With a month remaining until the Rams football team begins the 2003 season, CSU athletic department officials have announced that season ticket sales have surpassed 9,600, beating last year’s total by three tickets.
The Rams open their season on Aug. 30 against the in-state rival University of Colorado Buffaloes at INVESCO Field in Denver. The Rocky Mountain Showdown is being televised nationally on ESPN with a kickoff time of 5:45 p.m.
Gary Ozzello, media relations director for CSU athletics, said he was excited for the upcoming season, and shed some light on the recent good news.
“In 1998 we had over 12,000 season tickets sold, so it’s looking to be the second highest total ever,” Ozzello said.
CSU is again the home team for the Rocky Mountain Showdown, which tops a schedule brimming with conference battles. Appearances by Weber State, Miami Ohio, Utah, Fresno State, Air Force and San Diego State give season ticket holders many great home games to attend at Hughes Stadium. CSU will be visiting BYU, Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV and California for their road games.
A CSU has slated Aug. 23 for the student-ticket distribution, which takes place during Ram Fest 2003. Ram Fest is a five-day celebration of the new school season that concludes on the first day of classes. A list of events can be found online at ramfest.colostate.edu.
With all the news and pubic statements being made about ticket sales and stadium renovations, Ozzello spoke as if its no surprise that support is so overwhelming this year. Anticipation is building up with green and gold infecting not only the fans but the players and coaches as well.
“We’re very excited for the upcoming season. Coach (Sonny) Lubick has a great group of returning players,” Ozzello said. “At the same time, every game on our schedule is difficult, but we will take it one game at a time.”
There are 15 returning starters. The list starts with Bradlee Van Pelt at quarterback for a third year and ends with Dexter Wynn on special teams. Lubick and his staff have been working diligently with their returning starters to build another successful football team.
Not only are the Rams under construction, but also in the works are the planned renovations and expansion of Hughes Stadium and Sonny Lubick Field. Crews have already started working on an artificial practice field south of Moby Arena that should be completed in the next few months.
At the end of the 2003 season, crews will install a new giant video screen, and two more scoreboard screens at Hughes Stadium. The biggest change however is the new playing surface on newly-named Sonny Lubick Field and the 18 percent increase in the number of seats to be installed on the north end zone.
The lengthy changes to Hughes Stadium have begun and should be completed before the 2005 season, Ozzello said.
The renovation and expansion of Hughes Stadium was made possible by a 15.2 million dollar donation from the Bohemian Foundation. President Pat Stryker gave the gift to CSU during a presentation in Fort Collins back in May.
Season tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 491-RAMS or by visiting CSU athletics official Web site at CSURAMS.com. Single game tickets for the CSU-CU game are only available through Ticketmaster, said Interim Athletics Director Christine Susemihl.