Dozens of artists and their fans will fill the currently vacant Sportscastle building along Broadway on Saturday as part of Birdseed Collective’s annual fundraiser.
Birdseed typically holds the event in art districts around town, but this year the nonprofit decided to host more than a hundred artists and possibly six times as many guests on Broadway to help keep the Sportscastle building activated and relevant, said Thadeaous Mighell, vice president of Birdseed Collective.
Sports Authority left the seven-story, 45,330-square-foot building at the northeast corner of East 10th Avenue and Broadway empty last year after the sporting goods retailer filed for bankruptcy, closed all its stores and got gobbled up by its competitors.
Gart Properties is the longtime owner of the Sportscastle. The automotive leader Walter Chrysler modeled the building after a French castle complete with stone, parapets and a turret for a car dealership in 1925, according to Doors Open Denver. Gart Bros. Sporting Goods Co. later took over the building in 1971 and turned it into “Sportsman’s Castle” to sell skiing equipment and sporting goods. In 2003, Gart Sports Co. merged with Sports Authority, paving the way for the Englewood-based retailer to brand the iconic space.
Gart Properties has hired Denver-based Outpost Development to oversee the building’s redevelopment and ways to keep it from sitting empty until a long-term tenant is found.
“The Gart family owns a majority of properties on that block and now that Sports Authority left, there’s a lot of thoughtful discussion going on about how to best activate that property and use this as an opportunity to improve the fabric of that community,” said Adam Radcliffe, managing principal and founder with Outpost.
In addition to Denver Flea and Birdseed Collective, Outpost is “identifying other creative users to lease the space on a temporary basis,” Radcliffe said.
On Saturday, Birdseed Collective is expected to bring six bands, food, art and roughly 600 guests to the building from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased online or at the door. The money raised will go toward helping Birdseed fulfill its mission to improve “the socioeconomic climate of Denver.”
In 2016, Birdseed reported distributing 48,534 pounds of food, which amounted to 40,445 meals at a savings of $62,609 for the participants.
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