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Buffs fans pack Pearl Street Mall for first Stampede of 2023 season ahead of home opener

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Posted at 11:04 PM, Sep 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-09 01:04:40-04

BOULDER, Colo. — Buffs fans packed the Pearl Street Mall Friday night for the first Stampede of the 2023 football season ahead of Saturday's home opener.

Head coach Deion Sanders, who has been a lightning rod for the franchise since his hiring, led the charge.

"It's great to see a lot of black and gold and no red," said Westin Miller, a life-long University of Colorado fan.

Fans packed four blocks trying to catch a glimpse of the team that started off the season with a road win against Texas Christian University.

"Coach Prime has done wonders for this community... at the end of the day, this is a win, win, win. And tomorrow, we look for one more win on the end of that list," said Peter Waters, owner of T/ACO & Ruthie's Boardwalk Social in downtown Boulder. 

It was an opportunity for shops to cash in on the "Prime Era" craze. John Schopbach, owner of Weekends, a men's and women's apparel shop, said he's had more customers walk through the doors ahead of this year's Stampede than in 1990 when the Buffs won the national championship.

"I think this might be almost crazier with customers and people than back then. And those were the good ole days," said Schopbach.

Fans of all ages were in attendance, including superfan Peggy Coppom. At 98 years old, she's thrilled to see Saturday's home opener against the University of Nebraska. 

"It's absolutely unbelievable. All that attention that one man is bringing to this town, to this program," said Coppom. 

She said the old-school rivalry with the Cornhuskers sets Saturday's stakes even higher. 

"I'm tired of being a good loser. I want to be a good winner," she said. 

The Stampede tradition is held the night before every home game.

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