Boulder, Colorado, 80302
|Opened||October 11, 1924|
|Renovated||1968, 1976, 2003|
|Expanded||1956, 1967, 2003|
|Owner||Univ. of Colorado|
|Operator||Univ. of Colorado|
|Construction cost||$65,000 - (1924)|
|Architect||Sink Combs Dethlefs (renovations)|
|Former names||Colorado Stadium|
|Tenants||Colorado Buffaloes (NCAA) (1924–present)|
Folsom Field is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the University of Colorado, at Boulder, Colorado. Opened in 1924, it is the home field of the Colorado Buffaloes of the Pacific-12 Conference; until July 2011, Colorado was a member of the Big 12 Conference. The horseshoe-shaped stadium runs in the traditional north-south configuration, opening to the north. The CU athletic administration center, named after 1950s head coach Dal Ward, is located at the north end.
The playing field returned to natural grass in 1999 and sits at an elevation of 5,360 feet, more than a mile above sea level. Folsom Field is the third highest stadium in major college football, behind only Wyoming and Air Force of the Mountain West Conference.
Gamble Field was the home of Colorado football for two decades, through 1923. Folsom Field (originally Colorado Stadium) opened in 1924, and has been the home of the CU football team ever since. Through the 2007 football season, the Buffs have a home record of 286–139–14, a winning percentage of .667. Prior to the opening of Folsom Field, CU played its games at Gamble Field for two decades, where the seating capacity of 9,000 was limited to temporary bleachers.
Originally known as Colorado Stadium for its first twenty years, it was renamed in 1944, following the death of legendary CU coach Fred Folsom. He coached the Buffs from 1895–1902 and 1908–15, compiling a 78–24–2 (.760) overall record.
In 2008, Folsom Field become the first "zero-waste" stadium in the NCAA by instituting a rigorous recycling and composting program.
Expansions and Renovations
When opened in 1924, the horseshoe-shaped stadium had a capacity of 26,000. A major expansion in 1956 raised the height of the stadium and increased its capacity to 45,000; in 1967 6,000 more seats were added with the removal of the running track (the track & field team relocated to Potts Field on the East Campus). In 1968 a huge, six-level press box was added to the top of the west side grandstand, directly in front of Balch Fieldhouse, the former home of the basketball team. Renovations continued in 1976 when the old, rickety wooden bleachers were replaced with aluminum ones, raising the capacity to 52,005. In 2003, suites and club seating were added to the east side of the stadium, raising the capacity to 53,750. Since the renovation of 2003 137 seats with obstructed views have been removed lowering the seating capacity to 53,613.
From 1924-70, the playing surface at Folsom Field was natural grass. In 1971, AstroTurf was installed and the first game played on the new surface was on against Wyoming on September 18. (The Buffs finished third in the national AP poll in 1971, behind Nebraska and Oklahoma, for a national sweep for the Big Eight conference.) The synthetic turf was replaced in 1978 and again in 1989, with "Astroturf-8.".
After 28 years of AstroTurf, Folsom Field returned to natural grass in the spring of 1999. The project, which included bio-thermal heating, drainage, and a sub-air system, cost $1.2 million.
Folsom Field is also used as the finish line for the Bolder Boulder, a popular 10k road race.
The south end zone was featured in the opening and closing credits of the late 1970s television show Mork and Mindy which was set in Boulder.
The first Promise Keepers stadium conference was held at Folsom in June 1992.
The largest crowd for a CU football game at Folsom Field was 54,972, when the Buffs played Colorado State on September 3, 2005. Since 1998, the early season non-conference rivalry game with CSU is usually played in neutral Denver.
The top crowd ever at Folsom Field was for a rock concert on May 1, 1977, for one of the popular Colorado Sun Day concert series. The attendance was an estimated 61,500 (exceeding the largest football crowd by about 9,000) for a show featuring Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, Firefall, and John Sebastian.
- Official Athletics website of the University of Colorado
- BuffZone - Daily Camera newspaper website regarding the Colorado Buffaloes
- CU Buffs.com - Folsom Field - history
- The Ralphie Report - Fan based website for the Colorado Buffaloes
- Color aerial view (& topographic map) of CU campus from USGS via Microsoft Research Maps