Rumors of the demise of the Rocky Mountain Showdown have been greatly exaggerated.
After a month of uncertainty, it was announced Tuesday that the Showdown will live past its current contract and the 2010 football season.
Athletic directors Paul Kowalczyk of CSU and Mike Bohn of CU said that an agreement has been reached to continue the 115-year-old series past the current contract.
Although details of the arrangement are still being finalized, both institutions have agreed that the rivalry should be extended.
“Things have been very cooperative and are going quite well,” said Kowalczyk. “There are a lot of details that we need to sift through and we just haven’t gotten through all of it at this point.”
In a written statement Bohn agreed with Kowalczyk, explaining that there is still work to be done before any contract is signed.
“We are pleased with the collaborative nature of addressing the nuances associated with the CSU series,” Bohn said in the release. “We look forward to working with all of the related constituent groups in Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver in building a viable model for college football fans across the state.”
No formal time table has been set for an official contract, but Kowalczyk said that it would benefit both schools to have one soon.
“It’s in both of our best interests to try and conclude this as soon as we can because we both need to know how we’re scheduling,” he said. “And we also need to capitalize as much as we can on any third party involvement in regards to sponsoring the game.”
Rams offensive coordinator Greg Peterson explained that keeping the Showdown alive is good for every party involved.
“It is great for this state because of the publicity and excitement it brings to the fans and alumni within Colorado for both programs,” the 25-year coach said. “I hope that game can go on forever. It’s great news if an agreement can be reached and the Showdown can run for a long time.”
Brandon Owens, a freshman cornerback for the Rams, started in this year’s Showdown and is excited that he will get the opportunity to finish the rivalry game as a senior.
“It is already the biggest game of the year and I’m glad they are keeping it on,” he said. “It’s an honor to play in it.”
Linebacker Mychal Sisson, who also started this year’s Showdown as a freshman agreed, adding that the matchup won’t change as he matures.
“It’s just an exciting game to play in,” he said. “That game could make or break a season. As a senior you still go out and hope for a win.”
The Showdown is still scheduled to be moved away from its traditional location at Invesco Field for the next two installments. CU is set to host the 2009 game at Folsom Field in Boulder, with the Showdown migrating to Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins in 2010. No official location for the 2011 matchup has been agreed upon. Kowalczyk likes the fact that the game will be in Fort Collins for one year, but still feels that Denver is the best location for both schools.
“I think for what we’re trying to accomplish as an institution, it make more sense to have the game in Denver. It’s a good outreach for our institution to our alums in the Denver area and the state, as well as the political leaders of the state, because Denver is their home.”
Owens would much rather have the game in Denver for his final season.
“It’s a pro stadium and that makes for a bigger crowd with more people there,” he said. “That’s the way it should be. It’s the biggest game in Colorado.”
Football beat writer Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.