While there are optimistic signs that the University of Colorado may agree to moving the Rocky Mountain Showdown series with CSU to Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium on a permanent basis starting next year, CSU officials still have investigated what it would take to host a financially successful game at Hughes Stadium that would rival the revenue that is guaranteed by playing at Invesco. Department officials have determined that temporary bleachers would have to be brought in to increase capacity to 40,000 and tickets would have to be sold for $75 to make it worth CSU’s while.
A local real estate developer has offered to donate labor and materials to completely build a new permanent structure to replace the current Ram Zone tent on the south side of Hughes Stadium. The project, which would cost around $300,000, will basically be a top-of-the-line barn-type structure, with concrete flooring. The athletic department plans to have the new building up by the 2006 football season.
As of last week, CSU had sold 500 new season tickets, but had 1100 non-renewals from the year before. Miniplan packages are starting to pick up as the season approaches.
CSU announced Saturday that it will be able to sell 500 additional tickets to Ram fans for the September 3 game at Colorado via its website beginning Wednesday. With CU still holding about 8000 tickets for the game, athletic director Mark Driscoll worked out a deal to obtain 500 tickets on a consignment basis, so CSU is not at risk if it doesn’t sell all 500 tickets. To order tickets, visit csurams.com Wednesday morning.
Athletic department officials announced Thursday night at the Ram Club volunteer banquet that they met their goal of $1.5 million in cash for 2005. They’re still a tad short overall on the $1.7, which includes gifts in kind, with $1.69 raised, but they are confident they’ll reach that number soon. The $1.5 million raised represents a $150,000 increase from the previous year. CSU officials employed a team concept with its volunteers this year, and the overall winning team, led by CSU diehard Carol Rice, raised more than $20,000. Rice’s team will be invited to use Mark Driscoll’s luxury suite for a game this fall. Individually, Ram Club Board of Directors president Rulon Stacey raised upwards of $9,000 and was honored, as was Chuck Blasek, who raised more than $5500 and also secured a Harley Davidson motorcycle for use in next year’s Ram Good Times Auction. Ram Legacy program founder Mike Pierce was recognized in a separate category for bringing in three new Legacy members, which is a commitment of $50,000 over five years. (CSU now has 30 of those members.) RamNationer Luke Kingsley, just two years out of school, raised more than $3000 this year and earned a trip to Steamboat, among other prizes.
The athletic department is very close to completing its $125,000 fundraising effort to cover expenses for the Jack Christiansen track construction work, which was completed in the spring. Once CSU gets to within $15,000 of fully covering the bill, a private foundation has offered pay the remaining balance. Officials say they’re currently about $5000 shy of being able to meet that agreement. The track project was initiated as a precursor to CSU hosting the Mountain West Conference outdoor track and field championships in May and included new standards for hammer and discus throw areas, new hurdles, new bleachers, new press box, and restrooms.
The Utah Utes were one of 18 athletic programs affected by the NCAA Executive Committee’s ruling last week that will prohibit school from participating championship events due to having "hostile and abusive" American Indian nicknames. The ruling also targeted those programs’ use of spears in their logos and mascots that pose as American Indian warriors. Utah plans to appeal the NCAA's new policy, which goes into effect February 1. Fellow MWC member San Diego State, which has used the Aztec nickname since the 1920s, avoided being named on the list because the NCAA could not find any organized tribe or group related to the Aztecs, a civilization that dates to the 12th century.
The Pac-10 Conference signed a deal to stay with the Las Vegas Bowl through 2009, officials announced Thursday. The agreement is unique: In 2006 and 2008 the Pac-10’s fourth-place finisher will go to Las Vegas. But, but in 2007 and 2009, the fourth-place finisher will go to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, and the Las Vegas Bowl will receive the conference’s fifth-place team. For the past four years, the Las Vegas Bowl automatically hosted the Pac-10s fifth-place team against the MWC No. 2 or 3. The MWC’s contract expires after this season. This year’s game is scheduled for December 22 and will be televised by ESPN. As has previously been announced, the MWC will opt out of its deal with the Emerald Bowl after this year. The bowl game currently matches the Pac-10’s No. 6 team against the MWC No. 2 or No. 3, but the ACC will take the MWC’s spot in 2006, making it the only Pac-10 vs. ACC bowl matchup.
The University of New Mexico has found a unique way to bring in $50,000 in extra revenue for its athletic department this year. It has sold two sponsorships to two separate businesses--Route 66 Casino and All-State Insurance--for their logos to be put on the field goal nets. So, every time the net is raised for a field goal or extra point attempt, those businesses will be advertising to not only everyone in attendance, but also television audiences. It’s the first time in NCAA history that advertising will be allowed on stadium field goal nets, and the Lobos will be one of the first 20 teams in the country to carry such the ads in their stadiums. UNM tried to get the deal done last year, but was met with stiff opposition from ESPN/ABC. However, the UNM marketing department received NCAA approval for the ads this season. UNM will be the only MWC program to utilize the advertising this year.
Despite being the defending MWC volleyball champs, CSU was selected third in a preseason MWC coaches poll last week. However, only 12 points separated first-place BYU (108 points) and CSU 96). Utah was sandwiched between with 106 votes. Senior setter/middle blocker Dre Downs and senior outside hitter Tess Rogers were named to the preseason all-MWC team. Rogers was named preseason co-player of the year with BYU’s Lindsy Hartsock.
Former Colorado State player John Hayes shot a Glenmoor Country Club course-record 64 on Friday to take a three-shot lead after 36 holes heading into today’s final round Colorado Golf Association Amateur Stroke Play Championship. Hayes sits at 10-under-par 132 with two rounds to go. CSU golfer Nate Pettit is second at 135, while former Ram Scott Mendelsohn and Michael Baird are tied for third at 137.
Nelson Palacios, a sophomore distance runner on the CSU track team, became the first non-Californian to win the 24th Annual Hills Are Alive 10K in Los Angeles last weekend. Ironically, Palacios, who attended Fort Collins High School before coming to CSU, was only in Los Angeles because he was visiting his brother who lives in the area and ran across information about the 10K on the Internet and decided to enter. Palacios competes primarily as a miler/1500 meter runner for the Rams.