Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Halftime in October 2006
|Former names||Hughes Stadium (1968–2002)|
|Location||S. Overland Trail
Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
|Owner||Colorado State University|
|Operator||Colorado State University|
|Record attendance||39,107 (vs. Utah, 1994)|
|Surface||FieldTurf - (2006-present)
natural grass - (1968-2005)
|Broke ground||May 1967|
|Opened||September 28, 1968|
|Colorado State Rams - (NCAA) - (1968-2017)|
Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado; on the campus of Colorado State University. It is the home field of the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference.
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) at what was then known as Colorado Agricultural.
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 32,500 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, was natural grass for the stadium's first 38 seasons; FieldTurf was installed in the summer of 2006.
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.
This college stadium is one of the few in the nation that serves beer to spectators of legal age during football games.
New On Campus Multi-purpose Stadium (2017- )
After a nearly 2-year process including cost and financing changes, protests, community outreach, and an inter-governmental agreement with the city of Fort Collins, the $220 million 41,000 capacity on campus multi-purpose stadium began construction in May 2015.
In 2013, the university began raising funds for a ~40,000-seat on-campus facility to replace Hughes Stadium. The project was partially driven by major decreases in state funding for CSU in recent decades. As a result, CSU has been seeking to draw more out-of-state students, whose current tuition is three times that of Colorado residents. CSU president Tony Frank included the new stadium as part of this goal saying "the new facility will help build a winning football team while advancing one of the school's highest priorities: attracting more out-of-state students".
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."
Many community members expressed frustration that they did not feel they were being heard at the CSU Board of Governors meeting when final approval was given. After the vote Board chair, Dorothy Horrell, thanked those making comments for their input and reiterated her feeling that
"the decision to build an on-campus stadium was made after "thoughtful and thorough examination of this issue" that is reflected in the board's records. "As my parents used to tell me, just because I ask a question and didn't get the answer I wanted, it isn't that the question wasn't answered," Horrell said. "And I would just remind us all of that."
The new stadium, initially estimated to cost $246 million, was originally only to be built if $125 million in private funds had been raised by October 2014. Plans were put on hold after fundraising support for the project failed to materialize as expected, according to a September 26, 2014 story in the Denver Business Journal. On November 29, 2014, Frank sent a memo to the school's board of governors recommending that the new stadium be approved without raising the 50% cost in public funds as previously planned. The memo estimated that a 35,900-seat facility would cost $195 million; building with a capacity of 41,200 would cost $220 million. Frank also estimated that renovating Hughes Stadium to last 30 to 40 years would cost a minimum of $149 million. The board of governors approved a new on campus multi-purpose stadium on December 5, 2014. At that time NBCSports.com writer Brent Sobleski speculated that the hiring of Rams head coach Jim McElwain for the head coaching vacancy at Florida days earlier may have swayed the board, noting, "An improving program and a new stadium could help lure another top-level candidate like the school previously did when McElwain was initially hired." CSU went on to hire Mike Bobo from the SEC like McElwain before him. University of Georgia's Coach Bobo was named the nation's Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 2013 by 247Sports.com. Georgia also had the top scoring offense in the SEC in 2014, Bobo's last season before heading to CSU.
Construction of the new stadium began in May 2015; the official groundbreaking ceremony was held the weekend of CSU's September 12, 2015 home football game against Minnesota. Construction of the stadium is expected to take 22 months, allowing CSU to begin playing football games in the new facility in 2017.
- Denver Post - Downsizing Hughes Stadium
- MacCambridge, Michael, ed. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York: Hyperion, 2005, p. 238.
- College Football Data Warehouse - CSU coaching records - Retrieved September 6, 2009
- Topographic map & aerial photo. USGS The National Map. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- CSU Rams.com - FieldTurf installation - June 26, 2006, Retrieved September 6, 2009
- Björner, Olof (2006). "Still On The Road: 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue II".
- James, Peter (June 2003). "Warehouse Eyes - Hard Rain". Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- Bachman, Rachel (September 27, 2013). "Colorado State University Bets on a Stadium to Fill Its Coffers". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2015/05/07/colorado-state-stadium-board-governors-athletic-director/70964618/. Retrieved May 24, 2015. Missing or empty
- "Colorado State president recommends new on-campus stadium to replace existing football arena". The Republic (Columbus, Indiana). Associated Press. November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- Sobleski, Brent (December 5, 2014). "Board of Governors approve new on-campus stadium for Colorado State Rams". College Football Talk (NBCSports.com). Retrieved December 6, 2014.
- . December 19, 2013 http://m.ajc.com/weblogs/uga-sports/2013/dec/19/georgias-mike-bobo-named-offensive-coordinator-yea/. Retrieved May 24, 2015. Missing or empty
- http://espn.go.com/college-football/conferences/statistics/team/_/stat/total/sort/totalPointsPerGame/id/8/sec-conference. Retrieved May 24, 2015. Missing or empty
- White, Rob (September 12, 2015). "CSU breaks ground on new football stadium". Coloradoan (Fort Collins, CO). Retrieved September 14, 2015.
- CSU Rams.com - Hughes Stadium
- Hughes Stadium page @ ballparks.com
- World Stadiums.com - photos - Hughes Stadium