Colorado Athletics, UCHealth Strengthen Facilities Partnership

Colorado University Athletics and its longtime partner UCHealth are expanding their collaboration with the goal of improving the overall health and wellness of students, athletes, and the public. As part of a new long-term agreement, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Champions Center – the headquarters of the CU Athletic Department – will be named the “UCHealth Champions Center.”

The CU Board of Regents authorized CU Boulder to move forward with the expanded partnership and building name change at a meeting today. The agreement includes opportunities for health and wellness programming and unique experiences that encourage health.

Photo: CU Athletics

“I am thrilled to see our bond with UCHealth strengthened,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “CU Boulder and UCHealth are both leaders in advancing the public good in Colorado, and we’re excited for the new innovations this partnership will spark in improving the health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff, and all Coloradans.”

UCHealth, a partner of the CU School of Medicine, has been the official healthcare partner of CU Athletics since 2016. In 2020, for the ninth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report ranked UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus No. 1 on its list of the state’s best hospitals.

The expanded partnership could launch events like a health and wellness fair for students, family activities for the Boulder community, or preventive care guidelines provided to CU Athletics fans.

“CU Athletics and UCHealth already have a proven track record of teaming up for the education and awareness of healthy living for students, players, and the general public,” said Manny Rodriguez, chief marketing, customer, and experience officer for UCHealth. “We look forward to engaging with fans, athletes, and the community to deliver important wellness messages that encourage people to be mindful of their health and be sure to keep up with regular doctor’s visits and preventive screenings.”

The partnership agreement will include an initial $3 million gift contribution to the CU Athletics Sustainable Excellence Fund. UCHealth will contribute an additional $600,000 per year for 15 years to support the ongoing partnership.

The CU Athletics Sustainable Excellence Fund has been key in supporting capital improvements and scholarship endowments for the Athletic Department, including the construction of the Champions Center, which opened in 2015.
“Construction of the Champions Center proved transformational for our Athletic Department, and it’s fitting that we now have a great partner in UCHealth that will help us sustain this great asset for our student-athletes and coaches for years to come,” said CU Athletic Director Rick George. “Our partnership with UCHealth has been great, and we’re so happy that they saw the value in making it even more prominent.”

The UCHealth Champions Center opened in 2015 as the home of CU Athletics administration, the football program, Olympic Sports, the Champions Club, and the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center. The showcase facility at the northeast corner of Folsom Field was built as part of a major CU Athletics facilities upgrade project that included major renovations to the Dal Ward Athletic Center and construction of a new Indoor Practice Facility designed to be net-zero energy. The project placed the Buffs at the front of the herd in college athletics when it comes to providing state-of-the-art facilities that help fuel student-athlete success. All three of the buildings earned LEED Platinum certification for sustainable building practices from the United States Green Building Council.