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Folsom Field

Aerial View

  Venue Particulars  
Address Colorado Avenue
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone (303) 492-5317
Seating Weather
Satellite View
Buffalo Gear
  Venue Resources  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Boulder

  The Facility  
Date Opened October 11, 1924
Major Renovation 1956, 1967, 1968, 1976, 2003
University of Colorado
(University of Colorado)
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction $65,000
Former Names Colorado Stadium
Capacity 53,750
Luxury Suites 41 Suites
Club Seats 1,961
  Other Facts  
Tenants Colorado Buffaloes
(NCAA) (1924-Present)
Population Base 2,300,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport Denver International Airport
Retired Numbers #11 Bobby Anderson
#24 Byron White
#67 Joe Romig

Championships 1st

Sources: Mediaventures

December 11, 2001

BOULDER - The University of Colorado has selected its architect and construction companies for the first major change to Folsom Field in more than 12 years, as the addition of suites and club seating will begin next spring.

The joint venture firm of Shaw, Turner and Sink Combs Dethlefs has been awarded the bid to build the expansion to Folsom. The project includes 1,961 club seats and 42 private suites (18 seats per box, with six additional tickets for each box available) that will be erected on top of the east side of the stadium. No current stadium seating in the stadium will be eliminated when the new state-of-the-art structure is built.

The east concourse will remain open in a limited way for the 2002 season, and the design and construction plan will allow for the uninterrupted use of offices and shops located on that side of the stadium, which spans four levels. In fact, one of the most important criteria in selecting the winning bid was how to limit disruption for the occupants of the east side of Folsom, including dedicated personnel and shift hour work.

"We're excited we now have a firm date to put a shovel in the ground to begin this project," CU Athletic Director Dick Tharp said. "And we're equally excited that the first step in the facilities part of Athletics 2010 will soon be underway."

The target budget during programming for the project was $41.9 million, but the winning bid came in at $35.8 million. "This allows the flexibility for the university to add additional suites and to upgrade amenities and still remain within the target budget," said Doug Hatfield, a principal partner of Shaw Construction. "For example, if we can build extra suites, that will mean additional revenue for the athletic department. I feel we can put in some features that will make this as good as any facility in the country."

Ground will be broken next April (2002), with major construction to begin in June. The target date for completion is in time for CU's home opener of the 2003 season (September 6) against UCLA. The addition of 2,483 permanent seats will increase Folsom's capacity to an all-time high of 53,425 when completed. The structure will match the campus architectural theme, a northern Italian, rural Tuscany influence, with the varicolored sandstone and red-tiled roofs to match the other 200-plus buildings on the Boulder campus.

The construction of the Dal Ward Athletic Center, also designed by Sink Combs Dethlefs, at the north end of the stadium following the 1990 season was the last major addition to the stadium complex. But the last major building project that affected stadium capacity came in 1968, when the six-level press box structure was built, and one year after the running track was removed to add 6,000 seats in the lower bowl, it increased Folsom's capacity to just over 51,000 at the time. Other facelifts through the years, i.e. silver and gold bleachers replacing wooden ones, the addition of a yellow concourse retaining wall and the removal of old rickety bleachers from the northeast corner bounced the capacity between the previous all-time high of 52,005 and its current number of 50,942.

Folsom, believed to be one of the 12 oldest stadiums in the country, was dedicated on Oct. 11, 1924. Originally called Colorado Stadium, it first seated 30,000, the name change came in 1944 to honor former coach Fred Folsom's career. The 15,000-seat upper deck on the east side was added in 1956.

The schematic design received unanimous approval last Friday from the University's Design Review Board, and the project had been previously been approved by CU's Board of Regents. Turner was the major builder of Invesco Field at Mile High, among several other stadiums nation-wide. Shaw is well known and respected locally and recently redesigned CU's trophy display area in the Dal Ward Center.

Folsom Field, named after legendary University of Colorado Coach Frederick Folsom, opened for the 1924 season and has been the home of Buffs ever since. This will be the 80th season the Buffs will play their home games on the “hilltop,” and the 400th game in the stadium’s history took place in 2002.

Colorado owns one of the nation’s best all-time home records, and in the previous 79 seasons of play at Folsom, the Buffaloes are 268-126-10, a winning percentage of .676.

The stadium was dedicated on October 11, 1924, as Colorado defeated Regis College, 39-0. It actually was the second home game of the season, as CU closed out playing at Gamble Field the week before with a 31-0 win over Western State.

It originally was called Colorado Stadium, the name being changed to Folsom Field in 1944 following Folsom’s death. In addition, old 24th Street was also changed to Folsom Street to honor the man who coached Colorado teams three different times totaling 15 years between 1895 and 1915. His 76.5 winning percentage (77-23-2) is still tops among all coaches ever at CU.

CU had played its games at Gamble Field for two decades, where seating was limited to temporary bleachers.

In the winter of 1923-24, CU President George Norlin studied the possibility of a new stadium, as the approaching completion of a sparkling new gymnasium (Carlson Gym), the inadequate number of seats at Gamble Field (roughly 9,000) and the growing interest in physical education and intercollegiate athletics demanded that a remedy needed to take place soon.

Investigation of a natural ravine just east of the site of the gymnasium as a site for the new stadium, suggested by professor Whitney Huntington, was not only a convenient location, but by using it a great expense could be avoided. After a financing plan was worked out, CU's own construction department began moving dirt with a steam shovel on January 14, 1924.

The new structure had an original capacity of 26,000, featuring wooden bleacher seating over cement, and quarter-mile running track. A California red wood, dipped in creosote, was selected as the initial material, as estimates at the time put a lifetime of around 13 years for the wood. There were 22 sections divided by radial aisles installed, the same set-up in the lower bowl that still exists today.

Accounts at the time put the cost of the stadium at around $2.60 per seat, instead of $10 had concrete been used; the total cost was $65,000. By comparison, the cost to construct Carlson Gym was $350,000.

With expansion in mind when originally built, it was by design rather easy to add an upper deck. In 1956, Folsom Field's capacity was upped to 45,000 when a second deck was erected around two-thirds of the stadium. Some 6,000 more seats were added in 1967 when the running track was removed and the team dressing facilities were constructed at the north end of the field.

Improvements continued, as the gigantic six-level press box facility was added on the west side for the start of the 1968 season. It also serves as the home for CU's Flatirons Club, a group of donors who financially support the athletic program.

In the summer of 1976, Folsom Field had another face-lift, as the wooden bleacher seats were removed and replaced with silver and gold aluminum bleachers, expanding the stadium to a capacity of 52,005.

The renovation of CU's team house in the summer of 1979 took away a few seats, changing the capacity to 51,463. The construction of the magnificent Dal Ward Center in 1991 added new bleacher seating in the north end zone and increased the capacity to 51,748. In 1992, the addition of a yellow concourse wall on the southeast side took away a few hundred seats, and corporate boxes (in 1995) lowered the capacity to 51,655. The removal of a set of old rickety bleachers in 2001 and a few other changes placed the stadium capacity at 50,942, but that figure stood for just two seasons. The addition of suites and club seating on the east side, completed in August 2003, has increased the capacity to 53,750 (pending a final seat audit upon completion), an all-time Folsom Field high.

Prior to the 1971 season, the playing surface at Folsom Field was natural grass. Monsanto of St. Louis, Mo., replaced the natural grass with Astroturf for the 1971 campaign, with the first game being played on the artificial surface against the University of Wyoming on September 18 (the Buffs won 56-13); it was a godsend, as that very morning, Boulder received a rare late summer snowstorm that blanketed the field with more than two feet of snow.

The original Astroturf surface was replaced with a "new rug" for the start of the 1978 season, and in the summer of 1989, "Astroturf-8" was installed, the third artificial surfacing in the school's history. Folsom was covered with artificial surfaces for 28 seasons (168 games), and it was fairly friendly for the Buffs, which posted a 110-56-2 record in those games.

In the spring of 1999, Folsom Field returned to natural grass, as "SportGrass" was installed on the stadium floor. The project, which included bio-thermal heating, drainage and a sub-air system, cost $1.2 million. Video display boards, known as "BuffVision" were also added in the summer of 1999 at a cost of $3.6 million.

Source: University of Colorado Sports Information Department

College Football Stadium Cuts Its Waste
December 31, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

There are no holiday bowl games to look forward to this year for the University of Colorado Buffaloes, who finished a dismal 5-7.

But the season may be remembered for something else - the successful first year of an aggressive recycling and composting program in their home stadium.

From half-eaten hot dogs to drink cans, over 80 percent of the waste from Folsom Field was composted or recycled during the last four home games, as part of a "zero waste" effort at the stadium.

How did the Buffaloes do it? "We took all the trash cans out of the stadium," explained Dave Newport, director of the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The cans were replaced with recycling and composting bins though the zero-waste effort unfolded on several fronts, according to Mr. Newport.

First, the university worked with its vendor, Centerplate, which serves many big stadiums, to use more recyclable or compostable packaging getting rid of Styrofoam clam-shells and using cardboard ones instead, for example. "You have to take as many of the non-compostable materials out of the waste steam ahead of time," said Mr. Newport.

During games, student volunteers were stationed at every recycling station, telling fans what to recycle and what to compost.

Later the bags were hauled out of the stadium, and more students and staff would head to the sorting point, where they would go through every bag "sometimes until 2 a.m.," said Mr. Newport to make sure the recyclables and compostables had gone into the right bags.

(A lot of chip bags, which are not compostable or recyclable, Mr. Newport said, got thrown away.)

Meanwhile, students from the Reserve Officers Training Corps descended on the stadium the day after home games, collecting and sorting the waste that the fans had left behind in the stands. It wasn't always a smooth operation. The first two games were "just horrible," said Mr. Newport so much so that the university doesn't count them in the 80 percent diversion statistic cited above. Among the mishaps: the signs were too wordy, so people would give up reading them.

"People at a football game are not there to read the Encyclopedia Britannica," Mr. Newport said. "They're there to enjoy the day."

Another problem was that some of the recycling containers did not have holes of the right size to fit the large souvenir cups that the stadium sells.

The holes and signs were fixed, however, and the program righted itself. Mr. Newport says that Folsom Field is the largest college football stadium to try the zero-waste approach, but credits a program at the 10,700 seat University of California at Davis for providing inspiration, as well as a long-running recycling program at Penn State.

As for the post-season analysis? "It's easy if you change everything," Mr. Newport said, "but it's not easy to change everything." Source: NY Times Blogs

March 24, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Boulder, Colo. - Athletic director Mike Bohn confirmed to the Denver Post that the University of Colorado at Boulder is talking with Frontier Airlines and other companies about buying naming rights to Folsom Field.

"It's no secret, I believe, that we have been looking for a strategic partner to possibly name the stadium," Bohn said, adding it would be "premature to announce anything."

Part of any naming-rights deal, Bohn said, would be a commitment to keep Folsom Field as part of the football stadium's name. Bohn declined to say how much naming rights could be worth. Officials for CU and Frontier confirmed discussions but said no agreement had been reached and there is no timetable.

"We have had discussions about exploring new ways to expand our partnership that could potentially include naming rights," Carlo Bertolini, spokesman for Frontier's corporate parent, Republic Airways, told the Post.

Bertolini and Bohn confirmed that Frontier executives toured Folsom Field when a message was placed on the stadium's video screen to give them an idea of what the name could look like.

A photo of the video screen was posted on an online fan forum and spurred rumors that Frontier and CU were trading a long-term athletic sponsorship for naming rights.

"I can't believe someone got a picture of that," Bohn said.

Bohn said that before a deal is finalized, the proposal would have to be approved by the Board of Regents and central CU leadership.

Colorado Buffalos

Folsom Field
Folsom Field

1924-Present © 1996-2017 by Munsey & Suppes.