Editor’s Note (Clarification):This Collegian article, originally titled, “CSUPD gearing up for FoCo riots during Showdown” in the print edition, reported on a 1999 riot “that, in part, spurred a state rule signed by then-Gov. Bill Owens that mandated a year-long suspension from state universities and colleges for students involved in a riot.” The riot occurred on Sept. 4, 1999, during the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Mile High Stadium in Denver. There were no reported riots in Fort Collins related to the Showdown.
As the CSU and CU-Boulder football teams prepare for the biggest college sports rivalry in the state, university police officials said this week that they are preparing tactics to handle riots in Fort Collins as many students plan to watch the game from home.
The Rocky Mountain Showdown will be held at Folsom Field in Boulder instead of Invesco Stadium, which has played host to the rivalry for the past half a decade. This decision drove the price of tickets up by more than $30 for CSU students, and more student are expected to have house parties for the game.
A ticket to this year’s game has a starting cost of $55-$75, as opposed to last year’s $15 advance price.
Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt, the newly-hired CSU police chief, said Thursday, that while the department does not expect riots to actually happen, university police will work with county and city forces to minimize the likelihood of dangerous party activity.
“The Colorado State Police Department will act in conjunction with the Larimer County agencies,” she said. “The response will vary based on types of behavior, be it property damage versus injury, but the police are ready if a riot occurs.”
The rivalry between the two teams has been accentuated in the past by a 1999 riot that, in part, spurred a state rule signed by then-Gov. Bill Owens that mandated a year-long suspension from state universities and colleges for students involved in a riot.
With that in mind, the looming CU-CSU season opener in Boulder has become a testy event, but officials said the legal action combined with reaction of students in the past has quelled behavioral problems.
Anne Hudgens, the dean of students, said trends show students felt the repercussions of the rioting enough to change party habits.
Gary Ozzello, the senior associate athletics director, said in a phone interview Thursday that, while the department encourages fans to strongly support their teams, they should display good sportsmanship.
“Students are encouraged to show vocal support for the team, but that does not include unacceptable behavior on Sunday or any other day of the week,” Ozzello said.
Staff writer Chris O’Toole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.