Rapids Stadium Project Overcomes Major Hurdle as Commerce City Ballot Initiative 2A Passes

DENVER (11-3-04) – The phrase "Rolling into Commerce City in 2007" has taken another dramatic step toward reality as the Commerce City Ballot Initiative 2A (which approved the creation of $64 million dollars in sales tax revenue and possessory interest tax revenue bonds to fund mainly the off-site improvements surrounding the Prairie Gateway site) was passed by an overwhelming margin in Tuesday night’s election.

The final votes tally was 67.5% for the initiative and 32.5% against.

As a result of the favorable vote Kroenke Sports Enterprises and the Colorado Rapids remain on pace to open their new soccer-specific stadium the crown jewel of the Prairie Gateway project in time for the start of the 2007 MLS season.

The $64 million in bonds will be utilized mainly for the enhancements of Quebec Street from I-270 to Highway 2 widening the busy Commerce City artery from two to six lanes in certain areas and from two to four lanes in others. The bonds will also serve to widen 56th street between Quebec Street and Yosemite as well as to create new streets within the Prairie Gateway development. The improvements of other important utilities such as water lines sewer lines sidewalks landscaping and drainage improvements will also be financed by the approved bonds.

The enhancements to the main thoroughfares to the proposed site as well as all the other infrastructural enhancements will allow KSE to invest approximately another $64 million dollars into the site. That additional investment will go towards the building of the new Rapids Soccer Stadium a complex of youth soccer fields and the development of 200 acres for commercial and/or retail use.

Of the12 MLS franchises which will compete in 2005 four will play in soccer-specific stadiums with another two scheduled to open in time for the 2006 campaign. The Columbus Crew became the first MLS side to build their own stadium in 1998 with the opening of the 22555 seat Columbus Crew Stadium. Five years later in 2003 the Los Angeles Galaxy entered their new home The Home Depot Center a 27000-seat venue in Carson CA that the Galaxy will share with expansion team Club Deportivo Chivas USA beginning next season.

2005 will see the debut of the newest American soccer-specific stadium as FC Dallas will begin play in their new yet-to-be-named stadium in Frisco TX.

Both the Chicago Fire and the MetroStars are scheduled to move into their new soccer specific stadiums in time for the 2006 season. The Fire will move out of the newly-remodeled Soldier Field and into their new complex in Bridgeview IL. while the MetroStars are also expected to have their stadium in Harrison NJ ready in time for 2006.

For more information on the Rapids stadium project click here: www.coloradorapids.com/community/stadium.asp).