Nov 4, 2021 - Politics
Hancock administration charts course for post-election Denver
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver voters may have vetoed Mayor Michael Hancock's plans for a new arena at the National Western Center — but he's far from finished with fighting for the pricey project.

State of play: Following 2E’s defeat on Tuesday, Hancock's administration will go "back to the drawing board" to find another way forward," the mayor's chief of staff, Alan Salazar, tells Axios Denver.

Context: Local voters in 2015 approved a ballot measure to fund a massive overhaul of the National Western Stock Show complex with tourism tax dollars, the first two phases of which are underway.

  • But after a pandemic-induced nosedive in Denver's tourism revenue, development plans that included the arena were put on hold.
  • Hancock had hoped that if voters approved 2E, the projects left in the backlog, including the center, could be paid for in the near term.
  • But now his administration will need to find new funding sources to bring the arena to fruition.

What else: The Denver City Council plans to look at numerous "ballot reform" issues in 2022 to ensure voters aren't met with "unnecessarily confusing" questions at the polls, at-large Councilperson Robin Kniech tells Axios.

  • The move is a reaction to referendums with "reverse wording" intended to repeal council ordinances, such as ballot measure 2F, which aimed to overturn the city’s group living amendment.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to show Mayor Hancock plans to continue pursuing a new arena following 2E’s defeat (not 2F’s defeat), and to clarify the purpose of the City Council’s planned ballot reforms.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found

Denverpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more