KUSA - The Colorado Buffaloes take on the Colorado State Rams in the 88th meeting of the two schools on Friday.
The Rocky Mountain Showdown will take place at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
The game is held in Denver because it's considered a neutral ground for both teams, however, both CU-Boulder and CSU have million-dollar projects underway to improve their stadiums and player facilities in Boulder and Fort Collins.
University of Colorado Investing in new facilities to win games:
This past year the University of Colorado opened the doors to its newest investment – The Champions Center. The facility is now the new home to the athletic department.
It’s located on the northeast corner of Folsom Field.
CU’s head football coach, Mike MacIntyre says – the Pac-12 Conference is where the wins need to come, which means players need to come too.
“It gives you a sense of pride that they really are going to be a championship program,” said MacIntyre. “The second part of it is recruiting. When they see everything here, the beauty of the campus and the Pac 12 Conference and then they come and see the nicest football facility in America.”
CU’s Champion Center overlooks Folsom Field – where the Buffs have played 92 seasons.
“We play under the best backdrop in college athletics – with the Flatirons overlooking our stadium,” said CU’s Athletic Director, Rick George. “Most people don’t have that view. It’s a great place to come to, it’s a great place to recruit to.”
Boulder’s scenic views are nature’s gift. The new facilities, however, are enticing additions for the university’s athletic department.
“They want to see a facility they can feel really good about and I think we’ve got all those things at CU now. That was important when we did this facility,” said George.
The players go to the Champion Center to lift, rest, study and relax.
“I call it the Super Walmart – one stop shopping. They get their food, strength training, academics, coaching, and all our team meeting rooms,” said MacIntyre. “It’s a place that when they come, they can stay all day basically – go to class and come right back. So it’s a home away from home.”
The new facilities serve all of the athletes as well as the community.
The University wants the athletes to choose to be there. Student athletes can stay on campus and take advantage of the tutoring classes that the facility has or maybe see the sports dietician.
“Pac 12 is a tough pace to be and it’s tough in all of our sports, but that’s where we want to be,” said George. “Our goal is to compete for and with championships and we want to do it at the highest level.”
Colorado State University Building to Grow School's Future:
A lot of changes are happening on CSU’s campus. One of the biggest being the addition of their new on-campus stadium, which is just one year away from being completed.
The campus has new chemistry and biology buildings and soon they will have a new health and medical building. One that will replace three buildings, first built a half century ago.
Executive Director, Anne Hudgens, came to CSU in 1984 and never left.
“We’re a huge campus but it never feels that way. We have a reputation about caring about students,” said Hudgens. “There’s a feel to it that’s more like a small school than a big school – with all the resources of a big school.”
“We’re a campus being transformed by the day – as is the community and that kind of growth and change is not easy,” said Campus Planner, Fred Haberecht.
Haberecht sees the potential of every work in progress.
“The buildings are just the shell of what’s going on inside,” said Haberecht.
Haberecht sees the moments when lives are transformed and he sees the need to keep those moments fresh, with a place on campus, where alumni return.
“College campuses are a touchstone of experiences. Where you can come back and say – this is where I met my wife, this is where I had that great class, this is where I decided I was going to be a doctor,” said Haberecht.
Haberecht believes the new stadium will reignite all of those memories and allow others to see the change.
“Change is really good. I know a lot of people fear it – but there’s nothing but good that’s come out of the growth and change on this campus,” said Hudgens.
One that may be best understood through the game of football.
“A stadium on campus is a catalyst to get people back because there’s an event that brings them in,” said Haberecht.
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