Rick George visits the construction site just outside his Dal Ward Center office at least twice a day to check the progress of new seating areas being built in the north end and northeast corner of Folsom Field.
Colorado's athletic director, now in his second year on the job, admits he has lost sleep in the past month worrying those new seating areas wouldn't be done for the home opener one week from Saturday (Sept. 13) against Arizona State.
He has some good news while keeping his fingers crossed for more.
George says the seating in the north end, including new loge boxes that come equipped with televisions, four comfortable chairs and all the food and drink a fan could want, will be completed on time. He is no longer losing sleep at night about that portion of the project.
The new seating area in the northeast corner is still being constructed and while it gets closer to ready each day, George says there is a possibility it won't be ready for the home opener.
"I'm optimistic that it will be done and have every belief that it will be done but something could happen outside of our control," George said. "But we plan on it being done."
George said the northeast corner has taken longer to build than expected because the ground in that portion of project's footprint wasn't as stable as initially believed. That meant caissons had to be drilled deeper than first planned adding time to the project.
CU has a plan in place for the 200-300 people who purchased seats in the northeast corner for the opener if that seating area isn't ready. Those fans will be relocated to other parts of the stadium, likely in the 200 level on the east side.
"It shouldn't be a big deal, but we don't want to do that," George said. "That has been my intent the whole time."
The new seating areas are the most dramatic and obvious change CU fans will see this season at Folsom Field, but they aren't the only differences. George said he is committed to giving CU fans a new level of customer service when they come to watch the Buffs play on fall Saturdays in Folsom Field and on winter nights and weekends when the basketball teams are in action at the Coors Events Center.
CU announced a partnership with a new concessionaire, Levy Restaurants, earlier this year. George said Levy will upgrade the food choices for fans on game day and will walk the aisles to bring food and drinks to fans in their seats.
"Mike (MacIntyre) has done a great job with his team," George said. "So the product is going to be better. We've got to improve the game day experience.
"... I do believe when people come into our stadium they will see differences in the way we look and feel, our customer service."
George said he is working with several telecommunications companies to improve wifi capabilities in the stadium during games, which would make it easier for fans to share the experience with friends on social media.
Limited wifi has been a sore spot with younger fans and students, but the biggest complaint students have has been an issue for years. CU only provides one gate for students to enter on the south end of the stadium because each student has to swipe his or her BuffOne card.
George said he is working on making it possible in the future for students to enter through more than one gate. He said that could mean purchasing new card scanners for other gates.
"We're still working on the student thing," he said.
George said season-ticket numbers this year will end up similar to last year. He said the program lost some season-ticket holders for a variety of reasons, most obviously the team's struggles on the field. He said the program also gained new season-ticket holders and the program will be "flat" compared to last season's numbers.
CU sold 19,544 season-tickets in 2013 which as down 3,447 from 2012 and down almost 6,000 from 2011, the Buffs' first season in the Pac-12 Conference.