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CU-Boulder Football Game Day Guide 

Welcome, visiting teams, CU parents, football fans and Buffs! If you’re attending a University of Colorado Boulder football game, we want to make sure you have a good time at the game and exploring Boulder. Here’s your guide to make the most of game day at Folsom Field and around town. 

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Get your CU football tickets directly from the CU Buffs website. In addition, the ticket booth, located at the southeast corner of Folsom Field, is open on game days four hours prior to kickoff to handle ticket sales and will call. 


Ralphie’s Corral

Ralphie’s Corral is the official tailgate event for CU football games. (Ralphie is the name of CU's mascot — an honest-to-goodness real live buffalo.) The Corral is open to everyone, no registration required, and is held on the lawn south of the Duane Physics building. Enjoy:

  • Performances by the CU Marching Band and Spirit Squad
  • Fun games for kids
  • Pictures with Chip, our costumed mascot
  • Prizes and giveaways
  • Great music
  • Concessions 
Unofficial Tailgating

On campus, several parking lots (shown on this map) are open to tailgaters. While you likely won’t be able to park here, some pass holders don’t mind if “walkups” join their pre-game celebration. You'll see cars, trucks, tents and grills set up.

CU Tailgating

Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado

Coach Prime

There's a palpable sense of excitement around Boulder while we welcome Deion "Coach Prime" Sanders to town as the new head coach of the Buffaloes football team. Keep up to date with Prime-related news on the Colorado Buffaloes' website, or follow Coach Prime on his very active and motivating Instagram.

And here's a little something extra for the super-fans. As he's been getting to know Boulder, Sanders has been documenting on social media the eateries he's tried along the way. Browse the spots he's been to and see what he thought of each one.

Pre-Game Events

Pearl Street Stampede

The night before each home game, head to the Pearl Street Mall at 7pm for a fun, family-friendly pep rally and parade. The Pearl Street Stampede features a vintage firetruck, the CU marching band, the cheer team and Chip the mascot, all making their way down Pearl whipping up crowds as they go. It starts at the Boulder County Courthouse (at 13th and Pearl) and moves westward.

Pearl Street Stampede

Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

University of Colorado Boulder Mascots

Ralphie is the University of Colorado Boulder’s mascot, a live buffalo who makes an appearance at every home game. With her team of varsity student-athletes, called Ralphie Handlers, she leads the football team onto the field on game day and laps the gridiron to the wild cheers of fans. Chip, also a buffalo but of the more huggable, costumed variety, is another favorite CU Boulder mascot.

Ralphie the CU Mascot

CU Fight Song

Sing along, even if you only get the last five words: “fight, fight…fight, fight, fight!”

Game-Day Eats

  • The Buff (.8 mile from Folsom Field) A longtime favorite breakfast and brunch spot known for their Saddlebags Pancakes and skillets. 
  • Village Coffee Shop (.6 mile from Folsom Field) No-frills diner food done right. Fluffy pancakes, ultra-crispy hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, and more.
  • The Sink (.6 mile from Folsom Field) Killer burgers and pizza, artfully graffitied walls, 15-some beers on tap and a build-your-own mule bar. 
  • Rincon Argentino (.6 mile from Folsom Field) Fresh-baked empanadas in a casual spot with a small patio close to Folsom Field.
  • Half Fast Subs (.6 mile from Folsom Field) Really tasty, creative subs and a sunny patio on which to devour them. 

Front end of The Sink Boulder

Pre- and Post-Game Bars

  • The Sundown Saloon (1.1 miles from Folsom Field) Cheap pitchers of beer, a pool table, darts and a dive-y underground vibe.
  • License No. 1 (1.3 miles from Folsom Field) Below the Hotel Boulderado, this historic cocktail bar had the first liquor license in Boulder. Great specials make it popular with students and locals.
  • The Dark Horse (1.1 miles from Folsom Field) Fun, kitschy décor, laid-back vibes and good food. 
  • Pearl Street Pub and Cellar (1.2 miles from Folsom Field) Affordable pints, a hearty happy hour, foosball and billiards in this low-key, old-school spot on Pearl. 
  • Bohemian Biergarten (1.2 miles from Folsom Field) Long, wooden tables, pretzel, sausages and German beers in huge steins.
  • Backcountry Pizza and Tap House (.6 mile from Folsom Field) So many beers, so little time — and it’s very close to Folsom Field, too.

Where to Stay

Boulder is fairly geographically compact, so most hotels are only a few minutes from Folsom Field. The hotels close to CU are listed here.

2023 CU Boulder Football Schedule

Here is the Boulder football schedule for the entire season. Home games are in bold. Get tickets here


Sept. 2

Texas Christian University 

Amon G. Carter Stadium, TX

Sept. 9

University of Nebraska

Folsom Field, Boulder

Sept. 16

Colorado State University

Folsom Field, Boulder

Sept. 23

University of Oregon

Autzen Stadium, OR

Sept. 30

University of Southern California

Folsom Field, Boulder

Oct. 7

Arizona State University

Sun Devil Stadium, AZ

Oct. 13

Stanford University

Folsom Field, Boulder

Oct. 28


Rose Bowl Stadium, CA

Nov. 4

Oregon State University

Folsom Field, Boulder

Nov. 11

University of Arizona

Folsom Field, Boulder

Nov. 17

Washington State University

Martin Stadium, WA

Nov. 25

University of Utah

Rice-Eccles Stadium, UT

Dec. 1

Pac-12 Championship Game

Allegiant Stadium, NV


Parking is available on campus but is very limited. You’ll need to get there at least an hour before kickoff. See the map here (public parking is indicated in black) and purchase online in advance


It’s usually easier to park your car off campus and ride one of these routes to and from the game.

  • The HOP: Take the HOP bus to campus, which is $3 for a 3-hour pass. Park at Twenty Ninth Street shopping center or other spots along the route.
  • Flatiron Flyer: If you're coming from Denver, you can take the RTD bus called the Flatiron Flyer (FF1) and disembark at Broadway and Euclid in Boulder. From there, it is a half-mile walk to the stadium.
  • Free Bus from East Campus: Park on east campus, off Colorado Avenue & Discovery Drive, for $15 purchased online only. From there, take a free game-day bus that picks up at the green locations on the map below. This shuttle picks up every 10-15 min and will begin operating two hours prior to kickoff and continue throughout until two hours after the game is over.

East Campus Football Parking

Clear-Bag PolicyClear Bags

Fans may bring one clear bag no larger than 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches, or a one-gallon resealable clear plastic storage bag, into Folsom Field. Fans also will be allowed one small clutch purse, no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Bags that will no longer be allowed into Folsom Field include backpacks, large purses, oversized tote bags, camera bags and binocular cases, diaper bags, fanny packs and printed plastic bags. Seat cushions and chair backs are allowed, but they must be 18 inches or less in width and cannot have pockets, zippers or covers. Full stadium policies here.