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CSU students unable to secure tickets to Rocky Mountain Showdown

Collegian | Trin Bonner

Many Colorado State University students experienced disappointment when they found out student tickets were not provided for free for the Rocky Mountain Showdown football game in Boulder, Colorado.

Traditionally played at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, the Rocky Mountain Showdown is shifting to a home game schedule, meaning that CSU and the University of Colorado Boulder will alternate playing games at Canvas Stadium and Folsom Field. Next year, CSU will host CU at Canvas Stadium.


“Last year, we did not play against Boulder, and I was really wanting to see that this year,” said Ian Carter, a CSU student who was planning to attend the game but changed plans due to the cost of tickets. “I thought there would be a bigger discount on the tickets for students to make them accessible to everybody because I don’t know a single person who can afford the ticket price there is.”

Carter said he was very disappointed because he has never been to Boulder and would have enjoyed the opportunity to watch the rivalry.

“It’s important for students to attend football games and any sporting event because the audience plays such a huge role in the quality of the game,” Director of Traditions and Programs for the Associated Students of Colorado State University Meron Siyoum said. “Being on the court or field while having hundreds of students cheer you on just makes the game even more competitive, and it gives everyone a common goal throughout the duration of the game. Sporting events unify large and random groups of people, and it truly is amazing to look through the crowd and know that we’re all rooting for the same team and are sharing the experience together.”

Because the opportunity to secure student tickets for reduced or no cost was never provided, students interested in attending the showdown will have to purchase tickets from CU’s website or resellers like Ticketmaster and StubHub. At the time of writing this article, tickets on Ticketmaster start at $171 plus fees. Tickets directly through CU’s Athletics website were sold out.

“I was very shocked and very disappointed (at the lack of student tickets),” Carter said. “I would have gone if it was $60-70 cheaper than what it is, but even that is expensive.”

CSU offers free student tickets for all home games and events; however, the number of tickets allocated to the opposing team is decided by the home school.

“In collegiate athletics, the hosting team determines the ticket prices,” said Nik Olsen, director of integrative communications at CSU. “This game is an away football game for CSU, so CU set the ticket prices and allots a certain number to CSU, which we can then assist with selling to our fans. CSU can only give our students discounted or complimentary tickets for games in which the Rams are the home team.”

While this news came as a shock to CSU students hoping to attend the contentious rivalry game or tailgate in Boulder, CU students are used to having to pay to attend their campus events. A CU Student Sports Pass costs $150 per year and allows students to claim tickets to home football games and men’s basketball games. Tickets to the Rocky Mountain Showdown were claimed out.

The presence of CU’s football coach, Deion Sanders, has contributed to the rise in prices and difficulty in securing tickets. The game will be broadcast on ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff shows, and Sanders is drawing record ticket revenue to CU for the game. CU’s last home game against the University of Nebraska-Lincoln contributed an economic impact of $17 million for the city.


“My position has made me become so involved in traditions and athletics this year, it’s made me really want to attend the big game, but after seeing the prices, I will not be able to attend,” Siyoum said. “My backup plan is to either go to Boulder for all of the festivities before the game, or I will be joining a watch party somewhere here in Fort Collins. I’m so glad I get to witness the return of the Rocky Mountain Showdown during my senior year, and even though I won’t be at the game physically, just knowing it’s back has brought me so much joy.”

In lieu of tickets to the game in Boulder, some Fort Collins restaurants are offering watch parties. Krazy Karl’s Pizza is hosting an alumni watch party presented by the CSU Alumni Association, the Africans United and Black Student Allegiance will be hosting a watch party in their office Saturday and ASCSU is bringing back an event called Grill the Buffs — featuring free bison burgers, an appearance by CAM the Ram, speeches by Emily Kohan, the volleyball team and performances by the marching band and cheer team. Grill the Buffs will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Lory Student Center West Lawn.

CSU is hosting a free-admission watch party at Canvas Stadium. They stressed that sportsmanlike conduct will be expected of all attendees.

Instead of attending the game in person, Carter is now planning to watch at a friend’s apartment, despite disappointment.

“In the future, I hope they make it an option for students to get either a free or a cheap ticket,” Carter said. “A lot of people cannot afford that price at all.”

Reach Allie Seibel at or on Twitter @allie_seibel_

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Allie Seibel
Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief
Allie Seibel is the editor in chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a role she loves more and more with each day. Previously the news editor and news director of The Collegian, Seibel has a background in news, but she’s excited to branch out and experience every facet of content this and following years. Seibel is a sophomore journalism and media communications major minoring in business administration and legal studies. She is a student in the Honors Program and is also an honors ambassador and honors peer mentor. She also is a satellite imagery writer for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Seibel is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and loves how The Collegian has gotten her acquainted with Fort Collins and CSU. When she’s not writing, reporting or in class, you can always find her with a book, cross-stitching, planning where to travel to next, trying out a new recipe or listening to Taylor Swift. Seibel is incredibly proud of The Collegian’s past and understands the task of safeguarding its future. She’s committed to The Collegian’s brand as an alt-weekly newspaper and will continue to advance its status as a strong online publication while preserving the integrity and tradition of the print paper. Seibel is excited to begin a multi-year relationship with readers at the helm of the paper and cannot wait to see how the paper continues to grow. Through initiatives like the new science desk and letting each individual desk shine, Seibel is committed to furthering The Collegian and Rocky Mountain Student Media over the next few years.
Trin Bonner
Trin Bonner, Illustration Director
Trin Bonner is the illustration director for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration director, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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