• Search by team or stadium name:

Buy the latest issue of Stadium Journey Magazine - Subscribe Today!

Stadium Journey Sports Magazine Subscriptions

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium

Fort Collins, CO

Home of the Colorado State Rams

2.4

2.1

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium (map it)
S Overland Trail
Fort Collins, CO 80526


Colorado State Rams website

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium website

Year Opened: 1968

Capacity: 34,400

There are no tickets available at this time.

Reviews

Local Information

Share
this

History, Apathy, and a New Hope

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium drips of history, even when just saying the name of the stadium aloud.

Originally Hughes Stadium, which opened in 1968, it was named after Harry W. Hughes, the head coach of the then Colorado Agricultural College Aggies football team for 31 seasons (1911-41). Hughes took the Aggies from winless in 1911 to undefeated in 1915. During his three-decade long reign as the head man, Hughes led the Aggies to eight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships and was the school's Athletic Director from 1911 until his death in 1953. Hughes brought Colorado Agricultural College some national fame with the "Million Dollar Play," a triple reverse, and he broke the color barrier in Colorado football in 1939 when he played John Mosley.

Then, in 2003, the stadium was renamed Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in order to honor arguably Colorado State University's greatest head coach, Sonny Lubick. Lubick took over as the Rams head coach in 1993, when the school was widely regarded as one of the worst football schools in the nation (CSU had only seven winning seasons from 1960-1992). Lubick led Colorado State to a 10-2 season in 1994, was named Coach of the Year by Sports Illustrated, and won his first bowl for the school in 1997. Overall, Sonny Lubick enjoyed 10 straight winning seasons (1994-2003), won or shared six Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West Conference titles, and went 3-5 in bowls over that time.

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is not only historical in name though, it reeks with history inside and out.

The stadium, which was originally built in a natural bowl, is made mostly of somewhat bland-looking concrete. While walking up to the gates from the vast dirt parking lots, giant concrete staircases greet visitors as they climb up and into the stadium. The gray exterior is anything but visually attractive, although the Rocky Mountain foothills with the "A" for Aggies and beautifully blue Colorado skies do set a visually stunning backdrop for a football game.

Once inside, the broad concourse walkways make for a great place to meet up with friends before, during and after the game, and they offer places for food, drink and restroom breaks.

The east side of the stadium is the student section and is general admission "seating," although no one sits on the aluminum benches while there is action on the gridiron. The west stands have six sections of seats with backs and are for the rest of the Fort Collins faithful. The stands rise out of the natural bowl and are capped off by a press box and 12 luxury suites. The suites and 4,400 seats in the north end zone were added in 2005, expanding the seating capacity of the stadium to 32,500. FieldTurf was added in 2006 (after some Wyoming University students bleached a WU in the grass the year before), and the scoreboard was improved to include a jumbotron for video replays to finish off the latest round of renovations in 2006.

That was, until they gave the grounds a major facelift. In 2010 and 2011, the school transformed a field on the stadium grounds into a frisbee golf course that's open to the public, while improving the area immediately surrounding the stadium. To the southeast, there are new grass fields, perfect for picnics or playing on pregame, with rock sitting areas and lots of trees. Inside, many murals of the biggest moments in Colorado State football history hang on the giant pillars in the east concourse.

And it looks as if those will be the final improvements to the ancient arena, as the university's board of governors decided to move forward in a campaign to raise $250 million to fund a new, on-campus stadium that could open as early as 2015.

Walking around the stadium is like walking back in time, and you wonder what the huge coliseum-esque pillars underneath the west stands would say if they could talk.

Overall, Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium isn't glamorous, it isn't pretty, it isn't even modern - but when it's packed and rockin' it's always a fun time in Fort Collins.

2.4

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    2

The food selection at Hughes is minimal.

They offer hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos and French fries - although all are at reasonable prices (around $3 a piece). Lines do get obnoxiously long during halftime since there are only two concession stands per side of the stadium.

The concession stands also offer soda and bottles of water to drink.

Beer stands are independent, and run for charity ($6). Beer was taken away in 2004, but was brought back in 2006. It is 3.2 apv. and is only available until halftime.

Note: If you want to buy anything in the stadium, cash is the only thing that's accepted. There are three ATMs in Hughes, but the lines are extraordinarily long at times, so come prepared.

If that were all the food that was offered, it would receive a 1-5, but don't forget about the tailgating that happens in the parking lot.

Ram Town is located just south of the player's entrance and they offer an interactive experience for kids and food and drink for everyone. And it's all free. Plus, wandering around either parking lot will find you some food and drink with the friendly people of the Fort. Tailgating is still allowed in the parking lots and a good amount of drinking goes on, especially in the eastern student parking lot. Make sure to stop by the ID verification tent to get a wrist band or you will be asked by police if you decide to drink.

Atmosphere    2

The Rams have been pretty bad overall the last five seasons, and crowd size has definitely been affected. When crowds are small, the atmosphere is subdued.

The field announcer is somewhat dry, and music being played over the loudspeakers is nonexistent. But, the CSU Band does do a great job of keeping the energy going in the stands.

When the stadium is packed, the student section is straight up rowdy and raucous, and the atmosphere is a three or four out of five, but until the team gets good again and earns interest from the average student fans again, the atmosphere is only a two.

Neighborhood    2

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is located in the far west part of Fort Collins, on the footsteps of the Rocky Mountains and Horsetooth Reservoir.

What that means is that there's nothing located near the stadium. There aren't any restaurants, bars or hotels nearby.

Across the street is a neighborhood, and unless you know someone that lives within walking distance that is throwing a party, the only place to hang out before the game is in the parking lots. But, it does mean that people are compelled to go tailgate before games, and in actuality, plenty of restaurants are only a couple miles away to grab grub after games.

C. B. & Potts is a restaurant and brewery that is located three miles from Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. It is a large restaurant, with good food at reasonable prices and great in-house brewed beer. Potts has lots of different tasty appetizers (their spinach & artichoke dip is so good it's hard to stop eating) and they offer entree salads as well.

But their entrees are where the most hearty and flavorsome dishes are.

The calzones are oozing with cheese and filled with other tasty veggies/meats, pizzas feature piled on toppings and burgers are massive and delectable.

As for the beer selection, for something light, try the Blonde, while the Buttface Amber has a strong bite and clean finish. But, all of their beers are very good, so give a few a try before, during or after a Rams game.

Buffalo Wild Wings, for those that haven't seen the national commercials, is the typical sports bar on steroids!

There are a seemingly endless number of flat screen TVs to enjoy the Rams or any other of a multitude of teams and sports at any time.

Buffalo Wild Wings offers a very good "basic bar food" menu. They have sandwiches, burgers, chicken tenders and even ribs.

But when you go to Buffalo Wild Wings, you gotta get the wings. They're quite good and they have many different sauce flavors, 14 in total, everything from "Sweet BBQ" to "Blazin'."

Fans    3

After years of poorly played football, the students have become somewhat disinterested in the Rams.

That can also be said of the longtime supporters in Fort Collins, though they've been rejuvenated as of late.

The hiring of former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain kicked off the "Bold New Era" of Colorado State Football, and the new head coach changed the culture of the team in mere months on the job. In his first season, the team improved over the last three years by going 4-8. Still, attendance continues to struggle as the team has a long ways to go before putting a consistently competitive product on Sonny's field.

Access    2

Since Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is located in the far west of Fort Collins, there aren't many roads to take to get there. It's on Overland Trail and just north of Drake, so either one of them are good routes to take. The police make three lanes run south on Overland because most people come from that direction, and bright orange cones and friendly officers guide you on your way.

Parking in the lots is $10, or free with a student ID.

For those that don't want to drive, Colorado State runs free transportation called the Rams Express that begins running two hours before kickoff and makes stops every 20 minutes. The route starts at the Marriott Fort Collins, goes to the Lory Student Center and McGraw Athletic Center on campus, then to Rams Village on Elizabeth and onto the stadium. The service is free to students with a valid CSU ID. Route Map.

Return on Investment    3

Every home game is free to students with a valid ID.

Single game tickets are $30 for adults, on the west side and $25 for seats in the north end zone, while youth tickets are $15.

Pepsi 4-Packs are four tickets in the north end zone, four hot dogs and four sodas for $80, and if they are ordered more than 10 days before the game you receive a free parking pass.

Season tickets in the west side are $225 and they include tickets to the Rocky Mountain Showdown if they are bought before the season. North end zone season tickets are $125.

Extras    3

The cannon booms after scores and female students are tossed high in the air by their male counterparts, combining for a unique scoring celebration. Also, when the Rams kick off, the student section pulls out their keys and shakes them violently, which is loud and interesting as well.

It's called the "keys to victory," a small tradition that has lasted for over a decade.

Also, as part of the "Bold New Era" there's a new ceremony at the beginning of every game in which all eight schools of CSU are represented on the field with flags, then the team is led onto the field by the RamStrong truck.

Final Thoughts

Rich Kurtzman is a Colorado State University Alumnus and a freelance journalist. Along with being the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for Stadium Journey, Kurtzman is the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos Featured Columnist for bleacherreport.com and the CSU Rams and Fort Collins Beer Bars Examiner for examiner.com.

Follow Rich on twitter or facebook.

I enjoyed the atmosphere...

Sure they've struggled over the past few years, but I've been to a couple of games Hughes Stadium recently and enjoyed my time there. Caught a game against TCU and Wyoming. Though neither were close to capacity crowds, both games had an involved student section. The band is definitely a plus. I really hope the recent news of adding an on-campus stadium doesn't come to fruition. The current stadium is just a few blocks from the campus and nestled at the foothills of the Rockies.

by pwdonaldson | Jul 02, 2012 10:04 PM

Time for CSU to build a new on-campus stadium!

Hughes is old, run down, has few amenities of a modern stadium, and the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired. As a die-hard Ram fan, it is time CSU made the commitment to building an on-campus stadium. The tailgating at Hughes is pretty much the only benefit, but even that can be enhanced with a traditions and atmosphere of being on-campus. The "Bold New Era" can only be achieved with the building of the planned stadium. I'm proud CSU plans to move forward with it and hope they do so sooner rather then later.

by CSURamT | Jul 08, 2013 03:53 PM

You must be a Stadium Journey member to post a comment.

Already a member? Sign in or Create a Stadium Journey Account

-- OR --

Crowd Reviews

History, Apathy, and Hope

Total Score: 2.29

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

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium drips of history, even when just saying the name of the stadium aloud.

Originally Hughes Stadium, which opened in 1968, it was named after Harry W. Hughes, the head coach of the then Colorado Agricultural College Aggies football team for 31 seasons (1911-41). Hughes took the Aggies from winless in 1911 to undefeated in 1915. During his three-decade long reign as the head man, Hughes led the Aggies to eight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships and was the school's Athletic Director from 1911 until his death in 1953. Hughes brought Colorado Agricultural College some national fame with the "Million Dollar Play," a triple reverse, and he broke the color barrier in Colorado football in 1939 when he played John Mosley.

Then, in 2003, the stadium was renamed Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in order to honor arguably Colorado State University's greatest head coach, Sonny Lubick. Lubick took over as the Rams head coach in 1993, when the school was widely regarded as one of the worst football schools in the nation (CSU had only seven winning seasons from 1960-1992). Lubick led Colorado State to a 10-2 season in 1994, was named Coach of the Year by Sports Illustrated, and won his first bowl for the school in 1997. Overall, Sonny Lubick enjoyed 10 straight winning seasons (1994-2003), won or shared six Western Athletic Conference or Mountain West Conference titles, and went 3-5 in bowls over that time.

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium is not only historical in name though, it reeks with history inside and out.

The stadium, which was originally built in a natural bowl, is made mostly of somewhat bland-looking concrete. While walking up to the gates from the vast dirt parking lots, giant concrete staircases greet visitors as they climb up and into the stadium. The gray exterior is anything but visually attractive, although the Rocky Mountain foothills with the "A" for Aggies and beautifully blue Colorado skies do set a visually stunning backdrop for a football game.

Once inside, the broad concourse walkways make for a great place to meet up with friends before, during and after the game, and they offer places for food, drink and restroom breaks.

The east side of the stadium is the student section and is general admission "seating," although no one sits on the aluminum benches while there is action on the gridiron. The west stands have six sections of seats with backs and are for the rest of the Fort Collins faithful. The stands rise out of the natural bowl and are capped off by a press box and 12 luxury suites. The suites and 4,400 seats in the north end zone were added in 2005, expanding the seating capacity of the stadium to 32,500. FieldTurf was added in 2006 (after some Wyoming University students bleached a WU in the grass the year before), and the scoreboard was improved to include a jumbotron for video replays to finish off the latest round of renovations in 2006.

Walking around the stadium is like walking back in time, and you wonder what the huge coliseum-esque pillars underneath the west stands would say if they could talk.

Overall, Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium isn't glamorous, it isn't pretty, it isn't even modern""but when it's packed and rockin' it's always a fun time in Fort Collins.

Hughes Stadium - Colorado State

Total Score: 2.71

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 0

Expect a solid experience, but don't expect to be blown away. Nothing special on the concessions menu, but they have a pretty active student section and a heck of a view at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains

Gotta grab a picture with the live mascot "Cam the Ram" outside the stadium before the game.

Love CSU, Hughes Leaves a lot to be desired

Total Score: 0.71

  • Food & Beverage: 1
  • Atmosphere 1
  • Neighborhood: 0
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 0
  • RoI: 0
  • Extras: 0

Tailgating in the lot around Hughes is fun when packed but unfortunately the location of Hughes Stadium makes it the forgotten facility. The face-lift it was give a few years ago was not the problem, the location is the problem. There is little to no public transportation to the stadium, it is on the outskirts of town that no one goes to unless they have to, and it is just far enough away from campus that students would rather sleep-in then attend a game. The only thing Hughes has going for it is that they sell beer until half-time, other then that CSU needs to build a stadium on-campus to create that game-day atmosphere that will really show-off how amazing CSU is. Moving forward on building an on-campus stadium is about the best idea CSU has had in a long time. Heck, they can always use the Hughes lot to park people at and bus them over to campus, but busing people away from campus and away from all the restaurants, shops, breweries, etc. that Fort Collins has to offer has been hurting both CSU & Fort Collins for far too long.

Lovable Dump

Total Score: 2.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 2
  • Neighborhood: 0
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 1
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Been to over 100 games at Hughes since I was a Freshmen at CSU in 1993. It is a dump. But I love it. Can't wait until it is gone though for an on campus stadium.

Share your thoughts about Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium

Local Food & Drink

C.B. & Potts  (map it!)

1415 W Elizabeth

Fort Collins, CO 80521

(970) 221-1139

http://www.cbpotts.com/colorado/fortcollins.shtml

Buffalo Wild Wings  (map it!)

150 E Harmony Rd

Fort Collins, CO 80521

(970) 266-9464

http://www.buffalowildwings.com/

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Fort Collins Marriott  (map it!)

350 E Horsetooth Rd

Fort Collins, CO 80525

(970) 226-5200

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ftcco-fort-collins-marriott/

w

© 2014 Stadium Journey