It's not the opponent... honestly, it's not. Were CU to play Nebraska in the stadium, it would still be a terrible idea. I was listening to Vic and Gary on 102.3 this morning, and I swear Vic Lombardi used the term "unique" to describe a bland NFL vacuous canyon of plastic and concrete. I don't know what Vic was smoking, but the current version of Mile High is anything but unique.
Old Mile High was a unique venue. Folsom Field is a unique venue (just look to last week; I'll take last Saturday in Folsom, with it's perfect weather and rockin' crowd, over anywhere else in the world). Hell, even CSU's Hughes Stadium, such as it is, is unique (it uniquely recreates the experience of going to a mid-level Texas high school game... only without the large attendance). Sports Authority Field is fake, corporate, and devoid of any sense of place. There are over 25 rough facsimiles spaced across the NFL; certainly not unique. Seriously, what's the difference between Sports Authority and, say, Paul Brown Stadium?
|Hooray! Half-empty, lifeless venue! Can't wait for Saturday!|
I took great note of where the Northwestern Wildcats decided to play their alternate venue rivalry game last season; they picked Wrigley Field over the current incarnation of Soldier Field in Chicago. It made perfect sense: historical venue (Wrigley was once home to more than the Cubs, afterall), made for a great story, and didn't piggy-back on the local NFL team's schtick. The 'Cats were doing their own thing, separated from what the Bears do. Why do Colorado sports teams constantly feel obligated to hitch themselves to the Broncos' broken wagon-train? CU and CSU should have more pride in themselves than that.
I think the declining attendance is a pointed reaction to the failure of venue. Sure, it has a lot to do with the painful decline in the quality of both programs (To steal from Thorburn: "Since the 2006 season kicked off, the Buffs are 21-42 and the Rams are 22-41." Yikes.), but even with the losses piling up on the front range, CU still stuffs over 45k into Folsom each Saturday. Last season, the two fanbases combined for barely that in
The game belongs on campus. At this point, I don't even care which campus. Hell, let's all head up to Laramie for all I care, just get it out of Sports Authority Field. If on-campus is good enough for UCLA-USC, Alabama-Auburn, and Michigan-Ohio State, then it should be good enough for CU-CSU.
Find some lawyers, and get the fuck out of that dumb-ass contract.