Skip to Main Content

History of CU Boulder's Folsom Field

January 31, 2023  /  By CU Boulder  /  Features

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. The 2023 season will be the 100th season the Buffs will play their home games on the “hilltop.”

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 completion of a sparkling new gymnasium, Carlson Gym, emphasized the inadequate 9,000 seats at Gamble Field.

The new structure had an original capacity of 26,000, featuring wooden bleacher seating over cement, and quarter-mile running track. There were 22 sections divided by radial aisles installed, the same set-up in the lower bowl that still exists today.

With expansion in mind when originally built, it was by design rather easy to add an upper deck.
Improvements continued, as the gigantic six-level press box facility would serve as the home for CU's Flatirons Club, a group of donors who financially support the athletic program.

The playing surface at Folsom Field was natural grass until the 1971 season when it was replaced with Astroturf. Folsom was covered with artificial surfaces for 28 seasons (168 games), and was fairly friendly for the Buffs, which posted a 110-56-2 record in those games.

Completion of a $42 million east side renovation added 1,903 club seats and 41 seats, increasing Folsom's capacity to an all-time high of 53,750.

The latest addition to Folsom Field was finished in 2016. The Champions Center is just one part of the $156 million dollar Sustainable Excellence Initiative that included renovations to Dal Ward, and the construction of the Champions Center and Indoor Practice Facility.  
This project added a Touchdown Club room and Touchdown Club Seats and Loge Boxes to replace the north bleachers in Dal Ward, as well as the Champions Club in the northeast corner of the end zone.  There is an additional Rooftop Terrace where fans can go before and during the game with scenic views of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and when clear, the Continental Divide.

The capacity of Folsom was 53,613 from 2007-13, following the removal of the fourth rows from three different levels of the Flatirons Club prior to the 2007 season (seats that always had some kind of obstructed view).  In 2014, the north end zone bleachers and two northeast corner sections of the stadium were completely renovated into loge and club seating, altering the capacity to its current number of 50,183.

Reposted from the CU Boulder Folsom Field webpage.

Mentioned in this Post