Colorado and Colorado State have met in football for 20 consecutive seasons and 88 times overall. But the annual series could be coming to an end, according to Colorado athletic director Rick George.
George told The Denver Post Wednesday that it’s in Colorado’s “best interest” to play the game at campus stadiums and not on an annual basis.
“I think our best interest is to move games under the contract to campus sites and then, after 2020, I’m not sure (the series) is in our best interest, and that’s why at this point I wouldn’t extend it,” George said.
Colorado and Colorado State entered into a new agreement in 2009 that extended the series through the 2020 season. The games from 2010 through 2019 were set for Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, while the final game in 2020 is to be played at Colorado State’s on-campus stadium, Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins.
Rick George has even attempted to move all remaining games scheduled in Denver (2015-19) to campus site, but Colorado State and the Denver Broncos have apparently not budged on the issue.
“We have approached all parties to bring the games back on campus and we have not been able (to accomplish that),” George said. “We have a contract (through 2020) and we will honor that.”
Colorado wants to move the “Rocky Mountain Showdown” with Colorado State to campus stadiums for a few reasons. First, he says that’s what the majority of fans and season ticket holders want.
Second, Colorado and all other Pac-12 teams have a scheduling imbalance due to the conference playing a nine-game schedule. Every other year, each Pac-12 team has only four conference games at home, which leaves them with the need to schedule a minimum of two non-conference home games to get to six.
And to get seven home games, like most programs want for additional revenue and budget concerns, they would have to schedule three non-conference games at home.
Colorado can’t do that when they play Colorado State in Denver each season. They also aren’t getting maximum revenue out of the neutral-site game due to low ticket sales.
After learning of Colorado’s position on the matter, Colorado State interim athletic director John Morris weighed in.
“CSU is ready to compete in this storied rivalry well beyond 2020, but it takes two teams to compete,” Morris told the Reporter-Herald.
Morris further stated that Colorado State would be open to negotiations, including rotating the game between Fort Collins, Boulder, and Denver, but they would not agree to a two-for-one.
“No, we cannot agree to two games in Boulder and one in Fort Collins,” Morris said. “It would have to be a fair agreement.”
Hopefully Colorado and Colorado State will come to an agreement and continue to play even if it has to be every other year or on a site rotating basis. College football has already lost a few rivalry games due to realignment (Texas-Texas A&M, Kansas-Missouri). We’d hate to see another one fall by the wayside.