We end 2017 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Football Stadium Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #7: The opening of Colorado State Stadium.
After hosting the Colorado State Rams for 48 years, the curtains closed on Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in 2016. The Rams opened a brand-new football facility just in time for the 2017 season to rave reviews. Our own Zach Spedden wrote about the new Colorado State Stadium in August, noting that two VIP areas had sold out season memberships and all 36,500 seats were sold for the home opener. The project was slated to cost upward of $220 million.
The new stadium was not only received well by the community, but by football fans as well. Numbers were staggering compared to the previous season in the older stadium. The Coloradoan reports that CSU averaged 32,065 fans for its six games, which is a school record. Luxury suites and loge boxes were all sold out with contracts ranging from three to seven years contracts. Memberships to the New Belgium Porch and Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies Field Club sold out, and season ticket sales were up 40%. According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, the Rams only sold out two games in 2016 and those were the first since the 2014 season. Prior to that, 2006 was the last time Hughes Stadium was sold out.
With such success with the new Colorado State Stadium, what will happen to the football program’s old home, Hughes Stadium? It will be demolished, with the intention of eventually either selling the property or entering into a long-term lease of the site for future development
But for now, the future is bright for the new Colorado State Stadium with plans to use the stadium year-round. The facility will also host various community events, according to the Denver Post. Prior to the first football game, Colorado State had already hosted 20 events and plan on hosting free concerts during the summer called “Stadium Sessions.”
The Colorado State Rams played in the played in the New Mexico Bowl against Marshall losing 31-28 on December 15 but it hasn’t put a damper on the future of Rams football with season tickets for next year already being put up for sale.
Rendering courtesy Colorado State University.
Previously in our Top Ten Stories of 2017 List: