Joining 22 Olympic national governing bodies already based here, USA Ultimate announced last week it would return its headquarters to Colorado Springs after being in Boulder since 2002.
Starting Jan. 9, the organization and its 18 full-time employees will occupy 7,500 square feet of office space in Colorado Springs' northwest sector, sharing the USA Triathlon building. The site is near a cluster of other national governing bodies, including USA Basketball, USA Volleyball, USA Wrestling and USA Cycling.
Ultimate (often referred to as Ultimate Frisbee) is a seven-on-seven field sport that's growing in popularity. USA Ultimate's spokesman Andy Lee explains in an email that it combines the endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football. It's played in more than 80 countries by an estimated 7 million people.
"Ultimate is not currently an Olympic sport," Lee says via email. "But USA Ultimate recently became a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and our international federation, the World Flying Disc Federation, is formally recognized by the [International Olympic Committee]. The sport does have Olympic aspirations, but that is [a] long-term goal."
USA Ultimate said in a news release that the move was made possible by the "generous support" of El Pomar Foundation. The foundation gave the organization $50,000 to facilitate the move, said Lori Bellingham, El Pomar's director of communications.
The city, Regional Business Alliance, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and the USOC all helped provide space for the sport, and "the excitement around the City for Champions (C4C) project" was key in its decision, said Sports Corp. CEO Tom Osborne in the release.
"Having USA Ultimate relocate to Colorado Springs is a perfect example of the byproduct of C4C," Osborne said.
The move resulted from a competitive search and bid process. Details of what Colorado Springs offered were not disclosed, but the news release said support from community organizations and the idea of bolstering USA Ultimate's alignment with the Olympic movement were factors.
"This announcement continues to further validate and strengthen Colorado Springs' position as the top sports economy in the nation," Tom Neppl, chairman of the board of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, said in the release.
USA Ultimate was founded in 1979 and is the largest flying disc organization in the world. It had been located here for a decade before moving to Boulder.
Besides the move here, USA Ultimate also noted it inked a four-year broadcast deal with ESPN to air major events.