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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No campout for Carolina contest

    Zona Zoo officials originally wanted to turn the Zona Zoo entrance outside McKale Center into Olsonville for Saturday’s showdown with No. 4 North Carolina, but security costs have prevented that from happening, said Zona Zoo director Michael Huston.

    The security costs to get the campout approved by the Dean of Students Office would be “”several thousand dollars,”” Huston said, adding that “”the lowest estimate was way too high to make it even considerable.””

    “”In the end, I did not think I could justify spending the amount of student money required for what is a line-up,”” Huston said. “”It would not be fiscally responsible to pay such a large cost to that event. That was the barrier that prevented it from being accomplished.””

    There is a campus policy against hosting campouts for reasons of safety without the requisite security, said Suzy Mason, UA associate athletic director of operations. She also confirmed there had been “”momentum building”” toward the event and that for now it will be a topic for discussion between the athletics department and UA student government.

    For a campout to happen in the future, the plan would have to be “”one that has strong supporting behind it and funding and a strong operating plan that doesn’t compromise the campus business operations and doesn’t compromise student safety,”” Mason said. “”We’ll meet and see if it’s an option for this year.””

    Still, some people plan on camping out unofficially, such as Nick Van Slyke, a Tucson native and media arts sophomore. Van Slyke said he typically shows up “”a few hours or so”” before the four-hour official line-up begins.

    “”They’ve already told us they’re going to kick us out of line,”” he said. “”When the police show up we’ll still get there early. No doubt about it.””

    Last year before Arizona’s game against then-No. 14 Washington on March 4 with second place in the Pacific 10 Conference on the line, students showed up earlier than the four-hour mark. The University of Arizona Police Department filed two reports that night concerning students camping out that said they were advised to return at game time, but no trespassing arrests were made.

    Van Slyke said that with the strong possibility of a number of students joining him in lining up early anyway before Saturday’s contest, something should have been organized, going so far as to predict somebody will get hurt.

    “”People are going to do it anyways,”” he said. “”If it’s organized, there won’t be a fuss.””

    Zona Zoo sells out North Carolina, ASU close

    The much-maligned Zona Zoo student section, which has failed to fill the section up with students all year, did just that for Saturday’s game against North Carolina and was just 388 short of selling all seats for tomorrow’s ASU contest as of noon yesterday, Huston said.

    “”I think it’s in part North Carolina is a high-profile game and ASU is a rivalry game, but I think the Zona Zoo Crew did a really good job of getting the word out to people and getting a buzz generated,”” Huston said. “”They really gave people information on how to get tickets and passes registered, and it really contributed to getting them sold so fast.””

    Part of this included a blitz of 13 e-mails, some of which Huston attributed to “”miscommunication”” on who was to send them. But overall, the campaign worked because the Zona Zoo Crew answered “”hundreds”” of e-mails and phone calls Friday to assist people in signing up for tickets.

    The problem leading to this onslaught was that Zona Zoo members bought an average of 542 seats in the approximately 2,500-person section (about 22 percent) last semester, not even counting students who bought tickets but did not show up, and filled the section Jan. 14 against then-No. 15 Oregon only with the help of the general public.

    Now that many students who did not previously know how to register their passes have done so, Huston said he expects to see the students continue to buy tickets.

    “”I’m optimistic that that will reflect a trend that you’ll see the rest of the season,”” he said. “”It will lead to more student tickets sold for future Pac-10 games.””

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