Last night was the University of Arizona’s football season opener here in Tucson and I wanted to share with my experience with everyone (and maybe point out some helpful tips along the way!).
Being a UofA alumni and longtime Tucson resident I’ve been to plenty of athletic events but the football games are definitely the ones I enjoy the most. There is something to be said for unpredictable outdoor weather, fifty thousand fans cheering in unison, and most importantly, seeing an event live.
Now I’ll be honest, UofA football has experienced a bit of a dropoff since our Desert Swarm days back in the late nineties but we’re hoping Mike Stoops can finally turn us back around this year.
Okay let’s begin!
Kickoff was set to begin at 7pm but I was out with a client showing houses in the afternoon and didn’t get to arrive as early as I had wanted. My wife and I were supposed to meet some friends at Belushi’s Bar & Grill (excellent campus area hang out) beforehand for some drinks and a bite to eat but that didn’t work out and we found ourselves looking for parking instead!
For those of you who like to plan ahead and not have to worry about walking to Arizona Stadium, Sun-Tran has three ‘park and go’ lots around town where you can park your vehicle and take a free shuttle that drops you off right in front of the Stadium[link]. This is an extremely handy option if you don’t want to deal with the pre and post game traffic yourself and, best of all, saves you gas!
For those of you who don’t mind a short walk or paying a bit for parking, many homeowners and renters south of sixth street actually rent out their yards during games for parking! My wife and I cruised a few back streets south of Arizona Stadium vainly searching for street parking and passed several college students holding up “Parking - $20” signs (are you kidding??) before finding one that had the magic number on it.. five dollars! We pulled into a backyard and parked and were on our way!
(backyard parking near Arizona Stadium)
Our walk to the stadium was a quick five or six minutes and because we were walking with other fans it wasn’t a bother at all.
For those of you who are wondering about how to get Football Tickets check out the Arizona Athletic’s website. Quick tip: Below is a map of Arizona Stadium. One side is one long tier all the way up to the press boxes while the other side has a couple different levels. Because I’ve been to games before I know how unpredictable the weather can be and we always get tickets underneath the overhang in case the weather gets ugly (get seats in rows 49 or higher to be safe from rain).
(sit on the blue section on the right for weather protection!)
Walking up to our seats (Section 107) was surprisingly fast, we made a quick stop for some padded seat rentals (completely worth it) and grabbed a soda before sitting down.
Although the stadium wasn’t full it was a fun atmosphere and we were ready for the game to begin!
After the coin-toss Arizona was set to receive and both teams lined up for kickoff.. only to be ordered off the field for a weather delay.
Sixty four minutes, tons of rain, and two arrests later, play finally resumed and the fans who had scattered to the concourse for protection from the rain (not us!) hurried back to their seats.
(A couple of bored and over zealous fans decided to run onto the field)
The game was off to a fast start and never let up, with Arizona leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Jack-in-the-Box announced a promotion that if the Wildcats scored thirty three points or more during the game they would give every fan in attendance two free tacos, and when the score hit 35-0 an immense roar erupted from the stadium, seemingly the loudest from the student section.
(Free Tacos yeah!)
Many fans left at the beginning of the fourth quarter but my wife and I stayed and enjoyed the entire experience until the final whistle blew and the scoreboard stood at 70-0.
It was a good way to start the season and provided our boys with some much needed confidence after just missing a bowl game last season. I hope their streak continues!
Here is the Arizona football schedule for 2008. Stop by and catch a game if you can, you won’t regret it!
Some additional photos!
Just outside of Arizona Stadium on Sixth Avenue
Pride of Arizona (Spells out "U of A"!)
Press Box at Arizona Stadium.. isn't that sunset gorgeous?
Mike Stoops giving our boys some encouragement
Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat!
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Krotchie, all rights reserved.
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