BYU Students Form ‘Tent City’ Leading Up To Big Game Against No. 2 Gonzaga
PROVO, Utah – Moments after the final horn went off in No. 23 BYU’s 85-75 win over Santa Clara, BYU’s student section known as “The ROC” started forming a line outside the Marriott Center. Why? To start lining up for the next game on Saturday night.
Saturday’s game is no ordinary contest as BYU will host the No. 2 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the home finale on Senior Night. To get lower bowl seats for the first game between ranked teams at the Marriott Center since 2011, it’s going to take two nights of sleeping through freezing temperatures, and students are happy to do it for such a big game.
KSL Sports’ Zak Hicken and I walked the line around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, just two hours after the conclusion of the BYU-Santa Clara game and the tent city began in the Northwest corner of the Marriott Center. The line wrapped all the way around the south end of the arena and ended by the Marriott Center Annex with tents along the entire path.
So if you’re a BYU student and you are wondering when you should start lining up for a chance to get a great seat to Saturday’s game, you should bundle up and head over to the Marriott Center as soon as you can.
BYU head basketball coach Mark Pope left his war room at the Marriott Center Annex after watching the conclusion of the Gonzaga-San Francisco game Thursday night to thank the students for already lining up.
“Tent city already halfway around the Marriott Center and growing by the minute. @byuROC like no other student section in the country. Love you guys. Stay warm!!!”
Saturday’s game between BYU and Gonzaga will be the first sellout at the Marriott Center in two years. The last sellout coming against, who else, the Zags in 2017.
Even though it’s been two years since the last sellout, camping out for a big game is nothing new to BYU students. The ROC has always camped out for big sporting events involving the football and basketball teams. So it only makes sense that they are camping out for what might be the biggest home basketball game BYU has seen in the past decade.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.