COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Colorado Springs Switchbacks fans bought every ticket available for Friday's Home Grand Opener against New Mexico United. Newcomers and die-hard fans alike shared excitement and enthusiasm about getting to cheer on the home team from the comfort of a new downtown stadium.
"We're super excited, we've been longing for this day for a few years now," said Annie Coffman. She's a member of the Colorado Springs Trailheads, the Switchbacks officials support group. Fans in this group have been holding tailgate parties and cheering on the Switchbacks since their arrival in Colorado Springs in 2015. While many Switchback regulars may not recognize the name Terry Alsobrooks, they've probably seen his outfit before.
"I used to be called the Blue Man, but now they call me Blue Mando because of this," he said referring to his costume.
He explained the nickname Blue Man came from his early days at the games when he would cover his head and torso in blue body paint, and then top it off with a blue Mohawk wig. The Blue Man persona took a hefty time commitment. So, Terry switched to a more user-friendly costume and mask mimicking the Disney Plus Star Wars character the Mandolorian
Coffman said the group tailgates before every home match and they've scheduled food trucks to join the party and feed hungry fans for the rest of the season.
"Everybody's welcome, we invite the entire Colorado Springs community out to join us," she said.
Inside the stadium, the Weiss family said it wasn't too difficult to find a place to park.
"It was a little bit," said Matt Weiss. "We just a little drive around, and we're kind of seeing where we can park next time and I think we have a better path next time."
The family was attending their first Switchbacks match on Friday. Megan Weiss enjoyed getting to attend a live sporting event downtown.
"Excited to be at the downtown stadium and supporting our city, and it's really a big deal for Colorado Springs," she said.
It was also the first match for Nicholas Leonard and his friends. They live near the stadium and didn't need to worry about finding a place to park.
"Got a ride from buddy's mom, popped out of the car and here we are," he said.
Like the Weiss family, the atmosphere inside the stadium made a strong impression on Leonard and he's already counting down the days until the next match.
"This is our first game, but we're going to be frequent, die-hard fans, starting right now. Right now."
The Switchbacks play at home next on Saturday, June 5th. Tickets can be purchased at the stadium box office, and online at the team website.