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David Ramsey: A look at 20 years of sports at The Broadmoor World Arena

January 14, 2018 Updated: January 16, 2018 at 6:17 am
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Colorado College's Aaron Karpan, left, and Wisconsin's Jeff Dessner get tangled up against the boards in the first period at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 23, 1998. The game inaugurated Colorado College's new arena. (The Gazette file)

Elton John has played at The Broadmoor World Arena.

And so have the Tigers, the Falcons, the Avalanche, the Nuggets and a wide assortment of bullriding cowboys.

Here’s a look at 20 years of sports at World Arena.

Colorado College and hockey:

10/16/98 S- TIGERS CALGARY
Calgary's Shane Zulyniak gets to see the fans up close as he is checked by the Tigers' Aaron Karpan during first-period play at the World Arena in 1998. (The Gazette file) 

The Tigers moved from original Broadmoor World to their new and gleaming home in 1998. CC was, and remains, the World Arena’s prime sports tenant.

The move was embraced by CC hockey fans. The Tigers ranked fourth in attendance nationally in their first complete season at World Arena and have ranked in the top 10 in announced attendance every year since.

The Tigers play on an Olympic-sized ice sheet (100 by 200 feet). Despite struggles in recent seasons, CC boasts a winning percentage of over 63 percent at World Arena.

10/31/98 S- TIGERS-SEAWOLVES
Colorado College center Jon Austin goes after the puck as Alaska Anchorage's Chris Pont goes down after colliding with the Tigers' #19 Paul Johnson, during first period play at the World Arena, Saturday, October 31, 1998. Colorado College won the match 4-1. photo by Bob Jackson 

CC athletic director Ken Ralph said the new World Arena has been vital to the health of the Tigers.

“In the early to mid-1990s, I think people were wondering what the future of Colorado College hockey might be,” Ralph said. “If not for the World Arena, Colorado college hockey might have faded away. There have been some awfully good memories and some awfully good teams playing there in the past 20 years.”

World Arena has twice served as host ice for the west regionals of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. Both of the tournaments offer bitter memories for CC fans. In 2004, the University of Denver (CC’s arch-enemy) won the west regional on its way to a national title, and in 2008 the Tigers lost on their home ice to defending champion Michigan State.

Plus, the Colorado Avalanche has competed in exhibition games at World Arena. The Avs played to a packed crowd before the 2014-2015 season. Also, the U.S. women’s hockey team played against Finland in 2010.

Bull riding:

Chris Shivers will attempt to ride this bull on Saturday at the World Arena during the PBR bull riding event. If Shivers rides the bull he will win $1 million. Photo by David Bitton
Chris Shivers will attempt to ride this bull on Saturday at the World Arena during the PBR bull riding event. If Shivers rides the bull he will win $1 million. Photo by David Bitton 

Each year, the floor of World Arena is converted into a big ring to contain raging beasts.

rodeo
Darran Robertson, of Weatherford, Texas, rides a bull in the Bull Riding event Sunday during the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo at the World Arena. (The Gazette file photo) 

“Rumble in the Rocks” is an event in the Professional Bull Riders tour. It features snorting bulls that weigh 1,600 pounds, give or take a hundred, and courageous riders who defy the odds, and their health.

Bullriding is a simple, dramatic, scary struggle between man and beast.

Riders often swear that they enjoy the experience.

“The fear is there but it’s more about the adrenalin and excitement,” bullrider Pistol Robinson said. “There’s anticipation and excitement no matter what you’re doing.  There’s some fear in nearly everything. If you jump out of an airplane, you’re going to say, ‘I hope my chute opens’ but it’s just in the back of your head.”

Or, when you’re riding a bull, in the front of your head.

Basketball:

Air Force basketball Georgia Tec
The opening tip of the first ever Division I basketball game to be played at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005. The game featured Air Force vs. Georgia Tech. (David Bitton / AP Photo, The Gazette) 

Early in the 2005-2006 season, Air Force’s basketball team was on a tear, winning 14 of its first 15 games and climbing to No. 12 in the national rankings.

One of those wins was a 54-46 triumph over Georgia Tech at World Arena. The Falcons played stifling defense in front of a big crowd. The Falcons have not returned to World Arena since the win.

Also, the Denver Nuggets played preseason exhibition games at World Arena. The Nuggets competed against the Sonics in 2001, the Warriors in 2002 and the Bucks in 2004.

High school sports:

PREP BASKETBALL
The Cyclones defeated the Rams 61-60 during the Annual Rampart Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the Broadmoor World Arena. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing 

The Rampart Holiday Basketball Classic in January marked the return of high school sports to World Arena after an absence. Arena officials said they hope the Classic becomes an annual event.

In 2008, World Arena played host to the Colorado 5A basketball playoffs. In 2009, the state hockey championships were played on the same ice where Colorado College competes.

Skating:

The sport has been a staple for World Arena, which hosted the 2010 World Synchro Championship.

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