Yesterday, Colorado State Athletics made a monumental move: They officially welcomed a donation from New Belgium Brewing.
The move — in which New Belgium gave $4.3 million for the naming rights for CSU’s on-campus stadium’s porch — means two of Fort Collins’ most prolific economic powerhouses have merged.
For New Belgium, already a national name as the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country, this placement inside a Division I college football stadium is huge. For anyone who’s visited “Fort Belgium,” as one head man at Boulder Beer called the town, going to the breweries is a no-brainer. And, if you’ve been recently, the additions to New Belgium are extraordinary. Their world-class tap room, which includes unique art and a slide for adults, had grown too big for its britches, so they added another, state-of-the-art tap room, alleviating the old “packed in like sardines” feeling. Beyond that, they now have an expansive lawn where the once tiny parking lot sat, as well as a “back yard” with tables, art and a game in their family-friendly atmosphere.
Now, the New Belgium Porch will bring a bit of that FoCo feeling into the new stadium — and if CSU makes it, into the Big 12. It will be able to spread the unique, fun atmosphere into the homes of football fans across the nation.
The bike wheel art which partly makes up the porch’s walls epitomize New Belgium’s fun, freaky culture and football fans will enjoy the fact that their delicious beers will be poured there. A definite step up from the 3.2 beer which was available at Hughes.
For CSU Athletics, not only does this deal increase the level of enjoyment for fans at Sonny Lubick Field at the on-cmpus stadium, it’s a chance for the school to utilize some beautiful branding as well.
In fact, it caught the attention of multiple national college football writers:
This can only be good news for CSU’s Big 12 efforts. https://t.co/AqYbrog6wu
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) August 9, 2016
This Colorado State stadium looks like it’s going to pretty awesome: https://t.co/E8DMBU0fiY
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 9, 2016
Dodd’s statement is more poignant here, though.
While the on-campus stadium is the real reason Colorado State is even in the discussion when it comes to Big 12 expansion, the New Belgium Porch is like the cherry on top. Fans will have the opportunity to hang out, watch the game from field level in an experience which will be new for even the most die-hard Rams supporter. And that experience is one other teams’ fans will want to enjoy, too.
University of Texas President Greg Fenves was in Colorado three weeks ago, enjoying the fly fishing, nature and likely, a Colorado beer or two as well. Per the Coloradoan, there are over 35,000 Big 12 alumni living in the Denver area, meaning they already understand the amazing culture surrounding brewing in “The State of Craft Beer.”
New Belgium, which has always promoted an environmentally friendly culture — be it through their wind powered brewery or the bike riding they encourage — is quintessentially Colorado. Fort Collins, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is not only a picturesque vacation destination, but also a perfect weekend getaway for those Big 12 supporters living in the capitol city, a mere hour away.
See, it’s New Belgium’s world-class beer first and foremost, but followed quickly behind are their efforts to effect the local economy and ecology in positive ways – including being employee owned – which make them a perfect partner for Colorado State Athletics.
New Belgium is representative of everything which makes Fort Collins great, and even if fans only flock to the new stadium to try their beer, they’ll still likely learn something new about the tremendous company and how it represents Fort Fun so well.
For CSU football fans, the reality of the on-campus stadium being built was a dream come true when the possibilities were announced back in late 2011. Now that it’s halfway home, Rams supporters are hoping the top-notch facility helps propel them into the big leagues, into a Power 5 conference, into the Big 12.
The on-campus stadium was already a selling point, but New Belgium’s timely donation only makes Colorado State a more tantalizing addition to the Big 12.