Head to Head: Rocky Mountain Showdown should be held on home turf, not at Mile High

Tianna Zachariah

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

The Rocky Mountain Showdown is the annual rival game between CSU and CU. It started in 1893, and we were declared official rivals in 1995. Since 1998 the games have generally been held in Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver is the perfect neutral ground for such an intense rival game. A new agreement has been put forward by the two Athletic Directors, Rick George (CU) and Joe Parker (CSU) because the current 10-year contract ends in 2020. According to George, the 2019 game will be the last showdown in Denver. Any further agreements will depend on the games being at our two respected schools. Although plans for the Showdown after the 2020 contract expires are not concrete, alternating locations for the game will make the event more student and community focused, as well as convenient and safer.


Holding games on the college campuses will enhance the sense of community for students. It will encourage more students to attend because it is closer, and more students have means of getting to the stadium. It will give them a renewed sense of pride and pleasure for the community that they call home for four years.

I must mention that many times, with pride, a big ego is not far behind. The rivalry between our two schools is intense, and it could be dangerous to have the game on anything but neutral territory. There has been heightened security at Mile High for a reason; to prevent outrage over a lost game, underage drinking and out of control tailgating. However, it wouldn’t be difficult to tighten security in Fort Collins or Boulder to prevent such mishaps.

Many believe that having the game down at Mile High sets it apart from any other football game; it boosts the intensity and amplifies the rivalry. While this sounds like a good thing, it can actually make it a more dangerous event for students to attend.

It’s no secret that students drink during the Showdown. Being drunk, almost two hours away from home and with little security to getting home, the Showdown is not a very safe event. Most people who go to the game make arrangements like a designated driver or plan to stay overnight, but these plans are not airtight. Having the games on campuses will minimize the drinking involved with this event because it is on school property and does not require such tedious travel situations.

Finally, moving the game back to college sites is also more economically sound. George said that CU fans and students have requested this change for a while now. In the same article referenced above, stats show that game attendance to college sites are significantly greater than attendance to the games at Mile High.

Alternating locations for the Rocky Mountain Showdown is a change that will affect many who have enjoyed this long-standing tradition. It will understandably be met with some resistance, but this change will bring about camaraderie, convenience and enhanced safety.

Tianna Zachariah can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online at @TZachariah20