DENVER (KDVR) — Hours before kickoff on Saturday afternoon, thousands of fans filled the parking lots at Empower Field at Mile High.

But the typical orange and blue seen here on the weekends was replaced by blue and silver, with Falcons fans showing up by the masses for the annual Air Force vs. Army game. 

“You can’t ask for anything better than this,” Alex Inscoe said. “It’s a special day.”

Inscoe knows a thing or two about this rivalry, which dates back to 1959. He runs the Facebook page “History of Air Force Falcons,” and said Saturday’s meeting was one for the record books. 

It’s the first time the two service academies have played in Denver at Mile High. 

“Being a Broncos season ticket holder and an Air Force season ticket holder, this is special,” Inscoe said. “I actually got to drive 10 minutes to an Air Force game for the first time in my life.”

More than 50,000 fans were expected to be at the game, which pits the service academies against each other for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy.

Mike Skolaut graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1978 and said the game always means something extra.

“We are rivals for one day,” Skolaut said. “Everyone understands the level is up here, and then bang, as soon as the game’s over, we’re out drinking with each other having a good time.”

Andrew Urbaczewki lives in Denver and said while it’s fun to travel to Colorado Springs for games, it’s nice to have one close to home.

“Oh man it’s awesome, it’s so awesome to be up here in the big stadium,” Urbaczewki said. “Big crowd, big game, it’s really great to be here.”