ICON Venue Group has been retained as a consultant by Colorado State University to help study the feasibility of an on-campus stadium at the university and to coordinate additional public engagement opportunities.
Denver-based ICON’s portfolio includes 30 stadium and arena projects around the globe, including Colorado venues such as the Pepsi Center, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, 1st Bank Center and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The firm will serve as a consultant to CSU’s Stadium Advisory Committee on issues such as design, funding, site analysis, stakeholder engagement and more.
“ICON has deep experience overseeing complex stadium projects, including landmark venues in Colorado, and their input and counsel will be invaluable as we examine whether to move ahead with a new stadium at Colorado State,” said Amy Parsons, vice president for University Operations and co-chair of CSU’s Stadium Advisory Committee.
In January, CSU President Tony Frank created the Stadium Advisory Committee, a 15-member panel with representation from student, faculty, staff, alumni and community stakeholder groups, and asked members to recommend by the end of the semester whether CSU should consider pursuing construction of a new stadium. Charging the committee to work in a thoughtful, inclusive and transparent manner, Frank has also set out a series of guidelines that must be met if the stadium project is to move forward.
• CSU won’t consider putting the stadium on existing open green space, including the intramural fields.
• CSU won’t consider putting the stadium in front of significant existing view sheds to protect views of the mountains.
• All recommendations from the Stadium Advisory Committee must take into serious account any impact on neighbors in areas adjacent or near a new stadium.
• State appropriation, tuition, fees or taxes will not be considered as funding sources for a stadium project.
ICON was selected through a competitive process and will be paid with private dollars. Key criteria for selecting a consulting firm were expertise in complex, public construction projects – including experience with stadiums – as well as a proven ability to support the committee and its subcommittees with research, data and analysis.
In the last 14 years, ICON has been project manager for nine new arenas, including Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Phoenix and Denver. They have produced and delivered venues for franchises in every professional sports league totaling more than $4 billion.
Principals on the CSU project team include Tim Romani, ICON president and chief executive officer, and Ray Baker, who serves as chairman of the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and has served on the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
ICON’s public engagement strategy will build on the independent work of the Center for Public Deliberation, which was tasked by the Stadium Advisory Committee with conducting an initial series of 10 public forums designed to gauge public sentiment surrounding the on-campus stadium proposal.
As part of the next step in the public input process, ICON will consult with CPD and the Stadium Advisory Committee to create additional engagement opportunities.
“The CPD has worked as an independent facilitator to truly get a big-picture sense of the sentiments, concerns and interests that people on all sides of the issue are feeling at this early phase of the stadium discussions,” Parsons said. “ICON will take what we’ve learned from that and help us drill down into the details, a task which will require additional public insights on specific pieces of the proposed project. Ultimately, all of these individual facets will provide the baseline for whatever recommendation our committee will give to President Frank at the end of this process. We are committed to a thorough, open and transparent process that considers all questions and implications that come forward.”