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Talk of the town

MSU Denver receives the Downtown Denver Award for its game-changing Regency Athletic Complex.

April 8, 2016

Sometimes an athletic facility is about more than just sports. It’s about transforming a community.

The Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver has done just that.

That transformation was recognized on April 7, when the Downtown Denver Partnership presented the complex with its prestigious Downtown Denver Award. For 55 years, these esteemed awards have honored organizations, projects and events that contribute to a vibrant and diverse downtown, and make a lasting impact on the Mile High City.

“This award is a testament to the vision and work that went into bringing this project together,” said President Stephen Jordan. “With support from partners in the public sector, we were able to turn a blighted plot of land into an urban oasis, restoring a pocket of the city and enhancing the health, wellness and spirit of the community.”

Additional criteria for the award included integration with the Downtown Area Plan, which aims to make Denver a more prosperous, walkable, diverse, distinctive and green city.

Among the many ways the complex addresses these criteria is by creating greater visibility for downtown Denver and bolstering the local economy. This coming May, for example, MSU Denver will host the NCAA Division II Spring Sports Festival, which will bring 1,000 student-athletes, plus their parents and fans from across the United States to downtown Denver.

Located on the south side of Colfax, across from MSU Denver’s main campus, the 13-acre complex is one of the best in Division II athletics. The site includes baseball and softball diamonds, a soccer field, eight tennis courts, a 23,000 square-foot locker room and training area plus a multi-purpose fitness trail. Yet it is so much more than just an athletic facility; it is a park in an urban desert, a place where neighborhood seniors can walk in the morning and children can develop a love for sports, teamwork and physical fitness.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony held in May 2015, Mayor Michael Hancock called the $23.6 million complex a “field of dreams” that is “a source of great pride for Denver, one that will be talked about across the nation.”

At the very least, a Downtown Denver Award should make this transformative facility the talk of the town.

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