BYU’s Fan-Friendly Cougar Kickoff Canceled Due To Air Quality

Aug 16, 2021, 5:26 PM

BYU Cougar Kickoff...

Fans gather at BYU's 2019 Cougar Kickoff. (Mitch Harper,

(Mitch Harper,

PROVO, Utah – BYU athletics was set to host its annual Cougar Kickoff again for the first time since 2019 this week. Due to the poor air quality conditions in Northern Utah, the fan-friendly event has been canceled.

BYU announced the cancelation on Monday with the following statement.

“Due to poor air quality conditions, tomorrow night’s Cougar Kickoff has been cancelled. This comes out of an abundance of caution, wanting to keep our student-athletes in the best possible health, with many BYU sports nearing the start of fall competition.

“We are announcing the cancellation now because of the need to alert vendors and those who may be traveling from a long distance to plan accordingly.”

Air quality in Northern Utah has reverted to “Unhealthy” across the valley due to more smoke from California’s Dixie fire pouring into Utah last night.

This year was expected to be the 16th edition of the Cougar Kickoff, which has become an annual tradition in the buildup to the BYU football season. The event started in 2004 when Gary Crowton was the head coach of the Cougars.

Athletes from the BYU football team, men’s & women’s basketball, men’s & women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, gymnastics, men’s & women’s cross country, men’s golf, and the cheer squad were all expected to be present for pictures, autographs, and activities for fans.

BYU is scheduled to hold a “Fan Fest” the day before the season opener against the Arizona Wildcats in Las Vegas on September 3. The Fan Fest in Nevada will be held at Craig Ranch Regional Park from 6-8 p.m. (PT).

BYU opens the 2021 football season against Arizona at Allegiant Stadium, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, on September 4 at 8:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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.

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BYU’s Fan-Friendly Cougar Kickoff Canceled Due To Air Quality