For over 480 days, fans of the University of Colorado athletics haven’t been shoulder-to-shoulder at sporting events.
That’s about to finally change come the fall.
The university announced on Monday that since the state has lifted all previous COVID-19 restrictions, that 100% capacity will return with the new athletic year in August.
So when Ralphie leads Karl Dorrell and the Buffaloes on Sept. 3 at Folsom Field against Northern Colorado, they’ll be greeted with a packed house.
Same goes for the CU Events Center in the fall with women’s volleyball, and then men’s and women’s basketball in the winter. As well as Prentup Field for women’s soccer.
As CU athletic director Rick George said in a press release:
“All of us, the student-athletes, coaches and staff, are looking forward to welcoming back our fans to every one of our venues after playing before mostly empty seats last year.”
Fan protocol at CU athletics
Fans need no reminder of the last year and how tough it’s been. But attendance for Buffs games in the shortened Pac-12 football season was non-existent in 2020.
For a team that went 4-2 last season, family members were only allowed to attend one football game in person.
To say fans are champing at the bit to get back to cheer on their Buffs is an understatement. That’s especially true heading into Dorrell’s second year.
Season tickets are currently on sale, as well as tickets for the Sept. 11 game at Empower Field at Mile High against Texas A&M (those tickets are available through Ticketmaster). Three-game mini-ticket plans are on sale now, while single game tickets for the six home games go on sale July 7.
In terms of COVID protocol for those who attend, the press release notes that CU will adhere to Boulder County regulations that have yet to be finalized regarding the wearing of masks and/or proof of vaccination.
What about sports betting?
This fall is also the first time fans will see the sports betting deal with Colorado sportsbook PointsBet in action. The deal remains a sparkplug in the industry over the integrity of college athletics.
Fans will see PointsBet signage displayed throughout Folsom Field.
The one thing they won’t see is betting kiosks at Folsom Field. State law only allows kiosks at the three gaming towns of Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek. So if you’re of age and have a sportsbook on your phone, you’ll still be able to bet the Buffs.
As for how this deal with CU and PointsBet will unfold, that’s still a mystery. How prominently will they go to advertise sports betting at PointsBet to how they approach responsible gambling in Colorado, which is a huge concern for the National Council on Problem Gambling. A study conducted earlier this year shows students and student-athletes are at a high risk for addiction.
Hopefully those concerns are tackled in a manner fitting the seriousness of the issue.
But at least for now, fans of the Buffs can return to Folsom Field, shoulder-to-shoulder.