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Budweiser Events Center

Loveland, CO

Home of the Colorado Crush

3.3

N/A

Budweiser Events Center (map it)
590 Arena Cir
Loveland, CO 80538


Colorado Crush website

Budweiser Events Center website

Year Opened: 2003

Capacity: 4,900

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Crushing Indoor Football

The Colorado Crush play arena football in the Indoor Football League (IFL). Prior to the 2016 season they were known as the Colorado Ice.

The Colorado Ice began play at the Budweiser Events Center (BEC) in 2007 as part of United Indoor Football. They moved to the Indoor Football League (IFL) in 2009 as part of a merger.

Some fans may remember the name Colorado Crush as a Denver Arena Football League (AFL) member from 2003 – 2008 until that league folded.

In 2016, the Colorado Ice rebranded themselves as the Colorado Crush. The organization takes on the Crush name as a harbinger and a callback to historic Colorado Indoor Football.

The IFL teams play in smaller cities than their AFL (Arena Football League) counterparts and Loveland, CO and the Budweiser Events Center fits that calling perfectly.

The primary tenant of the BEC is the ECHL Colorado Eagles ice hockey team, although attending an indoor football game is quite as exciting.

3.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

The Budweiser Events Center offers respectable food choices at Crush games, though not all concession stands are open for these matches.

The standard stadium fare is available. Snacks include nachos, popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, candy, chips, and the like ranging from $1.50 - $7. Hot dog choices range from plain, messy or marquee regular or foot long ($5.50 - $7). Soft drinks are the Pepsi variety ($3/$4.50/$6).

Specialty concession carts in the concourse include the Bavarian Gourmet Pretzel stand which provides choice soft pretzels ($5) with many toppings offered, Dippin' Dots (STILL the ice cream of the future), the Nutty Bavarian (cashews, almonds, pecans), A-Maize'n Kettle Corn ($6), and a smoothie stand with adult frozen margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas ($7/$11).

Beers are mostly domestic with Bud, Coors, and Michelob choices. Only a few canned local brews are offered at a Crush game, such as New Belgium (though I wouldn't call this local anymore), Black Bottle, and Oskar Blues Brewing. Beer prices range from $5 (value) to $10.50 (bomber).

A bar - Water Valley "Tap Into the Good Life" is located on the concourse a little to the right when entering the venue where one can get cocktails.

Outside food and drink are not allowed into a Crush game.

A merchandise stand offers shirts and caps but that's about it.

Atmosphere    3

When entering the seating area, fans walk in on row 13 and the rows go up to 18 or down to the field level. A set of suites along both sidelines are above row 18. Standard green, fold-down seats with cup holders make up the arena seating; all of which is close to the action.

The center video scoreboard is raised into the rafters to minimize disruption to indoor arena football passes. Two video boards on one end are used for replays and scoring information and meets the needs of any fan keeping score.

The plexiglass found at the hockey games is removed. The hockey nets behind the goals are rolled up. Two footballs got stuck in the net when kicking a field goal during the game of this review.

Between each play a sponsor advertisement is announced and that is a tad annoying. Music is loud and that might, for once, be okay. They do try to stop the music when the referee is making a call. So kudos for that effort.

Cowbells are encouraged. I'm not quite sure if this is an Eagles hockey leftover or something all IFL teams promote.

Players high-five fans (mostly kids) in the front row before and during the game and that deed is way better than any mascot shenanigans.

One of the most exciting things about watching the Crush is how close to the action the fans are located. It is amazing to witness, up close, the emotions the players demonstrate as they battle the game. One can easily tell when a player is angry at himself or ecstatic at a play that just occurred.

It's warm inside the Budweiser Event Center for an IFL game so be sure to dress in layers.

Neighborhood    4

The neighborhood around the Budweiser Events Center has grown since its opening in 2003. It sits about eight miles from downtown Loveland. Several places for food, dining, and entertainment are close to the arena and others are nearer to the downtown area.

Near BEC:

Less than a mile away from the Budweiser Events Center several restaurants are available for a pregame meal: Nordy's BBQ, The Boot Grill, Hooters, and the Palomino Mexican Restaurant. If shopping is your thing, within two to three miles driving distance are several shopping centers: The Promenade Shops at Centerra, the Outlets at Loveland, and Centerra Marketplace.

Adjacent to the Promenade Shops at Centerra is a park called Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. It features Zimbabwean stone sculptures along a 1.5 mile paved or gravel trail that also includes ponds, wildlife, trees, shrubs, ornamental grass, and benches. I recommend taking a stroll through this unique garden area.

Closer to downtown:

Loveland has eight breweries / distilleries. I visited Big Thompson Brewery and Crow Hop Brewing this trip and both have good local craft beers on tap. A sports bar worth visiting is Blue32 Grill (though not near the BEC). It has many TVs, a pool table, video games, delicious food, and plenty of Colorado brews and other drinks on offer.

Loveland is an art destination with art objects dotting the downtown area. Benson Sculpture Garden (just north of downtown and Lake Loveland) is worth a stroll on a sunny afternoon.

For those outdoor enthusiasts, Boyd Lake State Park is between downtown and the BEC and has all kinds of water sports activities, camping, picnicking, hiking, and swimming. The Rocky Mountain National Park is a little over 30 miles west of the BEC.

For hotels in the area, an Embassy Suites is across the parking lot from the Budweiser Events Center. A Holiday Inn Express and a Candlewood Suites are across the highway. Other more affordable hotels can be found a few exits north or south of the Budweiser Events Center on I-25 and include a Best Western, LaQuinta, Days Inn, and other standard chains.

Fans    3

The crowd at a Crush game is less than at an Eagles game at the Budweiser Event Center. Attendance averages 1400 - 3000 fans which is in the lower half of the IFL.

While the game is being played, the concourse is this side of empty as the fans are in their seats watching the action. For the most part, they don't leave early and they generally arrive before the starting kick off.

Access    3

The BEC is right off Interstate I-25 between Denver, CO and Cheyenne, WY.

Plenty of free arena parking is available for a Crush game. A boatload of handicapped parking is right in front of the entrance.

Only one entrance is available with the box office to the right upon entry. An outdoor box office is available but that closes when the gates open. After entry, go up a set of stairs to get to the concourse. An elevator is available for fans who are not able to take the steps.

One cannot walk the entire concourse at a Crush game (unlike an Eagles game); curtains block passage through one end goal. The concourse is painfully crowded during halftime especially near the main entryway steps as that's where most of the open concessions are located.

Plenty of clean, functional restrooms surround the concourse. There may be a short line at halftime.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets are $3 more when purchased on game day. For example, my ticket was $10 but I was charged an additional $3 because I purchased the day of the game. That's 30% more. Drives me nuts.

The price of food and drink are typical. No charge for parking.

The entertainment and sport is quite exciting so even with the additional $3, it's worth the investment.

Extras    4

Fans get to keep the ball if it goes into the stands. And fans get to go on the field after the game to meet and greet their favorite Crush player.

Players readily display their emotions: happy, frustration, anger, excitement, glee. And they congratulate and shake hands and support each other after the game (both teams).

A game day program is available at the guest services stand (to the left after walking up the steps).

Final Thoughts

I wasn't expecting to enjoy my visit as I'm not a fan of football... at all. However, I found myself clapping and getting excited about the indoor game - not something I'd ever thought I'd do at a football match. So, if you're a Broncos, Buffs, Rams, or Wyoming Cowboys fan looking for a football fix late winter / spring, check out a Crush game at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO.

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Local Food & Drink

Nordy's BBQ  (map it!)

4360 Saint Cloud Dr

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 461-9227

http://nordysbbq.com

Palomino Mexican Restaurant  (map it!)

6190 Crossroads Blvd

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 292-8690

http://bestcoloradomexicanfood.com/

The Boot Grill  (map it!)

4164 Clydesdale Pkwy

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 685-4737

http://thebootgrill.com

Blue 32 Sports Grille  (map it!)

3021 N. Garfield Ave

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 962-9659

http://blue32grill.com

Big Thompson Brewery  (map it!)

114 E 15th St

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 619-8138

http://lovelandbrewery.com/

Crow Hop Brewery and Taproom  (map it!)

217 E 3rd St

Loveland, CO 80537

(970) 619-8590

http://www.crowhopbrewing.com/

Local Entertainment

Benson Sculpture Garden  (map it!)

2908 Aspen Dr

Loveland, CO 80538

http://www.sculptureinthepark.org/garden

Boyd Lake State Park  (map it!)

3720 N County Road 11-C

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 669-1739

http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/boydlake

Rocky Mountain National Park  (map it!)

Estes Park, CO

(970) 586-1206

http://www.rockymountainnationalpark.com

The Promenade Shops at Centerra  (map it!)

5971 Sky Pond Dr

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 461-1285

http://www.thepromenadeshopsatcenterra.com/

Chapungu Sculpture Park  (map it!)

Sky Pond Dr

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 962-0011

http://www.chapungusculpturepark.com/

Lodging

Holiday Inn Express  (map it!)

6092 E Crossroads Blvd

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 663-0057

http://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/loveland/loves/hoteldetail

Candlewood Suites  (map it!)

6046 E Crossroads Blvd

Loveland, CO 80538

(970) 667-5444

http://www.ihg.com/candlewood/hotels/us/en/loveland/lovcb/hoteldetail

Best Western Plus Crossroads Inn & Conference Center  (map it!)

5542 E US Highway 34

Loveland, CO 85037

(970) 667-7810

http://bestwesterncolorado.com/hotels/best-western-plus-crossroads-inn-and-conference-center

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