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Sports / Recreation

Rams, Buffs extend football series through 2020

August 31, 2009

The next generation of recruits and fans will experience the most exciting football rivalry in the Centennial State. And that rivalry, which has gained national prominence since it first moved to Denver in 1998, will return to the Mile High City for the next 10 years.

10-year extension to gridiron rivalry

Paul Kowalczyk and Mike Bohn, the respective directors of athletics at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado, announced Monday a 10-year extension to their football series, Colorado State’s oldest and richest gridiron rivalry. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Metro Denver Sports Commission and Stadium Management Company.

Back to Invesco Field at Mile High in 2010

As part of the agreement, the 2010 game will move to Invesco Field at Mile High, and remain in Denver every season through 2019. In 2020, the contest will move to Fort Collins.

“This is the state’s signature college football event and the game belongs in Denver,” Kowalczyk said. “Mike, MDSC, SMC and I have worked cooperatively and diligently to craft an agreement that is beneficial for all parties involved. This series benefits our institution, program and fans on many levels.

“This state is fortunate to have two premier football programs, and we’re going to continue to showcase this rivalry for at least another decade.”

The series extension

Date                           Location home                            Team designation

Sept. 4, 2010          Invesco Field at Mile High                            CSU
Sept. 17, 2011        Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Sept. 1, 2012          Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Aug. 31, 2013         Invesco Field at Mile High                            CSU
Aug. 30, 2014         Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Sept. 19, 2015        Invesco Field at Mile High                            CSU
Sept. 3, 2016          Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Sept. 2, 2017          Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Sept. 1, 2018          Invesco Field at Mile High                            CSU
Aug. 31, 2019         Invesco Field at Mile High                            CU
Sept. 5, 2020         Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium       CSU

The extension means the football programs will meet for at least 26 straight years (1995-2020), the longest uninterrupted string of games in the 116-year-old series since they met for 37 consecutive seasons from 1906-42, a streak ended by World War II.

Folsom Field on Sept. 6

The programs, scheduled to meet for the 81st time in their Sept. 6 season opener at Folsom Field in Boulder, first met on Feb. 11, 1893, in Fort Collins.

The current agreement, announced Monday, is believed to represent the longest football extension ever negotiated by the state’s two largest institutions.

The Rams’ home away from home

Colorado State considers Denver a home market. Of CSU’s current freshman class on the Fort Collins campus, a little more than half originates from the six-county Denver Metro Area. And of all CSU undergraduates registered this fall, approximately 83 percent are from the state of Colorado.

Approximately 43,000 Denver Metro Area residents hold degrees from CSU, and 73,000 Denver-area citizens have taken classes on the campus. When including donors, and other friends of the university, the number of CSU constituents in Denver rises to nearly 100,000.

“This is more than a football game,” Kowalczyk said. “It’s annually our institution’s single greatest outreach to the Denver market.”

Kowalczyk also noted that by having the game in Denver, regardless of whether CSU is the designated home team, the Rams will be able to offer the contest as part of their season-ticket package. That’s not the case this season, when the game is a traditional road contest, in Boulder.

Revenue comparison

By playing the game in an NFL venue, on a national stage, Denver offers both programs an opportunity to generate revenue unlike any event they could hold on their own campus.

“The economic benefits of playing the game in Denver cannot be understated,” Kowalczyk said. “If we expect to compete on the national stage and continue to grow our programs, it will take the kind of revenue this game generates.”

With the game in Denver, each institution has the opportunity to generate more than $1 million in net revenue.

A nationally known rivalry

Since the series began being played in Denver last decade, college football fans across the country have come to know of the series, and as a result, to know of both programs and institutions.

For the second straight season, it’s the only game in the nation – college or NFL – being played in its primetime, Sunday night slot, on national television.

“As a result, every sports bar, every restaurant with a TV and every college football fan with an itch for the start of the season will be tuned in watching us go head to head,” said CSU Head Coach Steve Fairchild. “That exposure carries obvious advantages with respect to recruiting, and I’m not talking about just football players. The visibility is good for recruiting students in general to Colorado State.”

When the Buffs and Rams meet in Denver, the game annually draws the state’s largest single-game crowd for any college football contest.


Contact: Zak Gilbert
E-mail: zak.gilbert@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-5067