In Colorado Springs, there's never a bad time of year to cheer on a local sports team, and we do mean local. With the multitude of NCAA Division I teams at the U.S. Air Force Academy and University of Colorado Colorado Springs—not to mention the minor league baseball and football teams in the city—you don't have to drive to Denver to cheer on high-quality teams. You also don't need to pay anywhere near as much money to score great tickets in Colorado Springs.
Whether you're new in town or you're just looking to reinvigorate yourself with a new team to cheer on, there are plenty of options within the Colorado Springs area.
United States Air Force Academy Falcons
Where do we begin with all the Air Force Falcons teams you can watch throughout the year? The football team plays at Falcon Stadium, a high-end venue that holds more than 46,000 fans and boasts gorgeous mountain views from several seating areas. When there's a Falcons home game, the entire city comes to life. It isn't just a game, it's an all-out production, complete with jets flying overhead and the mascot parachuting into the stadium. The Falcons football team has played in the Division I Mountain West Conference since 1999 and this past season went 10-3 and defeated Southern Alabama 45-21 in the Arizona Bowl. They've also won the most Commander-in-Chief's Trophies between the three military service academies to date and have produced more than a dozen NFL players.
The Air Force Academy baseball team plays at the Falcon Baseball Field on campus and also competes in the Mountain West Conference, producing many strong teams in the 1960s and still remaining competitive today. Five Air Force Falcons have also been drafted by MLB teams over the years.
The Air Force basketball teams have made multiple appearances into the famed NCAA Tournament in recent decades. To date, the men's team has qualified four times, in 1960, 1962, 2004, and 2006, while the women's team has qualified twice, in 1985 and 1990. The most notable former basketball player at Air Force Academy is San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich, who is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Popovich played for the Falcons during the late 1960s and served as an assistant coach from 1973 to 1979.
Falcons on the Ice
Several of the Falcons men's ice hockey teams have also been very strong in recent years. In particular, they made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament from 2007 to 2009 and were one win away from advancing to the Frozen Four in 2009. To date, Air Force is the only service academy to qualify for the NCAA Division I Tournament.
The Falcons also have competitive NCAA teams in a variety of other sports. These athletes are not only competing at an extremely high level of athletics, but are also training to serve their country, so they're certainly worth admiring and cheering on.
University of Colorado Mountain Lions
The University of Colorado Mountain Lions produce NCAA Division I teams that play their home games in Colorado Spring in the following sports:
Basketball (men & women)
Cross Country (men & women)
Golf (men & women)
Soccer (men & women)
Track & Field (men & women)
Of note, the Mountain Lions have produced several prominent Cross Country runners and Track & Field athletes in the long distance events. The women's volleyball team also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
Colorado College Tigers
The Colorado College Tigers have Division III teams to cheer for in all the major sports, with the exception of the Tigers men's ice hockey team, which is consistently among the better teams in the country at the Division I level. If you enjoy watching ice hockey at the collegiate level, the Tigers are a team you certainly don't want to miss. While they haven't won the NCAA Tournament since 1957, the Tigers have qualified for the tournament 20 times to date, reaching the Frozen Four on 10 of those occasions. The Tigers hockey team have also produced 30 current and former NHL players, including current St. Louis Blues standout forward Jaden Schwartz.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
The most prominent local sports team at the professional level is the Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball team. The Sky Sox serve as the Triple-A affiliate of the major league Milwaukee Brewers, although they previously served as the affiliate of the Colorado Rockies from 1993 to 2014 and the Cleveland Indians from 1988 to 1992. The team competes in the Pacific Coast League and have won the league championship twice in their history, in 1992 and 1995.
Fans attending Sky Sox games have the privilege of watching many of baseball's top prospects right before they make the jump to the majors. Countless members of the Indians, Rockies, and Brewers have worn the Sky Sox jersey over the years and played at Security Service Field. This 8,500-seat stadium is located at the eastern edge of Colorado Springs and—situated at 6,531 feet above sea level—is known as the highest professional baseball park in North America. Security Service Field has a number of great features for fans to enjoy, including an eight-person hot tub known as the highest hot tub in pro sports.
The Colorado Springs Switchbacks
The Switchbacks are a professional soccer team that offers two dedicated Military seating sections where tickets, food and parking are purchased by sponsors and donated to the Military. Families can also enjoy watching the game on the USO terrace, a space for active duty Military families. They offer fun promotions, like $1 beers for the first 30 minutes after the gates open, special fireworks nights and team giveaway promotions. It's a fun night for the whole family, so check out one of their charity nights to see what's going on in the community.