeongChang Winter Celebration in Colorado Springs," said Heiden. "I remember my own Olympic experience as an athlete on home soil fondly. I never lose that special feeling when the Winter Games come around, so, I look forward to a slice of that Olympic spirit in Colorado come February."

2. U.S. Senior Open
Golf will take center stage in Olympic City USA June 25- July 1, 2018 with the return of the U.S. Senior Open. The field will feature some of golf’s biggest names among its field of 156. The championship will be broadcast in over 100 countries, giving 20 hours of live exposure to Olympic City USA. As thousands of spectators are expected to descend on Colorado Springs, locals will have the opportunity to get up close and personal as the tournament will recruit 2,500 local volunteers.  http://2018ussenioropen.com/about-the-18so.htm

3. The Warrior Games – 800 combat veterans from all five branches will descent on Colorado Springs June 2-8 as the Air Force Academy hosts the Warrior Games. Including traveling parties and support staff, we estimate approximately 2,000 visitors will come to Colorado Springs. Projections from the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau predict the event will generate $2.5M in economic impact.

4. Haute Route, the world’s most prestigious multi-day event series for amateur cyclists, is coming back to Colorado in 2018 for the second edition of the Mavic Haute Route Rockies. Taking place from June 23 – 29, 2018, the seven-day event features an epic climb over 14,000 feet to the summit of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain. Colorado Springs will serve as the host city of the seventh and final stage on June 29. More than 400+ cyclists from all over the world will participate.