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Folsom Field

Boulder, CO

Home of the Colorado Buffaloes

4.3

4.0

Folsom Field (map it)
Colorado Ave
Boulder, CO 80302


Colorado Buffaloes website

Folsom Field website

Year Opened: 1924

Capacity: 50,183

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Magic in the Mountains

Blending old and new can present a difficult challenge. Yet the University of Colorado has done so successfully with Folsom Field, the home to its football team and its live buffalo mascot, Ralphie. Opened in 1924, Folsom Field was built for $65,000 and had a capacity of 26,000 seats, all bleachers made of creosote-dipped California redwood. The subsequent nine decades have seen several expansions and a near-doubling of Folsom Field's seating capacity. Updates to the Buffaloes' football and athletics facilities that adjoin Folsom Field culminated after the 2015 season. These updates, which cost $156 million and include the Champions Center and an indoor practice facility, provide needed practice and administrative space for Colorado's athletic programs and include club seating for football games.

Among Folsom Field's timeless attributes are its location and setting. It sits more than a mile above sea level at 5,360 feet at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The stadium's public address announcer heralds this fact to the Buffs' opponent just before kickoff, with the admonition to "know your limitations and adjust your elevation." The Flatirons rock formations sit just beyond the stadium's west-side seats and give Folsom Field a unique and breathtaking feel. Folsom Field is also situated on the CU campus in Boulder, a unique town with robust nightlife and easy access to outdoor activities.

Perhaps most impressively, the Buffaloes take the field at the start of each half by running behind their live buffalo mascot, Ralphie. This is one of college football's great traditions and it highlights the Folsom Field experience.

4.3

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    5

Folsom Field offers a good variety of food and drink options that exceed traditional stadium fare. The stadium has enough concession stands, supplemented with outside vendors, that lines are rare.

Folsom Field has a wide variety of food options. Food prices may seem high but the quality of cuisine warrants such prices. Old standbys like hot dogs and hamburgers are certainly available. But Folsom Field also has a sausage shack where a jalapeno cheddar beer brat ($8) and Italian sausage ($8) are available. Apropos of the CU mascot, a buffalo beer brat, with jalapeno slaw and pepper jack cheese, is served on a pretzel bun ($12).

Kesitas, which operates out of an Airstream trailer-turned-food truck, offers hand-crafted Mexican desserts behind Folsom Field's east stands. There, hazelnut ice cream ($8), Mexican coffee ($5), and horchata latte ($7) present unique dessert options.

Most notably, eight different beers are offered, including hometown favorite Buffalo Gold and four brews from local craft brewer Post Brewing Co. that include an English-style IPA, a pilsner, a mild American ale, and a mild ale (all of which are $7.25 per can). Beer sales and consumption are limited to areas adjacent to the stands.

Pepsi products are offered in both bottles and by fountain pour. Fans can purchase souvenir sodas for $7.25.

Very few college football venues offer beer, let alone a sampling of high-quality craft beers. These brews are a nod to the microbrewery scene that is thriving in Colorado and give out-of-towners the chance to taste some of the state's best.

Atmosphere    5

Folsom Field's proximity to the nearby Flatirons creates a dramatic backdrop for those on the stadium's east side.

The stadium, as well as its expansions and renovations, have been built to match the large majority of buildings on the CU campus. Those buildings were built in the Tuscan Vernacular architectural style that features bricks, mortar, and masonry, aiming to replicate the feel of the Italian hill towns of Florence and Siena.

Folsom Field's sidelines are narrow, as the distance from the playing field to the first row of seats is close. Seats are thus generally near to the field with good sight lines of the action.

The Golden Buffalo Marching band performs for fans inside Balch Fieldhouse, adjacent to Folsom Field's west stands, before each game. The stadium has two high-quality video screens at either end and sound quality from the PA system is crisp and clear.

Folsom Field's east stands provide the best views of the Flatirons and great views of the action. Although a setting sun may pose a problem for fans in those seats for an early evening game, glare is a temporary inconvenience. Covered seating areas are mainly reserved for donors but Balch Fieldhouse, on the stadium's west side, is open to fans seeking cover from the elements with big-screen TVs and concession stands.

Neighborhood    5

Folsom Field sits not only in an ideal campus location, but also near the heart of Boulder. Its surrounding neighborhood, teeming with students and full-time residents, presents several pre and postgame options for food, drink, and entertainment. Boulder Creek and its popular, adjacent path improve access to and from games.

Fans have a seemingly endless number of restaurants within walking distance of Folsom Field. A short walk across campus to the west of Folsom Field is the University Hill neighborhood. The Sink (1165 13th Street) is the "Hill's" most recognized resident. It has been serving great burgers and pizza since 1923 -- a year before Folsom Field opened. Harpo's Sports Grill (2860 Arapahoe Avenue) is just downhill from the stadium and has more than 25 televisions and a rooftop patio.

Less than two miles from Folsom Field is Boulder's Chautauqua Park (Baseline Road and 9th Street). It offers some of Boulder's best hiking trails, including trails that access the summits of the Flatirons, as well as rock climbing and a dining hall.

Boulder's Pearl Street Mall is also one of the city's highlights, offering shops, bars, and restaurants on a pedestrian-only stretch of Pearl Street in downtown Boulder.

Boulder has a full range of lodging options. For those wanting close access to Folsom Field, the Millennium Harvest House (1345 28th St, Boulder, CO 80302) is a four-minute walk on the Boulder Creek Path away. For those wanting to splurge, the St. Julien Hotel and Spa (900 Walnut Street) is a luxury hotel in downtown Boulder.

Fans    4

The Buffaloes' resurgence has yielded a resurgence in attendance. Importantly, students are filling the stadium and bringing noticeable energy.

Folsom Field is seeing capacity or near-capacity crowds, particularly for the Buffaloes' Pac-12 Conference games.

The crowd is loud, engaged, and smart. Fans at Folsom Field know the players, the traditions, and the significance of plays. This creates an atmosphere that can be intimidating for opponents.

Access    3

Because a two-lane highway links Boulder with nearby Denver, game day traffic presents a challenge for those traveling by car. Creative fans, however, can avoid this traffic.

The regional rapid transit authority, RTD, operates Buff Ride for those in Denver and its suburbs. For $9 round trip, passengers can take a bus that drops them and picks them up just outside the stadium, at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Folsom Street.

Parking is limited, but available for $25, on the CU campus. Alternatively, parking is also available for $10 at CU's Research Park, east of Folsom Field on Colorado Boulevard. Folsom Field has several points of access to enter the stadium and fans can present a paperless ticket on a smartphone. Beginning the 2016 season, CU has adopted a "clear bag" policy akin to what the NFL has done. This can cause delays for fans who are unaware.

Although aisles and concourses in and around the seating areas are somewhat narrow, fans moving around the outer parts of the stadium bowl do so with relative ease.

Return on Investment    4

The cost to attend a game at Colorado is in line with other major college football programs.

Ticket prices begin at $40 for a seat in Folsom Field's south bowl and can exceed $200 for a luxury seat on the stadium's east side. Food prices reflect higher quality concession offerings. That said, the overall experience is well worth these costs. Folsom Field features a rare, successful blend of history and modernization. Ralphie's run at the start of each half is one of college football's best traditions. And the Buffaloes are playing an exciting style of football that brings with it an energized crowd.

Extras    4

Extras abound for the Folsom Field game day experience. First, fans can walk down to field level before the game to get a close view of Ralphie as she awaits her pre-game run with the team. Second, the views from Folsom Field's east stands are unparalleled. Third, CU converts its new indoor practice facility into a "fan zone" for each home game. Kids can play catch on part of the Buffs' practice field, make signs to root on the Buffs, play cornhole, or get autographs from current CU athletes. Parents can enjoy concessions (including beer) while watching college football on big-screen TVs and peek into the new weight room. Fourth, CU pipes in its radio broadcast to concession areas so fans do not miss any of the action.

Final Thoughts

The university has succeeded in creating a game day experience that befits the beauty and history of Folsom Field. Though the stadium does not have the vast seating capacity that other schools have, Folsom Field has an intimate feel that does not disappoint.

Where's Ralphie?

You cannot write a story about Colorado football & not include Ralphie!

by KTrout | Oct 08, 2012 10:31 AM

wow

Ralphie let me wipe his butt once. It was SOOO cool!

by rit01818 | Oct 01, 2013 01:39 PM

Ralphie is a Top 5 experience

I have been to over 100 FBS stadiums, and seeing Ralphie run around Folsom Field before the game makes this one of the Top 5 FBS experiences, hands down.

by Aaron S. Terry | Oct 15, 2015 03:06 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Folsom Field: In the Buff

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 2

Folsom Field is a fun place to take in a football game. Located in unique Boulder, Colorado - just 45 minutes northwest of Denver - Folsom sits squarely in the middle of the University of Colorado campus. And what a beautiful campus it is. Nearly every building on campus is adorned with artful stone facades, and the stadium reflects those same architectural design choices.

The University of Colorado attracts students from all across the country, and the world, and it's easy to see why. Beautiful Boulder is a scenic getaway, nestled near the majestic Rocky Mountains, yet the city has all the amenities one could want and then some. Boulder is known for its historic, outdoor Pearl Street Mall, where one can find a litany of local, small shops and discover different, special goods. Of course, there's a very new traditional mall in town called Foothills Crossing for more shopping, while hundreds of restaurants - from upscale to inexpensive diners - litter the town and are ready to feed any type of appetite.

Boulder is also known for its predominantly progressive attitudes towards the world, and for the crazy college lifestyle that fills the campus and city streets with raging parties at times. In fact, the students have gotten so out of hand at times, that the school no longer allows alcohol to be served in the stadium as a way to curb students from rioting in the streets after big wins or losses.

Facts:

Folsom Field, built in 1924, is the eighth oldest college football stadium in the country and is the biggest and best college stadium in Colorado. It sits 53,613 people and also features the old gym on one side.

Over its nearly 90 years of hosting Colorado Buffaloes football games, Folsom Field has gone through numerous improvements and expansions. In 1956, the addition of the upper deck increased seats from 26,000-45,000 and another 6,000 seats were added in 1968 after the running tracks were taken away. A six-story press box, luxury seats and seats in front of the new Dal Ward Athletic Center added seats as well. In 1999, the school added "Buffvision", huge screen TVs to each end of the field for replays and anything else they need to show.

Fight CU Down the Field!

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Nestled between Denver and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains sits the beautiful campus of the University of Colorado in the city of Boulder. Recent times sure have been tough for the Colorado Buffaloes who call Folsom Field home, but that doesn’t deter die-hard supporters from cheering on their hometown team. Folsom Field was constructed in 1924 and is one of the highest stadiums in elevation in the country at 5,440 feet above sea level (5th overall in Division I, 3rd in FBS).

Folsom Field has undergone massive renovations since its opening way back in 1924 with a capacity of just 26,000, the former name of Colorado Stadium, and wooden bleachers. In 1945, the capacity was increased to 45,000 with the addition of a second deck creating a horse-shoe style structure. By 1968 a six story press box and suite structure was perched on top of the west grandstands and the track was removed from the playing surface. In 1976, the wooden bleachers were removed and replaced with modern aluminum bleachers bringing the total capacity to 52,005. Suites and club seats were added on the east side in August 2003 and after a few additional renovations the capacity presently sits at 53,613.

Though much has changed at Folsom Field throughout the years, the passion of CU fans remains strong today whether cheering on the Buffaloes as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Mountain States Conference, the Big 7, 8, and 12 Conferences, or the current membership in the PAC-12. Times were never sweeter for CU fans than when Folsom Field served as host to Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, star quarterback Kordell Stewart and the 1990 National Championship team.

Folsom Field is Great

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

There is nothing like Folsom Field. It's not a 85,000-plus facility, but it doesn't need to be. It's unique in its own way with the Rocky Mountains in the background. The only complaint I have are the bathrooms.They are small and too compact.

One of the most perfect places to watch a college game

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

From the backdrop of the Flatirons, to the running of Ralphie the buffalo mascot to some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable fans in the game, this stadium is one of the ten best venues in college football. Get to Folsom for a game. It is well worth the price of admission.

Beautiful backdrop, horrible dump

Total Score: 3.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 1
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Been to multiple games when the sewage system backed up. What a joke. Some sections in the NW section do not even face the field (great view of Niwot though). Ralphie running is pretty cool, but not much else. They need to bring back beer, even if entire sections of fans get removed for their horrible behavior.

Meh

Total Score: 2.86

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 2
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 3

It's okay, not fantastic, but good ol fun

Nothing like Boulder in the Fall.

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

I've been a season ticket for some time now and even though the team has been poor Folsom Field is still the place to be for College Football in Colorado. Of course there is Ralphie, but the band and the scenery make everything worthwhile. As for the food and beverage, I'd always advise tailgating as opposed to eating in the stadium, plus no beer in the stadium either so tailgating is your best bet. You're also allowed to leave the stadium and re-enter, so if you want a beer at halftime, you can grab one with fear of not being allowed back in.

As for the access, if you get into Boulder early, you're in good shape. However, if you're trying to get in near game time, good luck with that.

Anyways, I will always love my fall afternoons in Boulder and at Folsom Field. Though the team hasn't been very good I can finish by quoting the Oasis song, "Some might say, we might find a better day".

GO BUFFS!

Run Ralphie Run

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 2
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Nestled between Denver and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains sits the beautiful campus of the University of Colorado in the city of Boulder. Recent times have been tough for the Colorado Buffaloes who call Folsom Field home, but that doesn’t deter die-hard supporters from cheering on their hometown team.

Folsom Field was constructed in 1924 and is one of the highest stadiums in elevation in the country at 5,440 feet above sea level (5th overall in Division I, 3rd in FBS).

Folsom Field has undergone massive renovations since its opening way back in 1924 with a capacity of just 26,000 with wooden bleachers (formerly known as Colorado Stadium). In 1945, the capacity was increased to 45,000 with the addition of a second deck creating a horse-shoe style structure. By 1968 a six story press box and suite structure was perched on top of the west grandstands and the track was removed from the playing surface. In 1976, the wooden bleachers were removed and replaced with modern aluminum bleachers bringing the total capacity to 52,005. Suites and club seats were added on the east side in August 2003 and after a few additional renovations the capacity presently sits at 53,613.

Though much has changed at Folsom Field throughout the years, the passion of CU fans remains strong today whether cheering on the Buffaloes as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Mountain States Conference, the Big 7, 8, and 12 Conferences, or the current membership in the Pac-12. Times were never sweeter for CU fans than when Folsom Field served as host to Heisman Trophy winner Rashaan Salaam, star quarterback Kordell Stewart and the 1990 National Championship team.

One word - Ralphie

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Folsom Field is an interesting stadium, connected on one side to the field house. It isn't large, and lately the crowd is not intense b/c Colorado is not doing so well since joining the Pac-14. But, hands down, it is worth going there just to see a live buffalo run around the field, dragging 7 or more handlers. I heard they used to travel with Ralphie, until some moron in Norman jumped out of the stands and got gored.

Amazing Stadium Cuddling With The Rockies.

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

So I have a hobby of sneaking into stadiums on non game days, so if you expect a game day review, stop reading this review and read one of the other ones. Anyways, based on what I saw, I loved it. The exterior looked fantastic. The bricks work really well with it's surrondings. The interior was looked great too. I'm sure that Ralphie's Run is spectacular to see on gameday. The video board was appropriately sized and is HD. The whole place had some almost magical charm. There wasn't even game going on and I felt determined and awesome. Of course, gameday takes it to a whole other level i'm sure. Overall, stop here. Explore the place or see a game. It's a top 3 stadium in the Pac 12.

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