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DENVER (CBS4) – The National Western Stock Show Complex has been a fixture in Denver for more than a century, and plans for a vast overhaul of the facility are becoming more clear.

A partnership between the City of Denver, Colorado State University and other organizations on the $1.5 billion project revealed on Tuesday that the new National Western Center will be used year round.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The project will take years to complete, and if all goes as planned the end result will pay off not just for the National Western Stock Show, but the entire Denver area. It will create a global destination for agricultural heritage and innovation.

National Western Complex (credit: CBS)

National Western Complex (credit: CBS)

The larger space will encourage the stock show to grow, and CSU will have a huge presence in the project. The university plans to build an equine sports medicine facility and water resources center.

Renovations include a new livestock and equestrian center, a redesigned stockyard, as well as the restoration of historic buildings.

National Western Complex artist rendition (credit: studio7g.com)

National Western Complex artist rendition (credit: studio7g.com)

Developers say the designs are flexible, and will allow for programs the complex couldn’t accommodate before.

“It’s a place where we’re going to bring urban and rural interests together to start solving some really complicated issues around food systems,” said Kelly Leid, the executive director of the Denver Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

According to the master plan, CSU and the Western Stock Show Association will fund 40 percent of the initial project cost. Taxpayers are making the biggest investment, as the city will contribute upwards of $622 million.

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