A whole new view at Hughes

 Uncategorized
Aug 302004
 
Authors: Bob Fernandez

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium may be louder and rowdier

than ever as a result of expansions and renovations that have

recently been made to the facility.

Two new scoreboards have been installed, including a 17-by-23

foot video board behind the south end zone, and 4,400 bleacher

seats have been added behind the north end zone.

More additions are expected to take place over the next year.

Renovations and expansions that are scheduled to be completed by

next season include 12 new luxury suites, an expanded Rams Horn

premium club seating area, a renovated press box and a new

artificial playing surface.

“This will only enhance the experience (of going to a CSU home

football game),” said Gary Ozzello, senior associate athletic

director. “It’s like a brand-new stadium. When people walk in, they

are going to be amazed at how great (the stadium) is.”

Construction will continue to take place throughout the upcoming

season. Funding for the construction was made possible by a $15.2

million grant from the Bohemian Foundation, a private family

foundation designed to improve the quality of life in Fort Collins

for youths and other community members.

CSU fans, players and coaches were able to see the renovations

and expansions firsthand Saturday, as the CSU football team

participated in a “mock” game in preparation for Saturday’s season

opener in Boulder against in-state rival Colorado.

Fans walked away impressed with the renovations and expansions,

believing that it will improve CSU’s home-field advantage by

creating a louder, livelier atmosphere and more hyped-up and

engaged fans.

“I love (the renovations),” said Randy Drautz, a CSU graduate

and avid football fan. “Just having that extra (4,400 seats), if we

can fill it, will be huge for home-crowd advantage.”

Travis Holland, a devoted CSU football fan and a post-bachelor’s

degree student seeking a teacher’s licensure, said he believes

having increased crowd noise and more fans in attendance will

significantly affect games in CSU’s favor.

“(The crowd noise) should really make a big difference on the

north end (zone) when the other team gets down there,” Holland

said.

Holland and Drautz also said they were impressed with the large

video board, which will allow fans to see instant replays, a luxury

that was not available to fans prior to this season.

Fans will have the opportunity to cheer the Rams on to victory

during six Hughes Stadium games this season. CSU will receive its

first chance to showcase its newly renovated and expanded stadium

to a national audience on Sept. 18 against Minnesota, in a game

that will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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