Arizona Football's Late Start Times May Be Reason For Low Attendance
The Univ. of Arizona "drew fewer than 40,000 fans" for its back-to-back football games against Texas Tech and UCLA, which may be due to the "late start times" as both contests kicked off a little after 7:30pm MT, according to Michael Lev of the ARIZONA DAILY STAR. The school "hadn't had consecutive crowds under 40,000" at Arizona Stadium since '97. UA AD Dave Heeke said, "We can't change kickoff times, as much as we dislike them. I have real strong concerns about kickoff times. We have lots of conversations. Those won't end. I'm very sympathetic to our fans. I won't ever take my eye off that." Heeke knew Saturday afternoon that there would be “a lot of open seats” for the UCLA game. Heeke: "We've gotta figure that out. That's not just as easy as saying, ‘Win.’ That's a big part of it. But it's been a tough ticket here for a long time to max out." He added, "Do we have the right mix inside the facility? What other things can we do?” Lev noted UA already has "refurbished the east side of the stadium and made minor upgrades to the west side." The next "big step is overhauling the latter." Heeke earlier this year said that "finalizing plans would take about a year; that the construction project would take about two years; and that the cost would be at least" $150M (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 10/3).