It sounds like new AD Greg Byrne is already starting to make some changes to improve the atmosphere, and Hansen supplies a few of his own ideas. Some highlights from Hansen's article:
• Open the tailgating lots Friday night at 6 rather than the school's limit-the-fun, five-hours-before-kickoff routine. Even Stanford, an academic titan, opens its tailgating RV lots the day before games.
• Put visiting fans in the upper deck, east side, in the sun. When Arizona fans are at USC, Oregon, Washington, Cal and UCLA, they are seated in the most remote section of the stadium. Don't be Mr. Nice Guy.
• And while you're at it, put the Territorial Cup on display. It's the most cherished football trophy in Tucson (until a Rose Bowl trophy comes along) and it signifies that the Wildcats have beaten the Sun Devils.
Here are a couple of my suggestions, to supplement Hansen's:
- Play up the Zona Zoo. It is arguably one of the best student sections in the Pac-10. Make them the unquestioned best. Show video montages specifically of the Zona Zoo in a frenzy. Make them a focus of the pre-game activities. It will only create more noise and excitement. The students will respond to being recognized.
- Keep a running count on the video scoreboard of each false start or illegal procedure penalty by an opponent on the video board. The Seattle Seahawks do this at Qwest Field, and nothing fires up the fans more than seeing that number grow every time the crowd noise causes the zebras to throw those yellow hankies on the field.
What do you think Cats fans? Any great suggestions for Byrne and the Athletic Department?