PLEASE READ THIS & SHARE WITH FELLOW WILDCATS – TIME TO STEP UP
I want to thank everyone who made last weekend a very special time for our university. There was an electricity in the stadium and at the Wildcat Walk that would match or exceed any I have seen in the SEC, Big 12, Big 10 and of course our Pac-10. Thank you for showing up in such force, giving us a tremendous foundation to build on.
There were a number of issues we evaluated at length yesterday that made us believe we needed to send this week’s message out a day early. The two major issues from Saturday that must be addressed are fan behavior and issues within ZonaZoo.
Before we get too far into this, we understand that the behavior issues arose from only a small part of the fan base.
Since Regina and I have come to Tucson we have been amazed at how wonderfully welcome everyone has made us feel. People have treated us like we have lived here our entire life and we are proud to say that we are part of the University of Arizona family.
Saturday, we saw some of our fans not be as welcoming to our visitors from Iowa. Bad language and taunting of fans is not how we want to be portrayed. We want to be known as having one of the loudest stadiums in the country, but we should also be known as having one of the classiest and most welcoming. I want to ask everyone to Step Up and encourage the people around them to represent our university in a first class manner and welcome people to our campus as we would want when we are traveling.
BEAR DOWN WITH PRIDE
With that in mind, I want to make you all aware of our sportsmanship initiative, BEAR DOWN WITH PRIDE! To promote first-class conduct at each of our athletic events it is important that not only fans but also coaches, players, staff, spirit groups and the ZonaZoo represent our University in a positive manner at all times. The Bear Down with Pride sportsmanship initiative includes a few basic guidelines aimed to promote and maintain a safe, comfortable, and family-friendly experience at all Athletics events for all our guests. Help us be national leaders in sportsmanship and positive fan behavior.
The biggest challenge was the build-up before entry of the ZonaZoo students. There was tremendous demand for this game and the way we had historically allowed entry into the ZonaZoo area did not work as efficiently as it had in the past. Our operations department spent all of yesterday working with every game-day entity involved with ZonaZoo and there will be changes made this weekend that will help with traffic flow and safety.
To more effectively and efficiently manage the ZonaZoo entrance, we will begin scanning students with a ZonaZoo pass as they arrive at the stadium, approximately four hours prior to kick-off. Stadium gates will open as the student crowd dictates and appropriate stadium amenities will be available at that time. This plan prevents the initial staging of students and will mitigate the challenge of having 10,000 people in a limited and confined area making the entrance safer for all.
Wow! Have we been impressed with the turnout! Please keep coming and bring others with you. We will continue to tweak the Walk as needed and one of the things that will be different this week is that the official start time will be 1 hour and 45 minutes before kick-off. So the actual time will be 5:15 instead of 5…see you then!
LET'S KEEP IT UP
We had an announced (and in attendance) sellout crowd for the Iowa football game, which portends a potential run at a record-breaking year in terms of both total attendance and per-game average. We want to thank all our fans. We still have tickets left for each game on the schedule, including this Saturday’s Pac-10 opener against CAL. I hope to see you there!
HANG IN THERE
Many have asked about football game times for the Oct. 9 Oregon State contest and the Oct. 23 Washington game. Officially, they're both in the mix for television selections that have yet to be determined. We'll announce them as soon as we know. Bear with us on this; it's a process with which we all have to deal. It does make it harder because those games happen to fall on Family Weekend and Homecoming, but those are the facts.
WHAT’S YOUR IMPACT?
Thanks to all who came out to Arizona Stadium to cheer on our student-athletes during Saturday’s victory over Iowa. The next part of this message goes out especially to those Wildcat fans who traveled from at least 45 minutes away to attend the game. We have always known your support of our teams and student-athletes is invaluable, but there isn't much empirical evidence about its impact on the Tucson economy. Fortunately, a graduate student from the Eller College of Management has set to find out, and we can use your help. If you attended last Saturday's victory over Iowa, please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous survey that will help us to measure just how much you drive our local economy. As a thank you, we will be giving away a football signed by Coach Stoops and other great Wildcat prizes to a few lucky fans who participate in this survey.
LET'S ROCK McKALE, TOO
This weekend the volleyball team plays host to Pac-10 openers with Cal (Friday) and Stanford (Sunday). Those teams are ranked eighth and first in the polls this week. Help us take the home-court advantage to another level. We've talked and talked about what crowd support does for football... It's just as easy to get a ticket and help fill McKale Center to get the place rocking for volleyball. If you haven't been to a collegiate volleyball game, you've been missing some exciting athletic competition... Last week the Cats swept the Arizona Invitational to move to 10-2...
WILDCAT THURSDAYS? WHATEVER WORKS!
I went to my dentist last week, and because of a reduced staff on Fridays, Dr. J. Ray Rokey (left, rear) and his staff take part in office colors-wearing on Thursdays. There's more than one day to be a Wildcat. Thanks, Doctor. Ray is also an Arizona Baseball letterman.
...We had some tough news in the soccer program last week when it was determined that leading scorer Rene Cuellar, who had six goals through six games, required leg surgery and will be out for the year. Rene, you may remember, played for Mexico's U20 national team last summer in World Cup competition... The soccer team is in Los Angeles Friday vs. Loyola Marymount and will play Utah in Tucson on Sunday... Cross country runners Hannah Moen and Stephen Sambu won the women's and men's races in the Dave Murray Invitational here last week. Great job, and let's hope for similar results at the meet this Saturday in Minneapolis... The first State Farm Territorial Cup series event this year is Oct. 1 in McKale Center when the UA volleyball team plays host to our neighbors from Tempe. The T-Cup (the trophy we proudly own this year) is the friendly battle in all our friends from Tempe, based on head-to-head competition or the annual finish in the Pac-10 Championships...
Bear Down with Pride,
Director of Athletics
University of Arizona