CC’s new 3,000-seat Robson Arena moves toward 2020 groundbreaking

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CC’s New Robson Arena – Exterior Entrance (note: final colors/materials not yet selected). Photo: Colorado College

Colorado College continues to move forward with the building of its own new 3,000-seat, on-campus Robson Arena, scheduled to open in 2021. According to a Sept. 18 business plan, the arena financing was estimated at about $45 million, with about $27 million of that funding from the CC community — Colorado College ($6 million) and CC donors ($21 million), with a good chunk of the donor money coming from former CC hockey player Ed Robson, Class of 1954. The remaining funding will come from $9 million in State/City tourism funds and the final $9 million from private bonds. In May 2019, CC began demolition of existing buildings on the arena site. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2020.

Robson Arena will have an NHL-size (200 x 85) ice sheet, rather than the current international (200 x 100) sheet that CC currently uses at the Broadmoor World Arena (BWA), a 7,700 seat city-owned facility that was built in 1998.  While the new Robson Arena is less than half the seating size of BWA, CC believes that moving the arena to campus will result in a better, more intimate game day experience, will accommodate the current season-ticket holder base of about 2,000 fans, as well as provide gameday seating for up to 500 CC students, who will finally be able to walk from campus to the games. Adding standing room fans on the open concourse, CC expects a sellout crowd to be in the neighborhood of 3,500 fans, nearer to the ice and with a lower-ceiling, making the building louder and more of a home-ice advantage. Robson Arena will be among the smallest arenas in the NCHC, more similar in size to the Goggin Ice Center at Miami (Ohio), a 3,000-seat facility that can accommodate up to 4,000 fans on game nights, and similar in size to many rinks in the ECAC.

Despite the smaller number of seats, CC will also be able to avoid arena rental payments, sell corporate suites, and keep more of the game day parking and concession revenues that currently are paid to the city.

Reaction to the new arena has been mixed. Die-hard CC fans and those on campus have been very excited for the new arena, citing a better game night experience, better recruiting and campus-bonding factor, while a number of other fans have expressed concerns that the building is too small to accommodate casual walk-up fans from the community, as well as plenty of parking concerns from the CC campus residential neighborhood.  Those concerns have been somewhat mitigated lately as CC has agreed to build a new two-story 350-spot parking garage adjacent to the arena. There have also been complaints about the way the Colorado College originally sold the building to the community as a practice facility, and later changed the purpose of the venue to a game night venue.

Here are some of the latest public architectural renderings of the site and arena, from CC as of March 2019.  For more information, visit this link.

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CC campus/Robson Arena (site at lower right) as of March, 2019 – Photo: Colorado College
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Robson Arena and garage footprint as of March, 2019 – Photo: Colorado College
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Robson Arena seating bowl plan as of March, 2019 – Photo: Colorado College
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Robson Arena interior plan from above as of March, 2019 – Photo: Colorado College