The University of Colorado changed the name of its events center to the CU Events Center after a naming rights deal expired.
The University of Colorado changed the name of its events center to the CU Events Center after a naming rights deal expired. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

After more than two decades, the University of Colorado's Coors Events Center is officially no more.

As of July 1, the building that houses the university's basketball and volleyball teams became the CU Events Center. The building carried the Coors name for nearly 28 years of its 38-year history.

It was unveiled as the CU Events/Conference Center in August 1979 but was renamed the Coors Events Center in 1990, after the Adolf Coors Foundation donated $5 million toward then-athletic director Bill Marolt's $14 million fundraising campaign to build the Dal Ward Athletic Center.

"That was the first of four or five significant facility projects for us," sports information director David Plati said. "Coors' $5 million donation at the time really kickstarted everything."

CU has been searching for naming rights deals for several years, and the search is ongoing, Plati said, but there is no definitive timeline for a replacement.

Website materials have already been updated to read "CU Events Center," and the small, orange sign outside the building has been replaced. As for staff, "it's obviously engrained" and will take time for them to stop saying they're going to Coors when referencing the building, Plati said.

Coors Foundation officials and family members declined an extension to the naming rights opportunity, according to a CU news release Tuesday. The Coors name will still be honored in the building, though.


Advertisement

"The Coors family has traditionally been very good to the University of Colorado, and they understood why we asked to go in this direction," athletic director Rick George said in the news release. "I can't express enough our appreciation for their support through the years, and that support will be memorialized in the CU Events Center."

CU is working with Denver-based firm Impression Sports and Entertainment, which helped the University of Southern California land a 16-year, $69 million deal with United Airlines for naming rights to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Despite several interested parties over the years, no deal has been finalized.

CU officials previously told the Daily Camera they were hoping to secure a naming rights agreement of at least 10 years.

The search for a naming rights deal for Folsom Field is ongoing, too.

Cassa Niedringhaus: 303-473-1106, cniedringhaus@dailycamera.com