Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics.
Aug. 8, 2012
FALL SPORTS BEGINNINGS
Our volleyball team joined soccer and football on campus in camp this week, with cross country due to begin fall training next week. The 2012-13 year is under way. It won't be long - three weeks and three days - before Rich Rodriguez's first UA team opens the regular season against Toledo in Arizona Stadium on Sept. 1. (You'll need some tickets to be there. Get them here, please!) Coach Lisa Oyen's soccer squad will open the year on the road at Long Beach State to get our competitive calendar going next Friday (Aug. 17). Coach Dave Rubio's volleyball squad also opens before football, with its Wildcat Classic and six matches Aug. 24-25 in McKale Center. Coach James Li will open the cross country season in Flagstaff on Sept. 3, then play host to our only home meet (Dave Murray Invitational) on Sept. 16. Our men's basketball team also has some action going with two exhibition games on a tour to the Bahamas Aug. 11 and Aug. 13. Of course, all of these student-athletes also are involved in academic preparations for the year, their most important missions.
I hope you've been following daily updates on our Facebook page about current student-athletes and letterwinners regarding their appearances in the Olympic Games in London. It's been a pretty remarkable several weeks for the Cats and their Pac-12 counterparts in the games, with hundreds of appearances by athletes and considerable behind-the-scenes work by Pac-12 coaches. We're blessed to be part of such a tradition. Kudos to each and every current and former Arizona Wildcat for their accomplishments in the most visible global sports event. Bringing back medals is one thing (and we did), but participating in the Olympics and joining athletes from around the world in superb competition is a lifetime's achievement in itself for the many Wildcats and league.
MEET THE TEAM
Arizona football and head coach Rich Rodriguez will host Meet The Team on Sun., Aug. 19 at McKale Center. We hope you'll be able to join us for a fun afternoon during which you'll have the opportunity to meet with and get autographs from your favorite players and coaches. Free schedule posters will be available while supplies last.
Doors will open at 11 a.m. to allow fans to catch an insider's sneak peek of media day activities. At 12 p.m. legendary voice of the Wildcats Brian Jeffries will emcee the official program, which includes team and staff introductions by Coach Rodriguez as well as a live Q&A session with a few of the players. Fans will then be invited to the McKale floor to meet the players and coaches from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Free parking will be available in the Cherry Ave. Garage and in the surrounding surface lots. Please enter McKale through the south doors closest to the ticket office.
PAC-12 NETWORKS ONE WEEK AWAY
A week from today will be a huge day at headquarters in San Francisco and around the world as the Pac-12 Networks will make their historic launch. Hundreds of Pac-12 events will be available across the nation and worldwide via digital platforms. Our second and third football games (Sept. 8 vs. Oklahoma State, Sept. 15 vs. South Carolina State) will be seen on P12N, for example. Meantime, soccer and volleyball games will soon see their initial broadcasts on P12N as well, and then as we continue through the school year dozens and dozens of events will be available to our fans, along with other league contests involving our conference affiliates. All football and men's basketball games not selected for the league's broadcast partnership with ESPN/ABC and FOX will be shown.
It is our hope that arrangements with satellite carriers, such as DirecTV and DISH, are close to fruition, which would help complete the broad lineup of carriers who have arranged to bring Pac-12 Conference games, Championships and other content to fans everywhere.
Obviously there will be some learning involved for followers of all 12 schools as the P12N products reach the marketplace. The league has established a list of call letters, for example, that designate the networks. Our regional, Pac-12 Arizona, will be P12A or P12AZ. Pac-12 Network (national) will be P12N, PAC12 or PAC-12. Pac-12 Mountain (Utah, Colorado) will be P12M, P12MT or P12MTN, for examples. If your cable or satellite provider isn't set to carry the Pac-12 Networks please let them know you want it. Send an e-mail or letter. Call them. The only way these companies are going to pick up the networks is if there is a strong demand for them. If you're not sure check the P12N channel finder. Let them know, #IWantThePac12Networks!
Confusion will be part of the fare for a brief period but soon it will be second nature to dial in to your chosen events - and there will be a great deal of them on the menus. It's an exciting time.
NEW AURAL EXPERIENCE
One thing about the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, and the new allied north end zone lower bowl seating area, is that it completes the stands and gives us a 360-degree experience, a bowl. I'm thinking it's going to make a real difference in crowd noise without some of the hurrah slipping out to the north as before. LOUD is what we think is coming. The facility alone, and all the amenities for the team and fans, give us a stupendous advantage moving forward but it's also going to create much more buzz in the stands, just like the video board in the other end did. Be there to check it out. Here's a look this week:
NEW SOUTH END ZONE SEATS
While we're talking about enhancements to the north end of Arizona Stadium, I would be remiss to not mention the new south end zone field-level seating sections that are almost completed. All the seats in the new section are chairbacks with contour seating. Here's a close up of the new seats. Combine that with the leg room and you're probably not going to find a more comfortable seat in the stadium. Our single-game tickets go on sale this Saturday to the general public. Get your season tickets now and reserve the same comfortable seat for all eight home games. Call 520-621-2287 for more information or to schedule a visit inside the stadium to check them out.
CHAMBER X CHANGE WITH COACH ROD
Rich Rodriguez will be the special guest speaker at the Tucson Metro Chamber "Chamber X Change" event from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21. We appreciate the support we receive from Tucson Metro Chamber members and we're excited Coach Rodriguez can be a part of this event right before the start of the season.Click here for more information or to RSVP.
A-CLUB LETTERWINNERS UPDATE
The Arizona A-Club would like to pay tribute to their fellow Arizona Letterwinners and others with Arizona ties at the 2012 London Olympics with this Olympic YouTube video. Wildcats across the globe are proud of our Arizona Olympian's accomplishments and we thank them for representing Arizona and their country in a first class manner...Bear Down!
We have some new signs in McKale Center and they'll also be going up elsewhere in our venues: "If You See Suspicious Activity, Report It," they say, and provide the campus police number (621-UAPD) and 911. It's not unlike our Step-Up program for student-athletes, to foster bystander intervention. The health and welfare of our principals and patrons is easily one of our foremost objectives. We want all of our events to be only about athletics, competition and the maturation of young adults.
Below, Tucson's FAA air traffic controllers wear some Arizona red, while at bottom Mark and Lisa Heltemes do the same among the foot traffic at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. Wear your colors every chance you get! Bear Down.
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