Once an afterthought, the Colorado spring football game is suddenly a popular event. And, apparently, must-see TV.
On Monday, CU announced that its spring game, slated for April 22 at 1 p.m. MT, will air on ESPN, giving fans their first look at the Deion Sanders-led Buffaloes.
There will be 35 spring games aired on the ESPN platforms over the next several weeks, but CU’s Black & Gold Day is the only one on the main ESPN network.
“It’s great for our program,” CU athletic director Rick George told BuffZone. “It’s great for our university and I’m happy that ESPN has decided to air this game. It’s a tribute to Coach Prime and his staff and our student-athletes to bring this kind of exposure to our spring football game.”
A year ago, CU had an estimated 1,950 fans attend the spring showcase at no cost and the event was aired on the Pac-12 Network.
This year, for the time since the 1980s, CU is selling tickets to the game, with general admission seats going for $10 (students get free tickets). As of Monday, CU had sold 35,000 tickets and it will be, by far, the highest attended spring game in program history.
Dating back to 1953, the highest attendance for a CU spring game was 17,800 in 2008. The past seven spring games (2015-22) combined to bring a total of roughly 30,450 fans – or an average of 4,350 per year – to Folsom Field, despite tickets being free.
Along with the spring game, CU will host a field day, presented by Children’s Hospital of Colorado. There will be inflatables and other games for kids, along with field day activities with student-athletes from other sports. There will also be an autograph session with current Buffs and former Buffs who played in the NFL from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Franklin Field.
Tickets for the spring game are still available.
CU opens its season on Sept. 2 at TCU, with the home opener on Sept. 9 against Nebraska. Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public in mid to late May.