Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium

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Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
October 28, 2006 - CSU vs. UNM at halftime
Halftime in October 2006
Former names Hughes Stadium
Location S. Overland Trail,
Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
Coordinates 40°33′44″N 105°8′30″W / 40.56222°N 105.14167°W / 40.56222; -105.14167Coordinates: 40°33′44″N 105°8′30″W / 40.56222°N 105.14167°W / 40.56222; -105.14167
Broke ground May 1967
Opened September 28, 1968
Renovated 2005
Owner Colorado State University
Operator Colorado State University
Surface FieldTurf - (2006-present)
natural grass - (1968-2005)
Construction cost $2,800,000
Architect Aller-Lingle Architects
(2005 renovation)
Capacity 32,500 (2009-present)[1]
34,400 (2005-2008)
30,000 (1969-2004)
Record attendance 39,107 (vs. Utah, 1994)
Tenants
Colorado State Rams - (NCAA) - (1968-present)

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Larimer County, Colorado. It is the home field of the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference.

Hughes Stadium opened in 1968 on the west edge of Fort Collins, four miles (6 km) west of the school's main campus. It replaced the old Colorado Field, a 12,000-seat on-campus stadium.[2]

Hughes Stadium sits in a natural oval bowl, with seating on three sides and an open grass berm (not open for seating) behind the south endzone. The west (home side) stands are expanded out of the bowl and capped by a press box. The stadium is named for Harry W. Hughes, the head coach for 31 seasons (1911–41), then known as Colorado Agricultural.[3]

The playing surface itself was named in 2003 in honor of then head coach Sonny Lubick. The winningest coach in school history, Lubick led the Rams for 15 seasons (1993-2007), winning six conference titles and nine bowl games.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 34,400 with club seats and 12 luxury suites, completed in 2005. The playing field, at an elevation of 5,190 feet (1,582 m) above sea level,[4] was natural grass for the stadium's first 38 seasons; FieldTurf was installed in the summer of 2006.[5]

The first game at Hughes Stadium was played on September 28, 1968, a 17-12 loss to North Texas State, led by Mean Joe Greene. From October 1989 to August 1991, the Rams won eight consecutive games at the stadium, a school record.

Bob Dylan recorded the NBC television special and live concert album Hard Rain at Hughes Stadium during a rainstorm in May 1976.[6][7]

This college stadium is one of the few in the nation that serves beer to all spectators of legal age during football games.

Potential replacement[edit]

The university is currently raising funds for a new 40,000-seat on-campus facility to replace Hughes Stadium. Somewhat paradoxically, the project is partially driven by major decreases in state funding for CSU in recent decades. As a result of this, CSU has recently sought to draw more out-of-state students, whose current tuition is three times that of Colorado residents. Current CSU president Tony Frank has pitched the new stadium as part of this goal, believing that a winning football team would lead to more applications from out-of-state students.[8] According to The Wall Street Journal,

Skeptics, including some alumni and faculty, see the project as a boondoggle—especially for a team that plays in a relatively low-profile athletic conference and doesn't sell out its current 32,500-seat stadium off campus. The debate has sparked dueling websites, animated letters to the editor and arguments about the role of sports at a university.[8]

The new stadium, estimated to cost $246 million, will only be built if $125 million in private funds is raised by October 2014.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Denver Post - Downsizing Hughes Stadium
  2. ^ MacCambridge, Michael, ed. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York: Hyperion, 2005, p. 238.
  3. ^ College Football Data Warehouse - CSU coaching records - Retrieved September 6, 2009
  4. ^ Topographic map & aerial photo. USGS The National Map. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
  5. ^ CSU Rams.com - FieldTurf installation - June 26, 2006, Retrieved September 6, 2009
  6. ^ Björner, Olof (2006). "Still On The Road: 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue II". 
  7. ^ James, Peter (June 2003). "Warehouse Eyes - Hard Rain". Retrieved February 19, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c Bachman, Rachel (September 27, 2013). "Colorado State University Bets on a Stadium to Fill Its Coffers". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]