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September 14, 2023

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Lopez: CSU is using incentives to get students to stay at games

Collegian | River Kinnaird
The student section keeps the hype going throughout the game as Colorado State University loses to the Washington State University Cougars at Canvas Stadium Sept. 2. CSU lost 50-24. Photo by River Kinnaird.

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.

Colorado State University football hosted their season opener last Saturday, and if any of you are also on the mailing list for CSU Athletics, then you probably also received numerous emails from them urging you go to the football game. However, while I was enjoying my time at home this past weekend, I decided to read the final email that came in and learn about the plans being made for the game — and I was in a bit of shock.


Over the past few years, CSU’s football team hasn’t done the greatest, and with that, they also haven’t necessarily had the best crowd turnout by the end of the game. As an avid CSU football watcher who walked into most of the games last season at halftime, I was always surprised.

On the heels of the Rocky Mountain Showdown, or rather the Jay Norvell vs. Deion Sanders game, all eyes have been on CSU and the University of Colorado Boulder to see what the game might look like in two weeks. So it was not a surprise that the first game of the season was something most people kept their eyes on.

The final email about the game sent out Sept. 1 mentioned the game would be hosting a residence hall challenge along with a scholarship stipend giveaway given to students during the fourth quarter media breaks. But why is this something only being implemented into the promotional emails now?

Well, according to the football game promotions set to happen on the ticketing website, the mention of scholarship stipends and a residence hall competition weren’t even a part of the agenda. Evidently, CSU students are the ones being specifically targeted in order to go and stay at the game.

However, how much are these incentives actually doing if the team doesn’t have a successful game?

I mean, you probably didn’t even know it was an offering until right now, right? It not only shows how rarely this promotion was discussed but how little people actually pay attention to the spam of athletic update emails they get, especially after they have gotten their ticket.

I would also like to point out the differences in the crowd from the first quarter to the last quarter of the game, which are scarcely shown in the videos CSU football posts on their social media and what the Coloradoan posts in their photo gallery.

During the first quarter, the student crowd was packed to the brim with people; however, after the very upsetting first half, most students did not want to continue watching the game. As a result, many left to go to the bars or after-parties. But even if they knew about the scholarship stipends being offered during the fourth quarter, would they have stayed?

The simplest answer is probably not. But CSU is trying to encourage students to stay by offering promotions during the fourth quarter. This is what CSU Athletics wants: a higher attendance throughout the duration of the football games no matter how the team performs.


Promotions like the scholarship stipend are not being shared on any other sports highlights or even information shared in the mailing list. So why is football the only team getting these big promotions, especially when it didn’t seem to help?

The CSU football game may have resulted in a score that was not expected by CSU students or Ram fans, but it did introduce a new question as to why, despite the very hushed promotions that were only announced a few days before the game, these promotions came at the time they did other than to incentivize students to stay for the duration of the game at a sport that the university pays a lot of money for.

Reach Dominique Lopez at or on Twitter @caffeinateddee6.

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