CSU’s first game in new stadium also first game of 2017

The very first game in CSU’s brand-new stadium – Aug. 26 against Oregon State – will also be the very first game of the 2017 college football season.

CSU, CBS Sports, the Mountain West Conference and Oregon State University jointly announced Thursday a new kickoff time of 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time, which would make the inaugural game in CSU’s on-campus stadium first contest of the 2017 college football season, according to current schedules.

The game previously was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. It will be televised to a national audience on CBS Sports Network. None of the other four games involving FBS teams on Aug. 26 is presently scheduled to kick off before 1 p.m. Mountain Time.

Historic day

“There is great anticipation and excitement for this historic first game in our new, on-campus stadium,” said CSU athletics director Joe Parker. “To be the first kickoff of the 2017 college football season is an appropriate distinction in a day of many firsts. We are excited and eager to host this historic event, and appreciate CBS Sports Network presenting this game to a national audience.”

The Rams will join two other Mountain West schools in opening their 2017 season on Aug. 26. Hawai’i will play at UMass and San Jose State will host South Florida on the first official weekend of the season. Two other FBS games are scheduled for Aug. 26: Stanford vs. Rice in Sydney, Australia, and Portland State at BYU.

Not just a game

“We were already excited to open our new stadium and to play Oregon State, and now we are even more excited to host the first kickoff of the season,” said CSU coach Mike Bobo. “We are very appreciative of the great support of our fans and our community, and we look forward to representing Colorado State University on this historic day before a national audience.”

Colorado State is planning numerous special events and promotions to commemorate the first football game played on campus in nearly 50 years. Military Appreciation Day will highlight the inaugural game in the 41,000-capacity stadium, with numerous tributes and salutes to the men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. A giant American flag that covers the entire football field will be displayed during the national anthem.

Fans also will enjoy taking part in the “Stripe the Stadium” promotion, in which they will be encouraged to wear either green or white, alternating by section, to create green and white vertical stripes throughout the stadium bowl. A gigapixel photo will be taken by Blakeway Panorama, which fans can access online to locate and tag themselves in the digital image. In addition, fans will be able to purchase a panoramic photo of the stadium in the days following the game.

Earliest Rams home game

The Aug. 26 game date will mark the second-earliest season-opening game in the modern era for Colorado State, and the earliest date the Rams have played a game in the state of Colorado. The Rams opened the 2002 season on Aug. 22 with a 35-29 win at No. 22 Virginia. This will be the Rams’ 10th August game.

“We are working very diligently and collaboratively with our campus and community partners to create the best game-day experience in all of college football, combining all the best elements that make Colorado State and Fort Collins unique,” Parker said. “Many new traditions are taking shape and will be put on display beginning with the opening game on Aug. 26.”