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Hughes is cursed, we need a new stadium

The past couple times I’ve sat down to write this weekly column of mine, the end result has bashed the CSU football team pretty hard.

So, before I get my car tires slashed in the school parking lot, I’d like to shift focus onto a different reason for our lack of success — it must be our poor excuse for a stadium.

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To say that Hughes Stadium lacks home field advantage would be an understatement at the very least. It clearly has done a whole lot of nothing for us because we are now halfway through our home games of the season and have yet to capitalize once.

However, we would be lying if we said this was a strange, new experience.

The Rams played six games at Hughes in 2011 and managed to pull out one measly victory. The fact that it was against the University of Northern Colorado would only add insult to injury at this point.

So why does Hughes suck so bad?

One of the key factors that needs to be addressed here is its location. To put a stadium located off campus is bad enough, but putting it on the outskirts of Fort Collins is another. Hughes is basically out in the middle of nowhere, which is less than convenient when trying to draw in a crowd.

Summer is gone and temperatures are starting to sink into the thirties. This eliminates use of Horsetooth, the drive-in movie theater and the new frisbee golf course, making CSU home games the only reason to ever need to travel that far west.

Location ties straight into another key reason why Hughes sucks — attendance.

Getting out to Hughes on a Saturday can be a bit of a trek, which causes a decrease in attendance for home games. The average home attendance this season is 24,252 which leaves almost 10,000 empty seats at every game.

Anybody can recognize that a poor turnout means a lack in support that ultimately ends without the home victory. It is rather discouraging when the stands at your own home field feel bare.

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The most important reason that I’m suggesting down with Hughes and up with the new is the fact that it is outdated.

We are getting awfully close to the half century mark of calling Hughes home.

Anybody that has walked through those old, concrete concourses knows that it carries a somewhat “creepy” feel to it. It may possess the look of a classic stadium, but lacks the classic feel.

The first game ever played at Hughes was on September 28, 1968 against North Texas State that ended with a 17-12 loss for CSU. That inaugural game not only launched the Hughes Stadium era (arguably off on the wrong foot), but also ended the days of Colorado Field.

Colorado Field was an on-campus football field that sat only 12,000; a place the Rams used to call home before the then much needed Hughes was introduced.

Just as CSU desperately needed to replace Colorado Field in the late sixties, we are currently experiencing the same need to replace Hughes today.

So there it is, donors.

Please don’t settle for upgrading Hughes. We need to do this the right way and set our team up for success. A closer, on-campus home is a necessity to get everyone within the CSU community involved.

Get us a new spot to call home, away from that cursed location out west.

Quentin Sickafoose is a junior journalism major. His column appears Monday in the sports section of the Collegian. He can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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