The Denver Coliseum was dedicated sixty years ago, on January 10, 1952, with a "Salute to Soil." We didn't see starlet June Haver, the star of that show, during our afternoon at the National Western Stock Show yesterday, but we did spot at least one down-and-dirty move by the city.
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One of the reasons Denver built the Coliseum six decades ago was because National Western organizers wanted to expand. And one of the reasons National Western organizers are exploring leaving the current complex is because they again want to expand.
Last month, the National Western submitted a business plan to the city that outlines five options, which range from staying at the current site (with many improvements) to relocating to another part of town or even another town...say, Commerce City. The National Western's lease with the city for the complex runs through 2040; discussions on the next move are just beginning.
But already, the city is making hay while the sun shines: The municipal lot behind the Coliseum, which used to be such a bargain, has raised its Stock Show parking prices to $15...on a slow Tuesday afternoon. Talk about a salute to soil! A dollar here, a dollar there...pretty soon, you've got $300 million in improvements covered!
The Coliseum, where the rodeo is held every night, has seen many upgrades through the years (although the seats pictured above are the originals). Kenny Be commemorated the last major upgrade with this January 10, 2002 Worst-Case Scenario:
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Michael Hancock celebrates Denver's status as a cowtown: Yeehaw!"