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FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS BELL GAME WEEK 2023: BLUE OR RED?

Bell Game Promo PhotoIt is the city's most storied football spectacle, recognized as the oldest ongoing football rivalry west of the Mississippi.

This cross-town battle pitting Coach Kris Cotterman's Central Wildcats against Coach Jeff Wilson's Centennial Bulldogs will unfold at 7 p.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium.

Owners of the Bell for the past five years, the Wildcats (4-1) are on a 2-game winning streak. The Bulldogs are looking for their first win of the season.

Tickets are $4 for students and seniors (55), $6 adults, and $20 for a family (5 people: 2 adults, 3 students/senior citizens OR 5 people: 1 adult, 4 students/senior citizens. All must enter the gate at the same time.)

Tickets are available at the individual schools, at the District Athletic Office, 315 W. 11th Street, and online:

Central side: https://rb.gy/he0lp

Centennial side: https://shorturl.at/cAHIS

If there isn’t a sellout, tickets also will be available starting at 11 a.m. Friday at Dutch Clark Stadium.

An Annual or Seasonal pass will allow entrance into the game.

For those out-of-town or unable to make it to The Dutch, the Bell Game will be live streamed on this page.

HISTORY OF THE BELL
A tradition 123 years strong began rather inconspicuously on Thanksgiving Day 1892 at the long-gone Minnequa Ball Park near Lake Minnequa.

“The ball had not been in play more than a minute when Marvin made a touchdown for the South Siders (Central) amid tremendous cheers by the Mesa contingent,” reads a Pueblo Chieftain recap.

"Cohn’s try for goal was a failure. Neither team failed to produce any scoring threat after that and the game ended in Central’s favor 4-0.”

Although the rivalry dates back to 1892, it didn’t become the Bell Game until 1950.

That year, Lou Rhoades, a fan of Pueblo high school football, donated a bell from an old C&W Railway Engine, which he envisioned would serve as a trophy to be awarded to the winner of the ongoing rivalry.

Per Mr. Rhoades' vision, the winner of the rivalry would be afforded the luxury of painting the cart that holds the “Victory Bell” with school colors and hosting it until the next playing of the contest.

Central won that first official Bell Game 40-27.

The introduction of the Bell ended the tradition of the two teams playing twice a year, including a Thanksgiving Day matchup, and led to the once-a-season gala that’s become the cornerstone of Pueblo high school athletic competition.

"Spirit Week" is marked by visits by players and spirit teams to feeder schools, assemblies and bashes, shouts of “Bell Rings Blue!” and “Bell Rings Red!,” and similar declarations visible on cars, in front yards and on other canvasses.

Through the years, the Bell Game has featured such luminaries as Wildcat Earl “Dutch” Clark, one of the greats of the NFL: Bulldog David Packard, the celebrated computer magnate; and athletes who went on to play the highest levels of collegiate athletics and even the NFL.

Let us know: does the Bell continue to ring Blue, or do the Bulldogs take it back?
FanVu SoCo Ticket City of Pueblo, Colorado - City Government

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