Oct 22, 2021 - News

1-minute guide: Ballot Measure 2E on National Western Center arena

A ballot being dropped into the Denver skyline.

Maura Losch/Axios

Ballot Measure 2E is Mayor Michael Hancock's crown jewel in a $450 million infrastructure bond package.

What it would do: 2E would fund the third phase of development at the National Western Center campus, including a 10,000-seat arena to replace the Denver Coliseum.

  • The measure would also pay for the renovation of the Historic 1909 Building and convert it into a public market.

By the numbers: The city would use a $190 million debt issuance to fund the two projects.

  • The Hancock administration estimates the arena will account for more than 3,000 construction jobs and host 200+ events annually.
  • The public market will create 400 construction jobs and more than 1,000 full time jobs when the project is complete.

Those in favor: Mayor Michael Hancock's administration, political committees RISE Denver and Friends of National Western Stock Show, and dozens of local officials.

  • Proponents say the project will help the city recover from the pandemic. It will also bring new life to the rundown Western Center complex, turn the area into a year-round destination and benefit surrounding neighborhoods.

Those opposed: Councilperson Candi CdeBaca, who represents the district in which the arena would be built, as well as a political committee called Vote No on the Arena Bond.

  • Foes say the project will force vulnerable residents to shoulder the costs of the bonds by raising property taxes. They also suggest the arena and public market won't benefit the surrounding community or solve its long standing problems, like being a food desert.

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