Prep basketball tourney fills major void in events held in Broadmoor World Arena

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Photo - The Broadmoor World Arena has come full circle. The original Broadmoor World Arena was opened in 1938 on the grounds of the Broadmoor Resort & Hotel. The arena was the original home of the Colorado College Tiger hockey team and the world reknowned Broadmoor Skate Club. In 1994, the arena was torn down to make way for expansion of the hotel. The Colorado Springs World Arena was opened in 1998. In April, the Colorado Springs World Arena and the Anschutz Entertainment Group struck a deal that resulted in renaming the landmark venue. Workers Michael Islas and Luis Novoa (left to right) work to hang the new sign for the new name, the Broadmoor World Arena, on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
The Broadmoor World Arena has come full circle. The original Broadmoor World Arena was opened in 1938 on the grounds of the Broadmoor Resort & Hotel. The arena was the original home of the Colorado College Tiger hockey team and the world reknowned Broadmoor Skate Club. In 1994, the arena was torn down to make way for expansion of the hotel. The Colorado Springs World Arena was opened in 1998. In April, the Colorado Springs World Arena and the Anschutz Entertainment Group struck a deal that resulted in renaming the landmark venue. Workers Michael Islas and Luis Novoa (left to right) work to hang the new sign for the new name, the Broadmoor World Arena, on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)

Just in time for its 20th birthday, The Broadmoor World Arena is celebrating a milestone with perhaps a milestone event.

The historic building has played host to a wide variety of events since opening its doors Jan. 18, 1998, on the city's southwest side, from big-name rock and country concerts to family events and plenty of sports.

Just not high school sports. Not in nearly a decade, anyway.

So when the Rampart Holiday Classic sets up shop on the newly minted Tom Falgien court Thursday, it will do so with a concerted effort to revitalize a missing event from over the years.

"We hope to make this an annual event for us," said Dot Lischick, the venue's general manager. "Between The Broadmoor World Arena and Pikes Peak Center, we've funded more than $1 million in youth and community events. For our 20th anniversary, we wanted to bring a basketball tournament to the arena. It seemed very fitting since the tournament always involves schools in the Colorado Springs area."

The event features both programs from Rampart High School, Colorado Springs Christian School, Pueblo West and Fruita Monument. Games go Thursday through Saturday.

Three-day passes ($25 for reserved, $22 for general admission and $12.50 for students) and single-seat tickets ($10 reserved, $8 general admission and $5 student) can be purchased online at BroadmoorWorldArena.com

The last high school basketball event held in the World Arena took place in 2008 at the 5A round of 16 playoffs, held on back-to-back days. One year later, the state hockey championships shared the same stage as Disney on Ice and Colorado College hockey, among others, before heading north to other sites.

And the move happened merely by chance, the right person in the right place hearing a conversation about any potential of the World Arena being able to host a high school tournament.

Megan Leatham coached the girls' team at Rampart for four seasons before becoming the executive director of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2014. She just happens to work down the hall from Tom Osborne, the chairman and president of the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., who one day pondered about a high school tournament at the World Arena, perhaps during the holiday season.

The rest is history.

"We weren't necessarily looking to move it, but when the opportunity came, we definitely chased it to make it happen," said Rampart athletic director Andy Parks, who has overseen the event on campus the previous four years. "Megan heard folks in her office talking about the desire to host a tournament in the World Arena. I've always thought it would be a great event to host and showcase what they have and their new floor (named after Falgien, a local legendary coach and administrator). I'm sure it will be an exciting tournament and hope to be back."