Sunday, September 19, 2021

Gophers will have a maximum crowd of more than 3,000 fans in Colorado on Saturday

When the Gophers soccer team races to Folsom Field to play the Colorado Buffalos on Saturday, more than 3,000 Minnesota fans will be in the stands in Boulder, Colo.

The University of Minnesota “maxed out” its 3,000-ticket allocation from the Buffalo Athletics Department. Yu requested a few hundred additional tickets from Colorado and sold them all as well. There are likely other fans of Gopher who bought their tickets elsewhere to go inside the 53,750-seat stadium.

“Whether it is the Tour or the Outback Bowl, fans are excited to travel and support the team,” said Mike Wierzbicki, Gophers senior associate athletics director for outdoor affairs. “We expect this to increase in the future.”

The Gophers sold nearly 8,500 tickets to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. on New Year’s Day 2020 when they beat No. 10 Auburn to finish the season 11-2. While U fans won’t be out in those numbers on Saturday, the event’s demand for tickets comes two weeks after Ohio State returned a “significant amount” of tickets to Minnesota after the Buckeyes could not fill their allotment for the September 2 season. . Opener at Huntington Banks Stadium.

The Gophers and the Buffalos announced a home-and-home series in October 2016 (with Colorado touring Minnesota the following September). This long run meant that Minnesota fans had five years’ notice – and a year to sit at home during the pandemic – to consider and then book trips to Colorado.

Wierzbicki said the buffalo game had key elements to a good road presence – an interesting location and an interesting opponent. Minneapolis-St. There are quick, direct flights to Denver from Paul International Airport, which is a short 30-mile drive to the tourist town of Boulder, located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. The Buffaloes are a Pac-12 Conference rival that the Gophers have faced only three times (0–3) and not since 1992.

It’s not just another trip to face Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

Starting an “alliance” to expand the Big Ten, Pac-12, and Atlantic Coast Conferences, as well as expanding the Southeastern Conference, Minnesota is the type of game it can see on a regular schedule. To bring everyone together in Colorado, the Denver chapter of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association will have a Friday night social event at Three Dogs Tavern in Denver.

For game, gophers (1-1) and buffaloes (1-1) are matched equally. Some early betting lines had the Gophers as the 3-point favorite, while the initial consensus placed the Buffaloes as the 2-point favorite.

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After blowing up FCS-level northern Colorado in their opener, Buffalo turned heads on Saturday by putting up a now-numbered one. 7 Texas A&M on the upset clock. But the Aggies’ backup quarterback crafted a game-winning touchdown drive with two minutes to spare for a 10-7 victory.

Colorado is led by running back Jarek Broussard, 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year; Mobile quarterback Brendan Lewis, and veteran linebacker Nate Landmann. “They are a connected football team, a really good football team,” Minnesota coach PJ Fleck said on Monday. “You can see that come on film.”

This will be the Gophers’ third non-convention road game under Fleck. In their second game in 2017, wildfires in southern Oregon forced the team’s flight to Portland and then the bus to land in Corvallis.

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“It took like hours and hours on the bus…” said Fleck. “All in the way, I’m saying, ‘We don’t let circumstances dictate our behavior.’ We are coming out of here and there will be challenges throughout the game. This is just one part of it.”

In 2019, Minnesota flew to California and beat Fresno State 38-35 in double overtime with a touchdown catch from Chris Autman-Bell and a junior interception from Antoine Winfield, leading to a surprise victory.

“People don’t know how hard it is to go out to Fresno,” Fleck said. “(Coach) Pat Hill did a great job of developing that program in the Valley and how good they were. Then, it’s figuring out what kind of team you have. It’s overcoming adversity. People don’t know how good those teams really are.”

For this week’s visit, Fleck and the staff are working on ways to play at altitude and hit the road for the first time in 2021. Signs will remind players: “The height of Folsom Field is 5334 feet.”

“We’ve had several doctors and medical members come over and talk to us a little bit about how we should travel,” Fleck said. “We’re going to be there for the shortest time possible. The longer you stay, the more it affects you. If we can go in and get out, it shouldn’t affect us too much.” .

Gophers will have a maximum crowd of more than 3,000 fans in Colorado on Saturday
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