Former CU athletic director Mike Bohn and his CSU counterpart Jack Graham were involved in ongoing talks about the issue prior to Bohn's forced resignation in May.
New CU athletic director Rick George told me this week he is aware of the decline in attendance at the game in Denver and he will explore all options available to CU in deciding what is best for the future of the game. Obviously, George plans to work with Graham on either moving the game back to campus or finding solutions for filling the home of the Denver Broncos, which holds more than 76,000 fans.
If I was George, I'd settle for nothing less than playing two games in Boulder for every one played in Fort Collins. The fact is, CU doesn't need CSU as badly as the Rams need to play the Buffs each year. The programs, despite the Buffs' recent struggles on the field and financially, just aren't on the same footing in terms of the fan support they receive and the conferences in which they compete.
CSU fans can rant and rave all they want, but they can't hide from their own performance at the ticket window. The reality is the bulk of the decline in ticket sales for games in Denver have come from the CSU side. The Rams sold fewer than 20,000 tickets to each of the past two games.
They have attracted some pretty miniscule crowds at times in Fort Collins in recent seasons as well.
Attendance dropped to a record low last year for the Rocky Mountain Showdown in terms of games played in Denver. Only 58,607 attended. According to a press release issued after the game by CU, the Buffs accounted for 35,406 fans while CSU attracted only 18,169. The Broncos accounted for 5,032 tickets sold.
Let's keep in mind that both programs have been awful recently. So why does CU continue to sell most of its allotment of tickets while CSU comes up woefully short? As long as that continues to be the case, George will hold the power in the relationship and the negotiations.
If Graham balks at the idea of playing one in Fort Collins for every two in Boulder - and he has promised he will - then George should play out the contract and go back to playing CSU every three or four years. Perhaps then CSU could sell tickets to the game.