Nov 052002
Authors: Jason Graziadei

Have you heard the news? Probably not, but for CSU football, it’s big news.

The 8-2 Rams are averaging 31,072 fans per home game. That makes CSU one of the national leaders in accumulated percent attendance capacity. In fact, that makes the 2002 average 103.57 percent of the 30,000-capacity of Hughes Stadium, and ranks CSU sixth behind only Iowa State, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas and Georgia Tech in the entire country.

For the Rams, that statistic is huge, but you’re probably thinking, “So what?” And considering the fact that all the Rams have to do is pack in a measly 30,000 fans for a sellout, it’s really not that impressive of a statistic.

But it does mean one thing: CSU needs a new stadium. No – it deserves a new stadium.

Face it. Hughes Stadium is in the twilight of its life. Built all the way back in 1968, the elderly arena is simply not a modern, Division-I-caliber facility. Hughes is the Karl Malone of football stadiums – an aging superstar, getting by only on the memories of when it was admired, and now getting embarrassed by newer, bigger, and better stadiums around the country.

Sorry, but this Hughes romp is not over, I’m only getting started.

Our current stadium is the smallest in the Mountain West Conference. I repeat: Hughes is THE SMALLEST facility in the MWC. Are you kidding me? The best team in the conference with the smallest stadium? That’s pathetic. The Wyoming Cowboys have a larger stadium than us. ‘Nuff said.

I actually don’t hate Hughes, but still, I must continue.

Not only does Ram Nation suffer with the smallest stadium in the conference, the thing isn’t even on campus. Some hippy-genius back in the 60s must have thought, “Oh, it will look so beautiful right next to the foothills, man.”

Wrong. Having the stadium three miles from campus not only detracts from the school-spirit aspect at Hughes, it deters drunk freshmen with no car from coming out to the stadium. And what is football without drunk freshmen, wearing no shirts and green afros, making fools out of themselves on national television?

We need those fans, people.

All right, I think I got it all out. But what do we do about our stadium insecurities? Seven words:

If you build it, they will come.

The Rams need a new stadium, folks. They need it more than Christina Aguilera needs some clothes. So here’s this columnist’s stadium proposal, straight from me to the powers-that-be at CSU:

The location: Plop that sucker down on the current football practice fields, intramural fields and the softball and baseball fields south of Moby Arena. The area is large enough, and like I stated before, the stadium needs to be on campus. How much more student support would there be if they could all just roll out of bed and walk to the stadium?

The field: There’s no doubt that the Rams have earned, and deserve a state-of-the-art facility that could accommodate 40-50,000 screaming fans. I honestly get embarrassed when the ESPN cameras pan-out and show a full view of the hole-in-the-ground that is Hughes. We need the stadium to be a landmark on campus, not hide it three miles away.

The name: Is there even any question about this one? What could be better than Sonny Lubick Stadium? That just has a nice ring, doesn’t it? The guy has arguably done more for the school and Fort Collins than any other person in the last 10 years. Name it after him.

The funding: Ummmm, get back to me on that one. I’m not a financial-wiz, but I have to assume the only reason we don’t have a new stadium already is simply because CSU doesn’t have the cash. I’m not going to do the math, but we have to start somewhere. So ante up donors, the thing isn’t going to build itself.

That’s what it is, people. Sonny Lubick Stadium – let’s make it happen.

Jason is a senior journalism major.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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