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Nov 28, 2017

Plans for Big Expansion of Large Stock Show in Denver Moving Ahead

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More than 80 percent of the land needed for a sweeping redevelopment of the National Western Stock Show site in downtown Denver has now been acquired.

For most of the past year, officials with the Western Stock Show Association have been planning for an extension of the National Western Center, which will include a new event pavilion, stock yards, and both equestrian and livestock centers.

In 2015, Denver voters overwhelmingly approved the extension of an existing sales tax, forecast to generate over $673 million for the project. At the time of that vote, the estimated price tag for the Western Stock Show facility expansion was pegged at $856 million.

The rest of the money was expected to come from the State of Colorado, as well as the Western Stock Show Association itself.

But association officials have since reduced the estimated cost of the project by $100 million, largely by discarding a proposed parking garage.  Plans now call for parking spaces to be incorporated into the new event facility.

An annual event since 1906, the National Western Stock is kicked off with a parade through downtown Denver that includes hundreds of horses, cowboys and cowgirls, tractors, bands, and floats.

The show itself, with its emphasis on rodeos, horse shows, and agricultural and cooking displays, attracts upwards of 700,000 visitors.

Plans call for an eventual 250-acre campus, which will be home to a year-around education and event facility, as well as an agricultural innovation center.

 

By Garry Boulard

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