Sandi Schor-Stark, 67, has been to a CSU football game in an on-campus stadium.
Schor-Stark attended CSU from 1964 to 1968, when the football stadium was located where the running track sits today. The Colorado Field was small and rickety, but she loved it.
“I was in the band and I sat in that stadium every home game,” said Schor-Stark. “We used to walk to the stadium from the dorms.”
Although Schor-Stark never attended a game at Hughes, she said she could never understand why they decided to put it so far away.
Years later, Tyler McDermott played on the field at Hughes. Both of the former Rams want to see an on-campus stadium become a reality.
McDermott played football for CSU and graduated in 2011.
“As a player, it was hard to see people who wouldn’t make the trek to Hughes because it was too hard to get to,” said McDermott. “The football team is playing for the students.”
After graduating, McDermott coached at CSU for a year and is currently a graduate assistant at Notre Dame. He explained that where he is now has helped him to understand how important expansions such as this one are to a football program.
“It is essential to growing a successful program,” said McDermott.
Arianne Lujan, who was a swimmer at CSU, believes this stadium is not only essential for the football program, but for other athletic programs as well. She graduated in May of 2013 and wishes she could have seen an on-campus stadium while she was attending CSU.
Lujan believes that the university would immediately see improvements, especially for non-revenue sports such as swimming.
“It’s going to be a huge thing for athletics and the school as a whole,” Lujan said.
As a former athlete, Lujan believes the stadium would greatly increase the flow of money in the athletic department and draw more talent to CSU.
“Having bigger athletic programs makes it easier to get recruits and have students come from out of state and even internationally,” Lujan said.
McDermott agrees that a new stadium would be a huge selling point for recruits and would also help Fort Collins economically.
“I am currently at Notre Dame and every single weekend the entire town creates an economic uptick,” said McDermott.
He explained that the increase in fan support near campus would also increase revenue in local restaurants, hotels and shops.
“I can see how it would be hard to change the face of Fort Collins, but how can you not want to see your hometown and university grow as a whole and get more recognition,” Lujan said.
McDermott encourages all students to support this endeavor and realize how much it would benefit CSU and the Fort Collins community.
“I know this is a polarizing issue and there is no in-between, but if I could say something to the student body I would say that this is the future. Change is never easy, but usually it is for the better,” said McDermott.
Collegian Reporter Maddie Buxton can be reached at email@example.com.