Students who arrived late to the ticket distribution were met with disappointment when they found that the coveted Frontier Airlines Rocky Mountain Showdown tickets were sold out.
Thousands of students came out Saturday to receive one complementary student ticket and the opportunity to buy a guest ticket for the game, which will start at 5:45 p.m. this Saturday at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver.
“This game is like the Super Bowl for CSU and CU students,” said John Stocco, a junior economics major.
Students received a placeholder ticket at 7 a.m., which saved them a spot in the line so they could leave the line during the day. The event staff started selling tickets at 3 p.m.
The event started very early Saturday as some students attempted to camp around the student center as early as midnight.
“Two or three people asked if they could camp and we told them no and then they left. Then about a quarter after 6 (a.m.), everyone came toward the (Lory) Student Center and there was a mass of people,” said Sgt. Ed Bosic of the CSU Police Department.
As 7 a.m. approached, students rushed toward the east side doors to the student center and formed an unorganized line. There was also a line on the west side of the building stretching through the lawn
The volunteers made due with what they could and tried to accommodate the large number of students, said Jody Donovan, assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs.
“It didn’t go according to plan, so in trying to be flexible, we had to adapt to the line that was forming well before 7 a.m.,” she said.
An estimated 7,000 placeholder tickets were passed out in the morning, said Associated Students of CSU President Jesse Lauchner.
As the day went on, activities were planned to keep students entertained.
Two bands performed on both the east and west sides of the student center and ASCSU passed out water and bagels to students to make sure they were hydrated.
Hartshorn Health Center also provided those in the ticket line with sunscreen and bug spray to help combat the heat and prevent spread of the West Nile virus.
“The refreshments added a real nice touch,” said Rhett Osborne, a senior management and marketing major.
The football team arrived around 3 p.m. to thank students for their support and the freshmen football players put on a show, chanting the CSU fight song for the fans.
“I liked that, it was funny,” said Kate Schaefer, a sophomore marketing major. “I think it was good to see that they came out and thanked everyone.”
Because the placeholder tickets assured students a place back in line, many left the line for a few hours and returned closer to 2 p.m. when they could purchase or receive their tickets.
“They said we could leave and come back at 2 (p.m.) Last year we couldn’t leave, so more people were around,” said Alyssa Wright, a senior psychology major.
Amber Stohner, a senior social work major, would rather skip the distribution process and have the option of buying student tickets online.
“I think it would be a lot easier,” Stohner said.
Yet some students still enjoyed waiting in line for tickets.
“It’s kind of like a tradition, it gives us something to do,” said Bryce Gonzales, a freshman open option major.
In the past, the line was formed throughout the night and the tickets were distributed early in the morning. CSU decided to change the ticket distribution to a daytime event last year to try to limit the excess of trash and unsafe activities, said Matt Helmer, program director for Campus Activities.
“It had become a dangerous event, and it’s our job to make an event like this as safe as possible,” he said.
The ticket distribution was larger this year with more students taking interest in the event. The crowds, however, were still manageable and easily controlled, Bosic said.
“With how big the crowd was, the students were great. They responded extremely well to instructions,” he said.
All 10,000 student tickets were given out on Saturday. This was the first time since 1998 the school has distributed its entire student allotment on the first day they were available, according to a press release from the athletic department.
Students who were not able to attend the event will not be able to purchase single-game tickets, according to the press release. Season tickets will be available for purchase by calling 491-RAMS, toll free at 1-800-491-RAMS, or online at CSURAMS.com
CSU Rams will face the University of Colorado Buffs at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Saturday. Kickoff is at 5:45 p.m and the game will be telecast by ESPN.