FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The magnitude of Colorado State’s Aug. 26 football season opener took on even greater significance Thursday when it was announced in conjunction with CBS Sports Network, the Mountain West and Oregon State University that a new kickoff time of 12:30 p.m. MT would make it the first game of the 2017 college football season, according to current schedules.
The game, which will serve as the historic grand opening of Colorado State’s new on-campus stadium, was previously scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. MT. 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. MT.
“There is great anticipation and excitement for this historic first game in our new, on-campus stadium,” said Colorado State Athletic 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.”
This marks the second consecutive year that a Mountain West team is scheduled to take part in the first kickoff of the college football season, and once again with an opponent from the Pac-12. Last year, Hawai’i and California opened the season in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 26.
“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 Colorado State Head 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.”
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.
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.
Fall semester classes at Colorado State begin Monday, Aug. 21, five days before the Oregon State game. The Rams’ remaining home dates are Sept. 9 (Abilene Christian), Oct. 14 (Nevada), Oct. 28 (Air Force), Nov. 11 (Boise State) and Nov. 18 (San Jose State).
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.”
Season tickets—which include all six home games plus the Rocky Mountain Showdown—are available by contacting the Rams Sales Team at 800-491-RAMS (7267) or visiting www.CSURams.com/tickets. Mini-plan packages, which may include any three games, are scheduled to go on sale June 26, and single-game tickets to the Rocky Mountain Showdown may be purchased beginning July 12. Single-game tickets for all games will begin with an exclusive pre-sale opportunity July 24 for alumni, faculty, staff and donors, and to all on July 26.
In preparation for the inaugural season at the on-campus stadium, the Colorado State 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. The website can be found at www.CSURams.com/footballgameday. The Rams’ football home for the past 49 seasons, Hughes Stadium, was located three miles west of campus and hosted its final game Nov. 19, 2016, a Rams victory over New Mexico.
The inaugural FORTitude 10K road race, which will finish in the new stadium, is scheduled for Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2017. Registration is open now for the community race and can be accessed online here.
UPDATED 2017 CSU FOOTBALL TV GAMES:
Saturday, Aug. 26 – vs. Oregon State, 12:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network
Friday, Sept. 1 – vs. Colorado (in Denver), 6 p.m. MT, on Pac-12 Networks
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Alabama, 5 p.m. MT, on ESPN or ESPN2
Saturday, Oct. 14 – vs. Nevada, TBA, on ESPN Networks
Friday, Oct. 20 – at New Mexico, 8:15 p.m. MT, on ESPN2
Saturday, Oct. 28 – vs. Air Force, TBA, on CBS Sports Network
Saturday, Nov. 4 – at Wyoming, 5 p.m. MT., on CBS Sports Network
Saturday, Nov. 11 – vs. Boise State, 8:30 p.m. MT, on CBS Sports Network
Saturday, Nov. 18 – vs. San José State, TBA, on CBS Sports Network
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