Campus and community benefit from fans returning to Canvas Stadium


FORT COLLINS, Colorado – Colorado State University is sure to be happy to have returning fans at Canvas Stadium, but campus isn’t the only place where you’ll find big smiles.

Local businesses and hotels are also celebrating. As Reunion Weekend approaches, available rooms in the area are almost at 100% capacity, and Visit Fort Collins President and CEO Cynthia Eichler said it was certainly having an impact. training for businesses in the region.

“About three weeks ago we were full for Homecoming in Fort Collins. I found a few hotel rooms in Loveland so there was nothing available,” Eichler said. “It’s a good challenge to take on, but it can be a challenge. But what it tells me is that when people travel and stay in hotels, it means that they eat in our restaurants, that they shop, they have experiences, everything that contributes to a positive economic impact.

“The return of the fans to Canvas Stadium has had an impact. Coming home is a particularly special weekend, and it’s fantastic. Someone from VRBO told me that she had been booked since April for this. special date, so people were really planning on going to Fort Collins and enjoying so many fun things on and off campus. “

Chris Ferris, the senior associate athletic director for sales, marketing and communications said there had been a record number of presales for tailgating spots on campus for reunion weekend, and the game, scheduled for at 1:30 p.m., with the San Jose State kickoff, is expected to draw another crowd in the 30,000 lineup.

CSU Deputy Sporting Director for Ticket Sales and Operations Matt Carson is encouraged by all the steps he sees leading up to the Homecoming game, including exceptional student participation this season. It’s also not surprising that the businesses surrounding the campus are feeling the positive effects.

“Our partners Tailgate Guys and Revel have done an incredible job selling hatchbacks. They have set record sales for any game since Canvas Stadium opened with early hatchback sales,” said Carson. “We’re heading towards a sellout for one game only, so many fans are excited to come and do their own custom parking and tailgating.

“Our student numbers have been record high. We had 12,000 in the first game, we had over 10,000 against Vanderbilt, and that has only been done a few times since Canvas Stadium opened. the largest numbers we’ve seen from Hawaii in 2018. Everything has been an outstanding response from COVID. “

Schuyler Gantert, owner of Route 34, expects a big turnout again this weekend, as has been the norm for him this season. His tavern is full on match days, especially before matches, and he expects to see fans before and after the match.

“We have no complaints. We are doing well,” Gantert said. “There’s a little more excitement in the neighborhood all around. Most importantly, there’s a lot of energy. It’s been almost two years since they played at home, and from the first game, we felt the excitement. Even the people who came for a snack or a beer. Even if it is not a long stay, they stop on the way to campus.

On match days Eichler wears another vest, that of a Rambassador, a group of people who help direct fans to where they want to go on campus or at the stadium. In the role, she said she spoke with a large number of out-of-town guests, some to cheer on the Rams, others the opponents. His downtown office has also seen a lot of foot traffic for those who come to the games.

From those quick conversations, she knows they’re spending the money all over town. In turn, she said business owners show their gratitude for the surge of people on game weekends.

“We had fans coming from other places which is great,” she said. “The people from South Dakota, a lot of them drove in and did a long weekend, because I talked to a lot of them. They asked me: where are the big craft breweries? They knew enough, but they wanted to know more.

“People are so excited that the university is open in the traditional way. The students are back, the parents are back, the grandparents are back and they can make a difference. On the business side, it is. how do we greet them and show them that appreciation? We have a responsibility to the university, the students and everything that happens on campus. “

Eichler said the exact economic impact of fans returning to Canvas Stadium won’t be known for about a month. Until then, she said she wouldn’t want to make an estimate, feeling that she couldn’t do it justice, but from what she sees with her own eyes and what she hears from the owners business, the news is only positive.

“I’m afraid I undervalue it. When you have sold-out weekends, that ripple goes a long way,” Eichler said. “We’ll be watching in a variety of ways – the lodging tax, general sales, and restaurants. Downtown can explain how things are affected there, and that will be another great metric to look at. I don’t want the under- I know it’s there, I know it’s positive and I know we’re really at some good tipping points for businesses in the city, so we’re excited and grateful. “

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