I’ve received a bunch of emails from folks upset about the decisions CU is making with regard to parking in the lot formerly known as F, now 348, 314 and 310. I thought I would share a few of the better ones. So here you go.
While I was not one of those that lost a spot in Lot F, nor do I even have a parking spot as I am just finishing my undergraduate studies and thus lack the funding, I felt compelled to write you as many that I am friends with are. I know that many of them have already contacted you with their complaints and am aware that you have voiced them to Athletic Director Mike Bohn. However, in reading his comments in regards to the situation on your blog, it makes me question if he and the rest of the athletic department understand the place of the “common” fan and alumnus in college athletics.
Whether it be a lack of disposable income or the “crunch” placed on many by America’s current economy, not everyone is able to make substantial donations to the athletic department. That being said, many of those that were moved out of their spots on the north side of Farrand Field still managed to contribute smaller amounts such as $500 on an annual basis. This amount was in addition to the cost and required donation that many had already paid for their season tickets.
Many of these people epitomize what the athletic department claims to be looking for in the football program’s fan base. Passion, class, hospitality towards fans of our opponents, a willingness to chip in; one would imagine that the athletic department would recognize them. In a way, they already have as they often lead potential athletes (recruits) past this group that includes tailgates such as the infamous “Buff Bus” and “Buffulance” to show them the support they could come to expect should they choose to become a Colorado Buffalo. Former players often stop by the area, which includes one who also happens to be our current Running Backs coach. Television crews routinely capture clips on this group showcasing their passion as they are always amongst the first to show up on game day, hours before kickoff.
Surely the athletic department would like to attract more fans of this caliber. After all, wouldn’t they rather have a thousand people be devoted to the program and donate $500 every year, than one person who donates $500,000 once and then disappears when the program is not successful? This is the model that the athletic departments of some of our competitors, such as Texas and Oklahoma, have built their business plans upon. It is the one that CU’s Athletic Department should be using as we will probably never have a Boone Pickens willing to contribute millions of dollars.
When you consider the under utilization of the university’s alumni and the state’s population in regards to funding, you would think the athletic department would be out attracting more of these “common” fans. Not only do they fail to recognize this, but they are alienating the passionate and devoted ones that they already have.
I’m not arguing that large donors do not have their place because they most definitely do. But why would Mr. Bohn and the athletic department let these people pay their $500 for parking spaces that some of them have held since 2002 or longer, only to move them a couple of months later so that someone with a deeper pocket can show up ten to twenty minutes before kickoff? In my opinion, it speaks of a lack of ethics and class on the athletic department’s part, and brings more bad publicity to them in a state where the media and the general population do not exactly hold them in the highest regard.
In closing, if some of my friends chose not to make the trip to Boulder for games now because of the athletic department’s actions, I will clearly understand. I will miss those beautiful fall days in Boulder where I got to enjoy good food, good drinks, good company, and good conversation on all things CU. I will miss their contributions to the game day experience and to the program, and while they will not recognize it until it is too late, the athletic department will too.
Angry fan and season ticket holder,
Hey Kyle -
I am a long time season ticket holder whose parking pass is being
moved from Lot F. We have been parking there for the past 25 years.
It’s been a tradition in my family to park at Farrand, have a good
meal and then go to the game.
I am extremely upset with this decision. My season tickets have been
in my family since 1952. We buy 6 tickets in Sec 105 (the most
expensive) and donate $1800.00 to the AD. Not only did they raise
ticket prices for that section, they move us after we committed for
the upcoming season. If we would of known this we would of requested a
different parking structure.
if you can do anything about this, my family and I would appreciate it.
Thank you -
This fan chose to share his letter to athletic director Mike Bohn.
Dear Mr. Bohn,
I am writing you this morning in response to a notice that the Farrand Field (Zone F) parking pass I purchased, (at $500 per season which is a lot for my family) will NOT be honored. I am sure you have some fine print that says you can legally do this, but what a kick in gut to those of us who saved and paid for Zone F. Before I go on, I must say it is difficult to now justify this pass as this is not what I paid for, nor is it something I am looking forward to paying for in the future. I can simply park in the public parking which is just as close as lot 310 where you are dumping me.
Why does this matter? For starters, the whole reason I bought the Zone F parking pass was so I could get there early, enjoy the band warming up with the flat irons in the back ground. I have made friends from all over the state who also get there early and meeting at the north side of Farrand Field was our 6 times a year to get to hang out, talk buff football and support all that is right about the University of Colorado.
I would say most of the buff walk participants comes from this early crowd, at least where the walk begins. Everyone grabs someone and makes sure everyone heads over – say goodbye to that support.
What you are doing is putting a dagger in the passion that has been generated with this support. During televised national games, it was not uncommon for the television crews to swing by and get video of our early crowds grilling burgers, honking the Buff Bus horn, looking inside the Buffalance and singing the fight song while the band played in the back ground – this early crowd HAS been a positive ambassador to the program where image is everything and needed at the University of Colorado.
By kicking us loyal die hard fans out of what has become our home away from home, you are saying we don’t count because our checkbooks are too small.
I understand as much as anyone that the big donors are critical to the foundation of this program, but it seems no thought was put into this and certainly did not seek any input from us, the die hard fan putting positive energy on the University, both as fans walk by on their way to the game and get pumped up to cheer on the buffs to the national audience when those cameras seek us out.
Your letter says there is a space crunch due to construction; does that mean this is only temporary and the policy will return to normal as the construction comes to a conclusion? I doubt that and am insulted you would use that language to soften the news which tells me you know this a bad move. It is also disheartening that you collected our Farrand Field pass money then tell us its not Farrand Field – I feel like I have just bought a car from a dirty used car salesman.
I apologize if my tone is misplaced; I am just extremely disappointed in this move. Although the product on field has been pathetic, at least I could look forward to spending time with familiar faces and support the buff football program through thick and thin, but now that is gone too as we are forced to park in three completely different locations.
As someone who has consistently given you full support, thanks for yours.
Sincerely, the die hard fan without the big checkbook,