Colorado Springs taxpayers will be off the hook for nearly $1.2 million of $3 million owed to the U.S. Olympic Committee this year for improvements to the Olympic Training Center under a revised agreement the City Council will consider today.
In exchange, El Pomar Foundation, which had OTC-related naming rights under an earlier agreement with the city and the USOC, is giving up “all naming rights” for USOC properties, according to city documents.
The USOC proposed the new agreement because revised renovation plans for the OTC “would require additional fundraising beyond the $16 million being provided by the city of Colorado Springs,” according to the minutes from the June 28 meeting of the USOC board.
“In order to enable the USOC to more effectively run its capital campaign, (USOC CEO Scott) Blackmun is recommending that the USOC forgive certain obligations under the existing agreements in exchange for the return of all OTC-related naming rights,” the minutes state.
The USOC board unanimously approved the plan, “including undertaking a capital campaign to support the budget,” according to the minutes.
The minutes don’t specify the new budget for the OTC improvements, but Blackmun told the board that “fundraising would be attainable without cannibalizing existing USOC resources or fundraising activities.”
The prestigious sports organization plans to add “several million dollars” to the project on top of what the city pledged “to make the visitor center a truly world-class facility and experience,” USOC spokesman Mark Jones said.
“We’re going to try and really boost the visitors’ experience and hopefully it becomes another thing that people come to Colorado Springs for,” he said. “We’re really excited about that.”
Mayor Steve Bach and Bill Hybl, chairman and CEO of El Pomar, signed off on the new agreement with the USOC last month, according to city documents.
El Pomar “hereby agrees to release all naming rights for the USOC properties and the USOC agrees to provide a credit of $500,000 to the City against the $3,000,000 provided in the EDA, leaving a balance for the City to provide of $2,500,000,” states a letter of agreement signed by Bach, Hybl and Blackmun.
“The USOC will give a further credit of up to $668,865 to the City based upon donations received ($330,000), obligations of the USOC on the NGB Building ($18,865), the City traffic signal (expected to be $300,000) and the Regional Building Department donation (expected to be $20,000),” the agreement states.
In 2009, the city and the USOC signed an economic development agreement in which the city agreed to build the USOC a new headquarters downtown, among other provisions, in exchange for the USOC agreeing to stay in Colorado Springs for 30 years.
In addition to that agreement, the city, the USOC and El Pomar signed an agreement to provide funding for certain improvements at the Olympic Training Center
The council will consider a resolution amending that three-party agreement today. The council meets on the third floor of City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave. The meeting starts at 1 p.m.