‘IT WILL BE A PLACE FOR ALL TO GATHER IN CELEBRATION’

‘IT WILL BE A PLACE FOR ALL TO GATHER IN CELEBRATION’

BY TONY PHIFER

STARTING IN FALL 2017, the sights and sounds of college football – cheering crowds, bands playing, alumni tailgating – will be reverberating across the Colorado State University campus for the first time in 50 years.

Construction of a new on-campus, multi-purpose stadium has begun. The $220 million, state-of-the-art facility will include suites, club and loge seating, and many other fan amenities unavailable at aging Hughes Stadium.

New director of athletics Joe Parker will be part of a team spearheading construction and fundraising for the stadium. Parker, hired in April, has extensive experience in facilities fundraising, including the massive project to renovate storied Michigan Stadium.

“We had a stadium that served our needs for 50 years, but something we’ve almost deprived ourselves of, because the stadium hasn’t been on campus and tied to our academic core, is the opportunity to achieve that higher level of engagement with our students, alumni and fans,” Parker said. “In 2017, that’s going to be immediately resolved.”

The stadium – with a capacity for 40,000 fans and designed to accommodate future expansion – will be home to Rams football and women’s lacrosse, a sport being added in the near future. In addition to serving as the primary home of CSU athletics, it will house 85,000 square feet for academic space and a new alumni and welcome center.

When completed, the facility could host as many as 300 annual events, including graduation ceremonies, concerts and community gatherings.

“Looking ahead two years to fall 2017, and the vision of an on-campus stadium, I get very excited when I think about all the possibilities that will be available to our community,” said Blanche Hughes, vice president

for student affairs. “The stadium will serve not only CSU students, faculty and staff, but the entire Fort Collins community. It will be a place for all to gather in celebration … not only for athletic events, but for so much more.”

CSU President Tony Frank, who first proposed building the stadium more than two years ago, and Parker pledged to work with neighbors and other community groups to iron out any potential conflicts. Frank also worked to forge an Intragovernmental Agreement with the City of Fort Collins to mitigate issues associated with the stadium’s construction.

For more information, visit stadium.colostate.edu.

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