Future of Hughes Stadium still up for discussion by CSU, city

Sady Swanson

Now that construction on the on-campus stadium is officially underway, Colorado State University and the City of Fort Collins together have to decide what to do with the 160 acres of land Hughes Stadium is sitting on.

At a Board of Governors meeting earlier this month, CSU President Tony Frank said the University and the city are still working on a plan for the future of Hughes Stadium. Frank’s original plan was to keep Hughes around until the new stadium was completed and financially stable, but that would cause Hughes to sit, unused, for up to 20 years.

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Frank opened up the discussion with the community on what to do with Hughes Stadium after the Board of Governors meeting.

“Nothing has been decided or even formally evaluated,” CSU spokesperson Mike Hooker wrote in an email to the Collegian. “There is a desire to strike a potential balance between maximizing the financial value of property to the citizens of Colorado and working with the City of Fort Collins to potentially use a unique parcel of land to improve the quality of life in the community.”

Stadium Advisory Group member Per Hogestad said that the Hughes Stadium property should be reused in the best way possible.

“For it to just sit … it doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Hogestad said. “I hope that (the land) goes to some good use.”

Hogestad said that, with its close proximity to Horsetooth and the mountain views, the property would do well as residential property.

Councilmember Bob Overbeck said this is a great opportunity to get community feedback. He said he hopes the land is used as open space, instead of residential housing, because he thinks that better reflects the community’s needs.

“Hopefully (the land can be) something everyone can embrace and enjoy,” Overbeck said. 

In an interview conducted in February, Frank told the Collegian that ideas were still bouncing around on the future of Hughes Stadium.

During that interview, Frank said anyone that takes the stadium on will face the same issues CSU has faced that caused the University to build a brand-new facility. Demolishing the stadium would cost between $10 million and $20 million. Frank said Hughes’ future was still up for discussion and that CSU needed to discuss it with the Fort Collins community.

According to Hooker, the property Hughes Stadium sits on is owned by the Board of Governors, so they will make the final decision on what to do with the stadium and with the property.

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“The Board is committed to managing this asset in the best way possible for Colorado citizens,” Hooker wrote.

According to Hooker, there is no timeline for deciding on the future of Hughes Stadium.

Collegian Breaking News Editor Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @sadyswan.