The Colorado Rockies, The University of Denver Athletics Department, Colorado College Athletics Department and National Collegiate Hockey Conference have announced that next season's Pioneers-Tigers hockey game scheduled for February 20, 2016 will be staged at Coors Field in downtown Denver. Dubbed the 'Battle on Blake', this will be the first competitive collegiate hockey game ever played at Coors Field and will mark the first time that DU and CC have faced off in an outdoor match.
"We couldn't be more excited to be announcing this game, which we are very pleased to do in partnership with our longtime rivals Colorado College as well as the Colorado Rockies and NCHC," DU Athletic Director Peg Bradley-Doppes says. "The Denver hockey program has a proud tradition and rich history, having won seven national championships, made 14 Frozen Four appearances and won 29 total conference championships, and this game will further add to the Pioneers' legacy. This game at Coors Field will also add a new dimension to our storied rivalry with the Tigers, and we can't wait to pack the park with college hockey fans in February."
The DU-CC rivalry dates back to 1950, with the Pioneers having gone 165-116-17 in 298 all-time meetings with the Tigers. Denver swept Colorado College in the teams' four-game season series this past season to reclaim the Gold Pan Trophy, bestowed annually upon the winner of the DU-CC series.
"We are thrilled to be taking our rivalry with the University of Denver outside in 2016," CC Athletic Director Ken Ralph says. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players and we are grateful to the Colorado Rockies, the Coors Field staff and the University of Denver for making this a reality for our team. We are looking forward to a large crowd in a beautiful setting as our teams display that college hockey is indeed thriving in the state of Colorado."
Located in Denver's historic 'LoDo' district, Coors Field has served as the Rockies' home since 1995, during which time it has hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game (1998) as well as the World Series (2007). February's DU-CC showdown will mark the first time a sport other than baseball will be played at the stadium competitively.
"One of the great benefits of partnering with the NHL to host the Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche game at Coors Field on February 27, 2016, is the rare opportunity to invite two collegiate hockey teams to take advantage of the outdoor venue as well," said Colorado Rockies Executive VP/Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel. "Hosting DU and CC in their very first collegiate game outdoors and the first at Coors Field will be an exciting event for local fans and another first for our organization."
This will be the third straight year in which at least one team from the NCHC has competed in an outdoor game. The Miami RedHawks skated in the Hockey City Classic at Chicago's Soldier Field last season and the Western Michigan Broncos were a part of the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational, staged at Detroit's Comerica Park.
"This event will provide an incredible atmosphere and life-enriching experience for student-athletes in Coors Field next February when Denver and Colorado College take the Gold Pan rivalry back to its roots while playing outside," says NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton.
More information on the 'Battle on Blake', including ticketing info, will be announced at a later date.