Switchbacks FC’s future stadium has something old, something new, some things borrowed and something blue.
The new stadium being built southeast of the intersection of Cimarron and Sierra Madre will keep the name of the old stadium, Weidner Field, on the east side of Colorado Springs. The name was announced at a celebratory event at the construction site Wednesday.
“The decision to keep the moniker ‘Weidner Field,’ was really because of our very strong attachment to the Switchbacks’ brand. It really starts with the people,” said Greg Cerbana, vice president of public relations for Weidner Apartment Homes.
“We do think it will bring new fans to the park.”
The relationship between the Switchbacks and Weidner Apartment Homes started with a jersey sponsorship and developed into naming rights at the previous stadium. The partnership developed into something of a marriage ahead of the downtown stadium’s opening. Weidner Apartment Homes’ investment helped the downtown stadium become bigger and better than the original plans.
“We had a very tight budget when we got started and we were going to create a stadium that functioned properly. We were going to hit the numbers that we had to hit, and we were going to function like we needed to function,” Switchbacks club president Nick Ragain said. “When it comes to form, that was something that we were going to let the (Olympic) museum and other people around us do because we didn’t have the budget. But as we developed our relationship with Weidner Apartment Homes … it’s more than double the original schematic design budget-wise. What we’re doing today is really special.”
Wednesday’s event also allowed the Switchbacks to borrow some mementos from fans and supporters. A four-foot hole in the middle of the to-be-placed turf served as a time capsule. Cerbana tossed in his Weidner Apartment Homes pin. Ragain was going to leave the coffee cup he’s used on a daily basis in his office. Construction workers left a signed helmet with more things to be added as the event progressed.
“That’s going to be my story when that slide tackle, or whatever event happens, right at midfield,” Ragain said. “It’s all about stories.”
The plan is for the new stadium — adorned with the club's new, brighter blue logo — to be the scene of many future stories. Concerts and other events are being planned for the stadium, which is still on pace to open in early March.
“This is just another great milestone for the city and a milestone for City for Champions,” said Bob Cope, economic development manager of the city of Colorado Springs.
“This is one of the anchor, catalytic projects.”
Cerbana said Weidner Apartment Homes owns a lot of the available land around the area, which will be developed with a variety of uses.
“This stadium is going to be an anchor for a great entertainment district in this area where it will be surrounded by apartments and food and dining and beverage and shopping. It will be a destination place here in southwest downtown,” Cerbana said.
“Weidner Field. We’re all in and we hope to see you guys here on opening day.”