Jeff Katofsky Portrait

Jeff Katofsky is the co-founder and CEO of Future Legends. Jeff is a trial lawyer with experience in real estate, business, construction, injury, corporate, finance, insurance, property and casualty, and intellectual property, as well as an entrepreneur. He owns a professional baseball team, the Orem Owlz, multiple hotels, and businesses in retail, entertainment, real estate, food, and hospitality. Jeff is a graduate of UCLA and the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. As a developer, Jeff has been the primary construction supervisor, designer, and entitlement processor for close to 100 projects. Jeff is a husband of thirty years and father of two boys.

Q: How did you get involved in Future Legends?

A: Future Legends is a dream, and something I’d be thinking about for a couple of decades now. I spent 33 years coaching youth sports, primarily baseball, but I have coached basketball, football, and soccer as well. The idea of opening a park where kids of all ages can play team sports is something that I have been trying to put together for a very, very, very long time. Future Legends is a culmination of literally decades of work and dreaming.

Q: What makes Future Legends different from most facilities?

A: Future Legends is different from all other facilities, not just most. There are several differences. The first is that it is really a place where everyone can stay and play. There are not that many stay-and-play facilities. The difference here from a stay-and-play standpoint is that we have up-to-date dormitories for the kids to stay in as a team, allowing for a bonding experience. It is such an impactful experience for all of the kids to stay together. As for the parents, they get to stay in hotels on site. The hotels are literally a hundred yards away from the dorms. While the kids are in a safe, secluded dormitory, the parents are close enough where they don’t have to be concerned, but they get a little bit of a vacation! When they’re not watching their kids play, they get to do their own thing in the hotels, bars, and restaurants. Everything is on site, so you never have to get into your car. From a stay and play standpoint, that makes it different. The other huge difference for Future Legends is that we have one of the first designated e-sports arenas on site.The final big difference, that I don’t know if anyone else can do in the country, is the mix between professional sports and youth sports. We have a professional stadium with three, possibly four, professional teams on site. Certain tournament games will be played on the stadium field, and then later that same day, the kids get to watch professionals play and meet them. The dormitory and hotels are literally connected to the professional stadium.

Q: Is the plan to have programming and events that incorporate professional sports?

A: We think that our programming will a big difference-maker for us. We will be hosting weeklong summer tournaments, and each team will play at least one game in the professional stadium. Can you imagine getting up in the morning for a game in that big ballpark, with your face up on the scoreboard and your parents up in the stands, and then not even ten hours later you get to watch a professional game in that same sport? There is nothing like it.

Q: What is the goal of Future Legends?

A: If you’re a believer in team sports, like I am, you know what it does for you as a human being. Sports teach you how to lead, to follow, to work in groups, and how to listen. There are so many studies that show that people who participate on teams and in group activities are more successful in college, work, and life. Our goal is to promote that to these children. In addition to the social aspect, there is a whole diversity aspect to this project that is so important. One thing that I have learned through being a coach for team sports is that sports are colorblind. Through sports, kids are introduced to others of different backgrounds that they may not have in their own communities. Diversity and compassion are so important to learn about at a young age. Athletes will be meeting with other athletes from all over the country, if not the world and we hope they take away important life lessons from our complex. Also, we hope to be a place of growth and development for the kids who really believe that they have a future in high school, college, and professional sports. This is another avenue of competition and training. We’ll have professionals, experts, and medics out there each week to help with training and clinics, Those who want to be successful at the next level will have a quality experience here. We really offer something for everyone to make them better and have a good time. Sports are meant to be fun and we are going to have plenty of that!

Q: Why is this project important to you personally?

A: This project is important to me personally because I have been involved in youth sports for decades. I have always been dedicated to the betterment of children. My wife and I met as camp counselors at a camp for underprivilege children almost forty years ago. It wasn’t necessarily sports-related, but we bonded over teaching underprivileged kids the same lessons that you learn through sport. Since then, we have dedicated our lives to the betterment of kids, not just our own. I have coached sports for over 33 years, and my kids are only in their twenties. I was doing it well before I even thought about having my own because it is something that I love to do.

Q: What excites you most about Future Legends?

A: One of those most exciting things is that we are building a facility that is year-round so that we can reach even more children and families. We are putting up structures that allow us to do this 365 days a year and enjoy the 300 days of great Northern Colorado weather. We have made this a family-oriented place. With dormitories, hotels, restaurants, and ice rinks just to play around in, this really is a vacation spot. This is truly a sports resort, and it something that is affordable for everyone. It’s also accessible. We chose Windsor and northern Colorado because it is right in the middle of the country. We’re less than an hour away from the Denver airport, and it is already a tourist spot, and is a great sports spot. I would imagine that families that come to Future Legends that come for a tournament would extend their stay even longer. The weather is great, people are better.

Q: What has been the most satisfying part of the process of building Future Legends for you?

A:  I think I’ll have that “A-HA!” moment the first time I sit down there and watch a tournament game being played. We’re finally getting rolling and received incredible support from the community. We have leaked out certain things over the last couple of months and have received an overwhelming amount of interest from people all over the country that want to get involved. To me, seeing how many people out there are interested in what we are doing and how we are doing it has been really satisfying.

Q: How have you pivoted your career to help build Future Legends?

A: That’s an easy one! I do have my hands in a lot of things. I am a lawyer, but I own a real estate company. I own hotels, a sports team, restaurants, and a gym, as well as operate a stadium. I have built all the pieces and over a million square feet of commercial real estate. I am in every aspect of what we’re building in this park. There is nothing that is on this site that I am not already doing someplace else. My wife says it’s the game of Monopoly and I’ve just traded in my houses for hotels. I’ve spent 40+ years as a business person, coach, dad, and husband, doing all these different things in my life. Now we are putting it all in one big 118-acre pie and calling it Future Legends. That’s really cool.

Q: What advice do you have for people who are looking to start building a venue like this?

A: At the root of it, you must be passionate. Yes, this is a business there is no question about it, but it is not just a business. You must be passionate about children, team sports, and all these separate businesses that you are putting together. Then you have to be able to take the risk financially and have the wherewithal to put together a project that costs a substantial nine-digit number. This is a long-term project, a legacy project. Someone cannot just say, “I will throw this together and people with come.” You need the right banking relationships and community support, both of which we have in northern Colorado. It is not for the faint of heart. I am certainly not the only one that can put together a project like this, there are other people doing it very well, but it goes back to passion. If you have a team of passionate people who can bring their expertise, you can build something like this. We have a magnificent team in our contractors, architects, Ryan Spilborghs, media team, Casey, and I can go on. It truly takes a community.

Q: There are so many amenities already, but do you see a vision in the future where you can add even more?

A: I think that part of it is land-based because we are using up every inch of what we have. We can accommodate pretty much any sport with our current facilities, it is just a matter of time and field space. With our indoor and outdoor fields and our esports arena, we can do just about anything. If we were ever to expand, it would be adding more dorms and fields so that we could have a higher capacity and more tournaments. Our dorms can handle sixty-four teams, but I can see a point down the line where we would need to double. We have the space to add another wing in the secured area in the future. We also may need more hotel rooms. We’re building 246 to start and we have another facility where we can build another one hundred. My expectation is that some of the landowners adjacent to us will build some extra amenities as well. It would be smart for them and I think it will happen. I think you’ll see that city really starts to grow. If we’re the seed, watch the whole lawn grow.

Q: What do you hope athletes and families take away from their experience at Future Legends?

A: Smiles and memories. We’re moving quickly to get this thing build, we’re really proud of it. We cannot wait to see you next year in 2021. Come visit us!

Written By: Ashley Kavanagh

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