Pope: it’s time for stadium protesters to move on

Keegan Pope

Remember the kid you couldn’t stand in elementary school? The one who pouted and threw a fit every time his team lost in kickball, flag football or capture-the-flag?

He’d go cry to teacher if he got his feelings hurt, or if he didn’t get included in everything. He’d tell all of his friends how mean and nasty the popular kids were, just because he wasn’t friends with them.

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That’s the Stop The Stadium (STS) group, one who opposes the building of Colorado State’s on-campus stadium which is projected to open in September 2017.

Now don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don’t blame them for not wanting a stadium on campus after they have lived their whole lives with it on the west edge of town. They don’t like change, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, including me.

But at some point, the rhetoric and stone-throwing has to stop.

Most recently, the group posted personal photos, likely taken from Facebook, of proponents of the stadium project. In addition to this being borderline harassment, some of the comments posted on the page by STS members were just abhorrent. Most of the members of the group are adults and senior citizens, yet they continue to act like teenagers, gossiping and belittling people they don’t like.

It’s childish, and it has to stop.

This doesn’t absolve the things some of the proponents of the stadium have said to their counterparts, though. Nasty comments and insults have been thrown back and forth since CSU president Dr. Tony Frank announced the project.

This community has to move on, though.

Whether you are for or against this stadium project, it’s happening. Ground has been broken, the bonds have been sold and there are construction crews working as you read this on the south side of Pitkin Street. Even if CSU wanted to cancel this stadium project at this point, it can’t.

So why waste your time advertising the negative effects of the stadium, insulting your peers and making a general fool of yourself by fighting a battle that you have already lost? Usually I’m not an advocate for quitting, but when the battle is lost, realize it and keep your dignity. When Tony Frank addressed a crowd of donors at the stadium’s groundbreaking Sept. 12, there were roughly 30 people outside the fence protesting. Thirty.  

Isn’t there something better you can do with your lives, such as enjoying the beautiful scenery of Fort Collins or spending time with your family and friends?

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I respect your opinions, and if you choose not to attend any games at the new stadium, no one will hold it against you. But hoping for the failure of Colorado State football and the athletic department in general doesn’t do anyone any good. You see, without football, men’s basketball and volleyball, there are no other sports at CSU. Those three are CSU’s revenue sports, ones that actually bring in money, and football is the largest breadwinner. Without a football program, CSU wouldn’t be able to offer tennis, soccer, swimming and diving, and all the other sports that make a well-rounded athletic department. Besides, what self-respecting state school, especially one with an enrollment of more than 30,000, doesn’t have a competitive, Division I football program? Let me know when you find one.

This is harsh, and it is meant to be. I’m not saying you can’t keep this administration accountable and check up on the progress of the stadium and its costs. I encourage you to do that.

But stop with the schoolyard pettiness and drama. It’s time to grow up and move on.

Collegian Senior Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at kpope@collegian.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.