Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano can’t predict how many fans will be in Folsom Field this fall, but as spectators are returning to events around the country, he’s optimistic.
“I’m confident we’re going to have fans in the stadium; very confident and very optimistic about that,” DiStefano told BuffZone.com. “The number, I’m not sure of, whether it will be 50,000 or 50%.”
The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment recently approved the Colorado Rockies to allow 70% capacity (35,000) at Coors Field starting June 1. So far this season, the Rockies have been allowed to have 42.6% percent of capacity.
Also last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approved Ball Arena, home of the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, for 42.3% of capacity (7,750 fans), up from 22.1%.
Last season, the Buffs had 554 friends and family at the season-opening football game against UCLA. They were not allowed to have any fans for the other two games at Folsom Field, which has a capacity of 50,183, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some stadiums around the country are already allowing full capacity as more people get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“When you look at what the professional sports are doing in Denver in baseball and what they’re planning for football, and with the vaccines, I’m optimistic that we’re going to have, obviously, many more in the stadium than we had last year,” DiStefano said. “I don’t know if we’ll be at capacity, but I hope we’re close to that.”
Pac-12 eliminates intraconference transfer rule
At its annual spring meeting on Monday, the Pac-12’s CEO group approved the removal of the intraconference transfer rule. That will eliminate the requirement of a first-time undergraduate transfer sitting out a year if they transfer from one Pac-12 school to another.
The CEO group — presidents and chancellors from the 12 schools — unanimously approved the change.
“The Pac-12 mission is to develop the next generation of leaders in academics and athletics,” Michael Schill, Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Oregon president said in a press release. “Providing student-athletes with more flexibility in choosing their path and greater representation in the Pac-12 governance process strengthens our commitment to achieving that mission.”
In addition, the Pac-12 is increasing the student-athlete representation in the conference’s official governance voting structure. One representative from each school will be added to the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT). Previously, there have been two student-athletes from each school; now there will be three from each school, with those student-athletes representing each sports season.
Pleased with athletics
As CU wraps up the school year in athletics, DiStefano said he’s been pleased with how all the Buffaloes’ sports teams have navigated the pandemic.
“I really want to give credit to the athletic department and our student-athletes for being as resilient as they’ve been,” DiStefano said.
Despite challenges, the football team went 4-2 and played in the Alamo Bowl; the men’s basketball team reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament; the women’s basketball team played in the WNIT; and the Buffs had success in other sports, as well.
“I want to, first of all, congratulate (athletic director Rick George) and his team, and our student-athletes,” DiStefano said. “They were just so resilient, and dedicated to what they wanted to do and I think overall it was a very difficult year. But I look forward to the summer and fall now.”