Get your popcorn: Rams open stadium two weeks earlier

Coach Mike Bobo and his Rams open the new on-campus stadium Aug. 26 vs. Oregon State.

If you count yourself among those who can’t wait to check out CSU’s new on-campus stadium, you’re in luck: The opening date for the $220 million facility has been moved up two weeks.

CSU’s Department of Athletics announced Monday that the first football game in the new stadium will be played Aug. 26 against Oregon State. CSU had expected to play the first game at the stadium Sept. 9 against Abilene Christian but the Rams and Beavers agreed to move their game – originally slated for Sept. 23 – to the last Saturday in August.

CSU proposed the move to Oregon State in order to avoid playing 12 consecutive games this fall. CSU’s original schedule, released two weeks ago by the Mountain West Conference, did not include a bye week.

Mutual decision

“We are very appreciative that Oregon State was willing to discuss the potential change and found that it also would benefit their program,” said director of athletics Joe Parker. “We understand the importance to coach (Mike) Bobo and the football program to have a bye week between the four non-conference games and the eight-game conference schedule. The change moves up the opening of our new stadium by two weeks, but the project remains on-schedule and on-budget, and we expect to be fully operational in time for the first game.”

By moving the start of the season ahead by a week the Rams will now be one of just a handful of teams playing Aug. 26. CSU officials are hoping the game can be televised nationally, providing fans across the country an up-close look at the new stadium.

Busy schedule

CSU’s fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 21, five days before the Oregon State game. Information on Homecoming and Family Weekend and other game promotions will be announced in the coming weeks. The Rams’ remaining home dates are Oct. 14 (Nevada), Oct. 28 (Air Force), Nov. 11 (Boise State) and Nov. 18 (San Jose State).

“There is great anticipation for the opening of the on-campus stadium, and a great deal of work that continues to be done in preparation for this historic event,” Parker said. “We recognize there are fans who have made plans to travel to Fort Collins the weekend of Sept. 23 who are inconvenienced by this change, but we are hopeful that making this switch as quickly as possible will help them adjust their plans. There also are many who have plans to be here Sept. 9 for what was to be the grand opening of the new stadium. Weighing all of the factors involved in this decision, we have been particularly mindful of the importance to the football program and its competitive factors in making a final decision.”

FORTitude 10K still set for Labor Day

CSU officials are working hard to adjust schedules to complement the date change. One event that will not move is the inaugural FORTitude 10K, set for Labor Day – three days after the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown vs. Colorado. Registration is open now for the community race at the Early Start rate of $45. Registration increases to $50 after June 1, 2017.

In preparation for the inaugural season at the on-campus stadium, the CSU athletics department has launched a special football gameday website, which provides in-depth information on everything from tickets to parking, tailgating, gameday logistics and much more.

Get your tickets

New season ticket commitments are now being accepted by contacting the Rams Sales Team at 800-491-RAMS (7267) or visiting Current season-ticketholders will have first priority to select their seats during appointed times set to begin March 22. Those who have purchased new season tickets in 2017 will have the opportunity to work directly with a member of the Rams Sales Team to select their seat location beginning in May. Rams Sales Team members will contact new season ticket holders directly.