Hughes Stadium: soon to be gone, but not forgotten by Ram fans

Jennifer Cleary and her daughter with sign from Hughes Stadium
Jennifer and Eleanor Cleary

Hughes Stadium, off-campus home of Ram’s football since 1968, began deconstruction on April 10, and demolition is scheduled to finish before November.

The CSU Research Foundation is in charge of the 161-acre site’s redevelopment and is currently seeking bids and plans for qualified developers to oversee a mixed-use development. CSU and the City of Fort Collins are discussing the option of annexing the property to be zoned within the city. The CSU Board of Governors unanimously voted to seek the annexation of the property.

Pending annexation, the development of Hughes will be the subject of the full city review process, and that requires its own various steps for community involvement and input. The Board of Governors will make the final decision as to the highest, best use of the property in consideration of what benefits both CSU and the greater community.

Special place

Though Hughes has been replaced with the new on-campus facility, Hughes will always hold a special place in the hearts of Rams everywhere. One of these Rams is Jennifer Clary, who went searching for a sign that once hung in the old stadium.

When Clary attended CSU, she was a member of the marching band. Each home football game, she walked down the steps above the 50-yard line and through the gate marked “Portal 15.”

When Clary came back to CSU to work with the University Center for the Arts, she brought her daughter with her to the games. Underneath the same “Portal 15” sign became their regular meeting place.

Clary was able to track down the sign at Wool Hat, a furniture and antique store in Fort Collins that obtained some of the memorabilia from Hughes. Clary was able to surprise her daughter, CSU student Eleanor, with the sign.

“There is really over a decade of history between us and this sign,” said Clary. “Hughes will always be a special place to our family and we are glad to have a piece of it in our home.”