As of last week, Colorado State had sold about 420 new season tickets over sales from 2004, not counting the miniplans, family plans and group tickets that have been sold. The athletic department hired The Leffler Agency to conduct this year’s ticket marketing campaign and CSU/Leffler are currently operating a call center focusing on renewals. The call center is also beginning to target the Loveland Chamber and surrounding areas for new ticket purchasers, and a Leffler call team has been contacting Denver-area businesses with a CSU ties to encourage them to buy group tickets. The season ticket renewal rate is about 86 percent so far. The athletic department is hoping for a 100 percent rate by the first game.
In other ticket news, the allotted 1,000 student tickets set aside for the September 3 Colorado game were gobbled up in four hours Monday. The tickets were made available to CSU students that morning via a university webpage.
Athletic department officials hope to be able to announce at the Ram Club volunteer banquet this Thursday (August 11), that they met their goals of $1.7 million raised overall ($1.5 in cash) for the 2005 Ram Club fundraising drive. As of Wednesday, the department was just shy of their goals, sitting around $26,000 shy of the overall goal and only $3000 away from the cash goal. As for membership, CSU is hovering around 2,300 members, which is well short of the athletic department’s goal of 2,500.
The Mountain West Conference Front Range kickoff luncheon is officially sold out. CSU fans accounted for around 130 tickets, compared to more than 150 for Air Force and more than 200 for Wyoming fans. The MWC office also sold a block of tickets to general fans who did not list a school preference. Hotel staff moved the event to a smaller banquet room this year, which means the 600 fans in attendance will be packed wall-to-wall.
The athletic department’s official website, csurams.com, which will now go through CSTV’s online division--CSO--is planned for official launch sometime Wednesday (August 10). Final conversion is expected to take a good part of the day on the 10th, but the new-look website is supposed to be live that day. The site will be a work in progress as, but athletic department officials have plans for audio and video streaming.
CSU athletic director and former quarterback Mark Driscoll pulled a hamstring during a game of flag football on the artificial turf practice field south of Moby Arena last Friday. The game was put on by Margo Karsten, president of Poudre Valley Health System, as part of an auction purchase and involved a group of her co-workers, friends and family. Playing in a guys vs. girls format, Karsten employed the services of Driscoll to serve as all-time quarterback in the game. Everything was going fine until Driscoll pulled a hamstring and had to leave the game. He was still feeling the effects last week.
Former Utah head coach Urban Meyer, now at Florida, admitted recently what he wouldn’t a year ago--that he ran up the score on teams during the 2004 campaign in order to impress the voters and BCS computers. Speaking last week at the Florida Sports Writers Media Days, Meyer told reporters, "I hate to say this but (running it up) went through my mind a couple times and we are fighting (for a BCS berth). The difference between a bowl that pays you $1.2 million and a BCS (which pays $13 million) is life and death--that is life or death for those programs. That is new shoes or not new shoes, so there is a lot of pressure (to impress when you win.)" Meyer says he's still in favor of a playoff over the BCS even though he now coaches in a power conference. "It's a failed system, but it's the best system we have without a playoff. From the presidents, all the way down, I just don't see a playoff coming. Would I be opposed to it? Absolutely not. Am I opposed to the BCS? No, it's the best system we have right now."
College Football News lists CSU redshirt freshman defensive end Tommie Hill on its 2005 Redshirt Freshman All-America Second Team. Of Hill, the publication says: “Ever since the days of Bubba Baker and Mike Bell, Colorado State has been sneaky good at producing pro-caliber ends. Hill has the size, leaping ability and the athleticism to keep that tradition alive over the next four years. Once he fills out his 6-6 frame, Hill is going to be a terror for the rest of the Mountain West to contain.”
College Station Eagle columnist Robert Cessna recently scribed that of the Big 12’s near-40 non-conference games this season, only six are worthy of attention. Among his list is the September 3 CSU-CU game. Others that make his list are Texas A&M at Clemson, Texas at Ohio State, Iowa at Iowa State, Oklahoma at UCLA and Colorado at Miami.
Fans will see many major changes at Hughes Stadium this year, but one of the minor additions will be a new retractable net behind the north endzone goal posts to keep balls from flying into the stands.
As first reported in the July 10 edition of Around the Horn, a “Thunder in the Rockies” motorcycle rally at The Ranch in Loveland over Labor Day weekend is expected to attract anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 bikers, according to regional law enforcement and emergency-response agencies. The Fort Collins Chamber is already concerned that the rally could severely affect traffic for fans going to the CSU-CU game in Boulder September 3. The Chamber announced that the Thunder in the Rockies organizers are staging a jumping off point for a Poker Run to Blackhawk, and many riders are expected to leave at 10 a.m., taking highway 287 en route to the casinos. The Chamber is advising fans traveling to the game from Fort Collins not to take 287, but instead take I-25 south to 36.
CSU was informed this week that it won the Colorado Rockies Alumni Challenge ticket-selling competition against Coloradans for Nebraska. Organized by the CSU Alumni Association, CSU fans sold more tickets to this Friday’s Rockies game vs. Washington than Coloradans for Nebraska did, and thus CSU will have its fight song played during the game, will be recognized on the video board and will be announced over the Public Address system as the contest winners. In addition, CSU organizers will be invited to sit in a suite at a future game. There will also be a picnic before Friday’s game for fans from CSU and Nebraska.
CSU will again offer 200 free kids tickets to children 10 and under with a paying adult for all home football games this year. The tickets must be claimed (on a first-come, first-served basis) on game day at the new Hughes Stadium ticket booth southwest of the team tunnel entrance. The promotion is still sponsored by McDonald's, but the policy changed because last year parents had to pick up a coupon at local McDonald's restaurants, which made it difficult for many Northern Colorado/Denver metro fans to partake in the program.
Women’s golfer Kristen Campos, who graduated this May, along with sophomore-to-be Megan Chapman, were two of six female collegiate golfers with local connections (and 199 nationwide) to earn first-team National Golf Coaches Association of America All-American Scholar team honors last week. To qualify for the honor, student athletes must accumulate a minimum GPA of 3.50 and must have competed in at least 66 percent of the college’s regularly scheduled competitive rounds during the year.
New women’s basketball coach Jen Warden and volleyball coach Tom Hilbert will be featured at the Alumni Association’s August 18 Ram Afternoon Club at Brauns Bar & Grille (downtown Denver at 1055 Auraria Parkway). The event goes from 5:30-7:30 p.m. No RSVP is necessary.