Paul Kowalczyk and Mike Bohn, athletics directors for CSU and CU-Boulder, respectively, announced Monday a 10-year extension to the football series, the Rocky Mountain Showdown, between the schools.
As part of the agreement, the 2010 game will return to Invesco Field at Mile High and remain in Denver every season through 2019. In 2020, the contest will move to Fort Collins for one game.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Metro Denver Sports Commission and Stadium Management Company. The agreement is believed to represent the longest football extension ever negotiated by the state’s two largest institutions.
“It’s the right thing, it’s a great day for college football, it’s a great day for Denver, it’s a great day for the state of Colorado; good for both universities,” said CSU head coach Steve Fairchild. “I’m just really excited; really good news.”
With the extension, the football programs will meet for at least 26 straight years (1995 to 2020), the longest uninterrupted string of games in the 116-year-old series since they met for 37 consecutive seasons from 1906 to 1942 — a streak ended by World War II.
The programs, scheduled to meet for the 81st Sept. 6 for their season opener at Folsom Field in Boulder, first met on Feb. 11, 1893 in Fort Collins.
The rivalry has gained national prominence since it first moved to Denver in 1998, and the game this year will be the only game in the nation — college or NFL — being played on national television during the primetime Sunday night slot.
Playing the game in Denver offers both programs an opportunity to generate revenue unlike any event they could hold on their own campus.
“The economic benefits of playing the game in Denver cannot be understated,” Kowalczyk said. “If we expect to compete on the national stage and continue to grow our programs, it will take the kind of revenue this game generates.”
With the game in Denver, each institution has the opportunity to generate more than $1 million in net revenue.
At Invesco, the game annually draws the state’s largest single-game crowd for any college football contest.
“I think that’s where it should be, especially for our fans, because we get a chance to get them to Denver, and it’s a great environment,” said CSU senior safety Klint Kubiak. “As a player, you can’t ask for anything better than playing on a pro field, so that’s where the game should be, and I’m glad it’s going to be back there.”
Kowalczyk also said that by having the game in Denver, the Rams will be able to offer the contest as part of their season-ticket package, which isn’t the case this season, as the game is a traditional road contest in Boulder.
Football beat writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.