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Nov 4, 2013 8:19 PM by Andy Koen

Report slashes state share of City for Champions funding

COLORADO SPRINGS - There has been a financial setback for the proposed City for Champions development deal. A third party evaluation of the plan substantially lowers projections for the number of tourists who might visit the state to come see a new US Olympic museum or take in a Sky Sox game downtown. The difference amounts to roughly $50 million less in state money to back the $218 million project.

City for Champions spokesperson Doug Price said the evaluation left out a critical part of the proposal, a sports medicine center at UCCS, because the details were supposedly too vague. Price said the city plans to give the evaluators additional detailed information to help bolster their request later this week.

"We just really think that they've missed some things, but the beauty of this process is we have until Friday November the 8th to respond," Price said.

The application asks for $82 million in Regional Tourism Act funds from the state. The remaining $136 million would be paid for by city funds and private investment. However, the third party appraisal recommends just $31 million in RTA funds be given to the project.

City Councilman Joel Miller, a vocal critic of the proposal, said there are better ways to spend city money.

"In a time when we have a billion dollars of backlogged capital infrastructure projects, that we should spend 125 million - however we do it, however it's financed, whatever creative means that we come up with - it's not the time to do it."

The city has until Friday to make changes to their bid.

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