Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium was an outdoor college football stadium in the western United States, located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was the home field of the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference from 1968 through 2016; the team moved in 2017 to the new on-campus Colorado State Stadium, now known as Canvas Stadium.
Aerial view from south in 2016
|Former names||Hughes Stadium|
|Location||S. Overland Trail|
Fort Collins, Colorado
|Owner||Colorado State University|
|Operator||Colorado State University|
|Record attendance||39,107 (vs. Utah, 1994)|
|Broke ground||May 1967|
|Opened||September 28, 1968|
|Closed||November 19, 2016|
|Demolished||April 10, 2018 (start date)|
|Construction cost||$2.8 million|
($20.658 million in 2019)
|Colorado State Rams (NCAA) (1968–2016)|
The playing field had a mostly conventional north-south alignment, skewed slightly northwest-southeast, at an approximate elevation of 5,190 feet (1,580 m) above sea level. It was natural grass for the stadium's first 38 years; FieldTurf was installed in the summer of 2006 for the final eleven seasons.
Owned and operated by Colorado State University, it stood on a 161-acre (65 ha) site located about four miles (6 km) west of the school's main campus. The stadium opened in 1968 as the replacement for the old Colorado Field, a 14,000-seat on-campus stadium that is now the site of "Jack Christiansen Track."
Hughes Stadium sat in a natural oval bowl, with seating on three sides and an open grass berm (not open for seating) behind the south end zone. The west (home side) stands were expanded out of the bowl and capped by a press box. The stadium was named for Harry W. Hughes, the head coach for 31 seasons (1911–41) at what was then known as Colorado Agricultural. The stadium had a seating capacity of 32,500 with club seats and 12 luxury suites, completed in 2005.
The playing surface itself was named in 2003 in honor of then head coach Sonny Lubick. The winningest coach in school history, he led the Rams for fifteen seasons (1993-2007), winning six conference titles with nine bowl game appearances.
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. After 49 seasons, its finale in 2016 saw the Rams defeat New Mexico 49–31 on November 19.
At the time of its closure, future plans for Hughes Stadium were unknown, but it was unlikely to be left dormant, given away, or developed for high-density use. CSU eventually decided to demolish the stadium and restore the site to its original bowl-shaped topography before selling the site for future development. Pre-demolition work began in March 2018 with hazardous material mitigation (mainly asbestos), with full-scale demolition beginning on April 10. Demolition continued into summer 2018, followed by filling in the stadium bowl with soil that had been originally used to create berms around the stadium. The project was expected to be completed in December 2018.
|Season||Games||Sellouts||W-L||Attendance||Average||% of Capacity|
|2002||5||3||4–1||152,037||30,461||102% of 30,000|
|2003||6||3||4–2||183,786||30,631||102% of 30,000|
|2004||6||3||3–3||163,776||27,296||91% of 30,000|
|2005||5||2||4–1||146,737||29,347||90% of 32,500|
|2006||5||1||2–3||120,916||24,183||75% of 32,500|
|2007||6||0||2–4||130,762||21,793||67% of 32,500|
|2008||6||0||4–2||126,046||21,007||65% of 32,500|
|2009||6||0||2–4||141,856||23,642||73% of 32,500|
|2010||5||0||2–3||111,998||22,400||69% of 32,500|
|2011||6||0||1–5||131,202||21,867||67% of 32,500|
|2012||6||0||3–3||115,501||19,250||59% of 32,500|
|2013||6||0||4–2||111,598||18,600||57% of 32,500|
|2014||6||2||6–0||159,450||26,575||82% of 32,500|
|2015||6||2||3–3||149,500||24,916||77% of 32,500|
|2016||6||1||5–1||165,598||27,600||85% of 32,500|
- Denver Post - Downsizing Hughes Stadium
- Topographic map & aerial photo. USGS The National Map. Retrieved September 6, 2009.
- CSU Rams.com - FieldTurf installation - June 26, 2006, Retrieved September 6, 2009
- Hirn, John. "On-campus stadiums at CSU". Colorado State University Athletics. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- MacCambridge, Michael, ed. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. New York: Hyperion, 2005, p. 238.
- College Football Data Warehouse Archived 2008-03-27 at the Wayback Machine - CSU coaching records - 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.
-  - 2016 to be Hughes Stadium’s swan song - December 28, 2015, Retrieved August 26, 2016
- Lyell, Kelly (April 10, 2018). "Demolition of CSU's Hughes Stadium begins". Coloradoan. Fort Collins, CO. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- "NCAA Football Attendance". Retrieved April 14, 2017.