Canvas Stadium is the newest and most exclusive venue in Northern Colorado. It is the new name for Colorado State University’s 41,000-capacity multipurpose stadium that opened on the school’s Fort Collins campus in 2017 and brought Rams football games back to campus for the first time in 50 years, providing countless new engagement opportunities for the entire university.
The $220 million, 727,000-square-foot facility–financed entirely through a bond sale, with no general fund or tuition funding, and backed by private donations–combines all of the Rams’ football training facilities and offices on the west side. The $18.5 million east side of the building includes the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center, general classroom space and the Collaborative for Student Achievement. CSU and Public Service Credit Union announced a 15-year, $37.7 million naming rights agreement in April 2018.
When you visit Canvas Stadium you’ll notice something strange at first: it doesn’t look like a stadium at first glance. Its mid-century modern aesthetic blends in with surrounding campus architecture. Strong horizontal lines balance out vertical elements inspired by Fort Collins
connection to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The stadium’s highest point measures a modest 123 feet.
The result is a design that intentionally shares the spotlight. Canvas Stadium is one piece of the campus tapestry, a piece that impacts more than football. To that end, the project presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the university to add in-demand academic space cost-effectively while also changing the definition of an on-campus stadium.
By integrating academic spaces into the stadium project, the university added classroom capacity and saved on construction costs. More importantly, they bring the larger CSU community into contact with the stadium on a regular basis.
On the athletics side, Canvas Stadium debuted to rave reviews in its inaugural season. The Rams set an all-time attendance record with a total of 192,369 fans, a 16-percent attendance increase from the year before. That’s 192,369 new touchpoints with Colorado’s State’s growing campus and just as many memories.
Furthemore, the Orthopedic & Spine Center of the Rockies Field Club, Markley Family Hall of Champions, Stadium Club, Indoor Rams Club, and business inspired meeting rooms provide unique, luxurious spaces that can accommodate guest groups from 12 up to 1,200. These spaces are available to companies, organizations and community groups that wish to schedule events of all sizes and scope throughout the year, including corporate events, holiday parties and weddings.
Three are also other key features of the new stadium include the New Belgium Porch, a craft beer space behind the north end zone that will be open on non-event days, the Hall of Champions beneath the west grandstand, which showcases the history and achievements of the Colorado State football program, and perhaps most prominently, a 2,000-pound sculpture of two life-size rams butting heads, aptly named “Rocky Mountain Rumble”, located on the north side of the stadium; this 21-foot sculpture was crafted by the late Dawn Weimer, and took 5 years to create.
The place also has a wide variety of food and beverage options available at its concession stands; perhaps not everything you could ask for in terms of stadium fare, but enough to satisfy most tastes. Food options include burgers, chicken wraps, salads, pizza and cheesy bread from Marco’s, hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, popcorn, fries, peanuts, kettle corn, and packaged candy; prices range from $3.50 for the smallest items to $10 for combo baskets. For drinks, they have options like coffee, hot cocoa, bottled water, fountain soda, fresh-squeezed and frozen lemonade, and of course, beer and wine.
Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins
incorporates a beautiful mid-century modern design, from the Rams-logo elements interspersed along its exterior, to the mix of Colorado sandstone, metal panel, and glass materials that tie into the rest of the architecture on campus, to the wide-open plazas that function as outdoor terraces for year-round use.
Getting to Canvas Stadium isn’t very difficult, except for the potentially long drive from the nearest airport or major city, as Ft. Collins could be considered a little off the beaten path. However, you should be able to easily find parking within a few blocks of the stadium for around $20, as long as you get there a little early. There are not any large lots to speak of, but plenty of residents and businesses rent out spaces in their private lots or driveways, and you can enter the stadium from any side.