FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – For the first time in 50 years, Colorado State University hosted a football game on their main campus.
The stadium, which was highly contested when first proposed, officially opened to a crowd of 37,583 fans on Saturday.
The attendance set a CSU record for largest crowd at a home-opener.
“I was really upset that it was going to go on campus. I did not think it was a good idea,” said Jake Taylor, a 2012 graduate.
Taylor, and his father, have attended CSU football games for decades. Both drove the same 1958 jeep to home games, while they were in college.
“My dad used to drive it to CSU games when he went here,” Taylor said. “This is the first time it is back on campus.”
Taylor, among many others, told CBS4 the new on-campus stadium was better accepted than they expected, even by some who were skeptical.
“This is a different animal,” Taylor said. “On campus is where college football is supposed to be.”
Tailgating was one of the biggest changes of the game day experience for many fans.
Hughes Stadium allowed tailgating in one large field lot. Tailgating at the new CSU Stadium was divided up among several different parking lots, most of which are dorm parking lots.
While many students were displeased with having to move their cars for game days, others said the new layout was a unique way to welcome back alumni.
“This is awesome. People are going to be able to walk around, who haven’t been here in years,” Taylor said. “This is cool to see, and it is only going to get more people. Where they put it, and what it is doing right now by bringing everyone here, it is amazing.”
Tickets to the game against Oregon State were sold out, according to Colorado State Rams Athletics.
However, the attendance released by the university, and empty seats around the stadium, showed there was still room for more fans.
Though the stadium was approved by many on game day, some had complaints of the new venue.
Dozens of fans told CBS4, while walking through the concourse, that the stadium hallways were too congested.
During game play, thousands of fans could be seen attempting to force their ways through the hallways, while others formed in long lines for food and alcohol.
Colorado State University Athletics employees were overheard acknowledging kinks in the system, which needed to be addressed throughout the season.
However, many still said the first game at the university was a success, and could set the bar for a new era in the program’s history.
PHOTO GALLERY: CSU 58, Oregon State 27
“This is cool to see,” Taylor said. “This is the way it is supposed to be.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.