It was no secret that Colorado has been looking for "a strategic partner" to pay for the rights to slap its name and logo on Folsom Field, or that CU could really use the money. But officials apparently weren't quite prepared yet for the accidental unveiling earlier this week:
School officials normally do not comment on ongoing negotiations with potential business partners but the cat was let out of the bag Tuesday when someone took a photo of a message displayed on the Folsom Field video boards reading "Welcome to Frontier Stadium."
That person then posted the photo on at least one message board at a CU fan site leading to speculation that a deal already had been completed. The message was on the video boards in the stadium while a group of CU officials hosted representatives of Frontier Airlines.
It was designed to give company officials an idea of how the stadium might look on a typical game day if the company decided to purchase naming rights and rename the stadium Frontier Stadium at Folsom Field.
The deal is not done: Athletic director Mike Bohn confirmed talks with potential sponsors to the Boulder Daily Camera but said "it would be premature to reveal potential partners or naming efforts at this time," and any eventual deal — likely netting the university in the neighborhood of $1 million a year for 10 to 20 years — will have to go through the CU Board of Regents for final approval. But it does make sense. Frontier Airlines is local (it was "Denver's hometown carrier" for decades and still keeps some corporate offices there) and is already a major sponsor of Colorado athletics. Given the visual evidence, Buff fans have good reason to go ahead and resign themselves to the cold corporate reality of "Folsom Field at Frontier Stadium." (Although there may still be time to get favorite sons Trey Parker and Matt Stone on board for Eric Cartman Stadium, which I can guarantee would earn the wholehearted support of the student body. It can't hurt to ask.)
They have some good company: Central Florida, Louisville, Minnesota, Syracuse and Texas Tech all gave in to the piper years ago, not to mention the schools (Miami, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, South Florida, Temple) that play their home games in corporately-emblazoned NFL stadiums and Troy, which was doing just fine in Movie Gallery Stadium until the company went out of business last year. They can't all be Whataburger Field, I guess, but everyone else seems to be doing alright.