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Official Review by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
CIBER Field is used by both the men’s and women’s University of Denver soccer teams. The men’s team began their play in 1961 while the women’s team began in 1983. They are both part of the Summit League, transitioning from the Sun Belt Conference (women’s) and the Western Athletic Conference (men’s) in 2013.
Its name is officially CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium but that’s a mouthful and most folks refer to it as either CIBER Field or simply Denver Soccer Stadium. It is a part of the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness on the Denver campus. It is nestled between Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, Magness Arena (which houses DU hockey and DU basketball), as well as the Stapleton Tennis Pavilion and the Diane Wendt Sports Fields.
CIBER Field will host the Summit League Semifinals and Championship games for both the women and the men in 2014.
While University of Denver athletics are more known for their winter sports (hockey and skiing in particular), attending a soccer game is a fine afternoon or evening out and is worth visiting. Check the schedule and you just might get to watch a double header with a men’s game played right after a women’s game; two games for the price of one.
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The concession stand is located inside the Ritchie Center and has just your basic food options. Encased meats - hot dogs, etc. ($4.50 - $6.50); pizza ($4.50); snacks including nachos, pretzel, popcorn, candy ($3.00 - $5.50); Pepsi products and water ($3.75 - $4.75) are offered. Coffee and hot chocolate are offered for those chilly evening games.
This is one college venue that does offer beer ($7.00) with varieties of Bud Light, Molson, and Coors.
There is a Dippin' Dots cart on the upper concourse for an additional cold snack.
It appears outside food and drink can be brought in; certainly bottled water is allowed.
Denver Soccer Stadium provides the standard food options expected at a college venue. There are plenty of restaurants and bars within a couple blocks walk from the field so my recommendation is to visit one of those before or after the game.
The seating area consists of six sections, one with crimson colored fold-down, chair back seats (center field) with the remaining sections offering aluminum benches all with plenty of leg room. The sections have mostly 10 rows of seats with 8 rows at the ends. The chair back section is 38 seats wide so be prepared for some ups and downs in that section as fans want to exit/enter during the game.
The seating area is all on one side of the field and the view across the field is trees with a glimpse of the Rocky Mountains beyond the treetops. I imagine the best time to visit would be in October when the leaves change color. In addition, leaves may start falling in the fall and a visitor will get a more spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains above the treetops.
The seating area faces west so you will get the sun in your face for the first part of an evening game and there is no covering for sun or rain. One can retreat to the Ritchie Center, in the event of undesirable weather at a soccer game.
The bells in the Williams Tower carillon strike every 15 minutes at a DU soccer game and provide a unique and vibrant chorus throughout the game.
Be sure to visit the Ritchie Center and stroll through the hallway. It showcases historical events and memorabilia of all DU Pioneer sports. There is a Wall of Fame with plaques honoring individuals and teams who have made outstanding contributions in the field of intercollegiate athletics representing the University of Denver. All of this is very nicely done and I recommend getting to the stadium early to visit the concourse and see and read the history displayed here.
The home and visitors team benches are across from the seating area, with a canopy and table for the official scorer and other staff separating the two benches.
There is an impressive opening ceremony where the starting players for both teams walk to the center of the field and form a straight line. Kids of the Denver Soccer Academy join the players and the players are announced over the PA. Nicely done.
The University of Denver's campus and neighborhood is well worth a stroll and it is comfortable and safe. You can view all the playing fields, the buildings and gardens that are rich with beauty and tradition - 21st century buildings mixed with those built from the 1890s - 1950s. The entire campus is designated as an arboretum.
There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of Denver Soccer Stadium. Three that I can recommend are: Spanky's Roadhouse (sports bar), Crimson and Gold Tavern (sports bar), and Pete's University Park Café (Greek). There are common fast food places such as Subway, Chipotle, Noodles and Co, as well as Thai, Mediterranean, pizza, Chinese, and more all less than half a mile from the field.
The DU campus is about four miles from downtown Denver and six to eight stops on the RTD Light Rail. Downtown Denver has plenty to visit such as the Capitol Building, the US Mint, 16th Street Mall, and it has its own variety of restaurants, bars, and breweries.
At the games I attended there were plenty of fans watching both the women's game and the men's game. The women's game probably had more in attendance (there was a Broncos game being played the same afternoon as the men's soccer game). There are many young girls and boys in their own soccer attire watching the DU Pioneer's women's and men's teams. The majority of the fans are families but there are some students in the stands as well.
Even in the early parts of the season, the fans know the players names and cheer at the appropriate moments. There is no discord between the Pioneers fans and visiting team fans. Most fans stay to the end of the game.
Halftime includes youth soccer teams playing some soccer.
By car, from I-25 take the University Boulevard exit - Exit 205 and head south. At the first light, turn on Buchtel Boulevard and head west. The Ritchie Center and Denver Soccer Stadium will be on your left. There are parking garages as well as street parking near CIBER Field. Parking is free for soccer games in Lot 103 (Buchtel Blvd and South High St), across from the light rail station.
The light rail station stops right at the University of Denver and CIBER Field is a three block walk from the station.
The closest major airport to the University of Denver is the Denver International Airport (DIA) and is about 30 miles from the University of Denver campus.
The seating area has an upper concourse as well as a lower walkway and traffic flow is perfectly fine. To get on to the upper concourse, you must show your ticket but the lower one is a footpath to get from one side of the campus to another just passing by CIBER Field.
Restrooms are in the Ritchie Center and plenty are available and they are clean (even throughout a double header). When entering the Ritchie Center from CIBER Field, head to the left and you'll find them, as well as a water fountain.
There is no bag check at Denver Soccer Stadium when attending a soccer game.
Tickets at the gate on game day are $6 for general admission and $11 for reserved seating (the fold-down chairs with backs). They do tack on an additional $1 when purchased on the day of the event. But you're better off getting them game day as online ticketing has a $1.50 fee and a $2.00 order charge making the total $8.50 for a general admission ticket.
If you plan it right and can see a men's game following a women's game, you'll get to see two games for the price of one. That's well worth the investment. On a side note, if attending a double header, I'd recommend purchasing a reserved seat (the fold down kind). Your butt and your lower back will appreciate not having to sit in bleachers for four plus hours.
Entrance to a DU soccer game is free for DU students; just show a student ID.
Handouts are provided listing the players of both the home and visitors team. They provide some stats and notes as well as future games/dates. Separate handouts are provided for both the women's and the men's games at this double header.
The Williams Tower carillon is worth an extra mention. You can even request a tour of the tower.
Although the official DU souvenir shop is closed during a soccer game, racks and tables of DU attire and other collectables are available for purchase on the upper concourse near the ticket booth.
Make a day or evening of it. Check out the bars and restaurants near the field, traverse the campus, and check out a soccer game or two. More than likely, you'll have an enjoyable time.
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1800 East Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80210
2345 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80210
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