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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA ready for ‘GameDay’ bash

With thousands of fans expected to attend ESPN’s “”College GameDay”” events this weekend, campus officials say the UA is ready for its moment in the spotlight. 

Various university entities, including the Dean of Students Office, University of Arizona Police Department and Facilities Management have been keeping in touch through meetings, e-mails and phone calls, said Matt Brown, director of athletic event operations.

“”We have to make sure all our bases are covered,”” he said.

Last Sunday, the university first received confirmation that “”GameDay”” would be coming to Tucson. Brown said ESPN is very organized because they produce this event at various locations.

“”However, this is our first experience with it,”” he said.

ESPN brought five full-sized semis, one of which serves as a generator, a satellite uplink truck, about 20-30 support cars, and about 50 support staff, Brown said.

The biggest challenge was deciding where to set up the stage, Brown said. Originally, they planned for the stage to be near the Cactus Garden on the Mall. However, once ESPN’s crew arrived and saw the campus, they determined the location east of Old Main would be better.

The university has also provided office space for ESPN so they can communicate with their headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

“”We’re excited to have them here in town and we want to be a good partner in that respect,”” Brown said.

A combination of police officers and private security will be working the event and checking bags, said Johnny Cruz, director of university media relations.

Gov. Jan Brewer is also expected to be at the game and will attend a tailgate party with Air Force personnel from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

There will be an Air Force flyover of the tailgate area at University Boulevard and Cherry Avenue at about 5 p.m.

“”In general, the university is used to hosting major events on campus,”” he said.

Brown called the economic impact “”immeasurable.””

“”We think not only the campus community will come out to this event but also the Tucson community,”” he said.

Cruz said based on “”GameDay”” attendance at other universities, several thousand fans could attend the event.

“”It is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a very large audience to our campus, fans, teams and many aspects of the university,”” he said.

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