BYU/Arizona Expected To Be Record-Setting Crowd

Aug 30, 2021, 11:56 PM | Updated: Aug 31, 2021, 12:06 am
BYU - Arizona...
The Brigham Young Cougars defense tackles Arizona Wildcats running back Gary Brightwell (23) in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – This Saturday’s BYU/Arizona game at Allegiant Stadium is a much-anticipated game for the Cougars and Wildcats.

Not only is it the first game of the 2021 season for both teams, but it’s the first time either team has played in front of a large contingent of fans in nearly two years.

Last year, neither team played in front of a crowd larger than 10,000 fans. Getting back to normal has been a popular phrase amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But, of course, nothing is more normal than a packed house for a college football game on a Saturday.

“I’m excited about getting the fans there. We really missed that last year,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “Having the band, the fans and the opponents having their fans at the game – it’s going to be really fun to have that feeling of the game again.”

What better than to return to normal in the entertainment capital of the world in Las Vegas?

BYU/Arizona expected to be the largest college crowd in Nevada’s history

PAC-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, fresh off of announcing his league would not be expanding in the near future, couldn’t help but draw some attention to the number of ticket sales that BYU/Arizona is currently generating for the first-ever Vegas Classic at Allegiant Stadium.

Kliavkoff tweeted, “57K tickets already sold for this Saturday’s matchup between @ArizonaFBall and @BYUfootball at @AllegiantStadm — Expected to be the largest crowd to watch a college sporting event in Nevada’s history.”

The Pac-12 Commissioner might be expecting his Arizona Wildcats to be pulling all the weight in these sales, but BYU has a well-documented history in Las Vegas.

BYU holds the previous record

Nevada’s largest college sporting event’s previous record also belongs to a game involving BYU and another PAC-12 program. In 2006, BYU saved the Las Vegas Bowl and Cougar fans packed Sam Boyd Stadium to see the nationally-ranked Cougars crush the Oregon Ducks, 38-8. The crowd for that game was 44,615.

Saturday’s catfight is well beyond that number. The total capacity at Allegiant Stadium is 65,000. So if you’re looking to book a last-minute trip to Sin City, you better act soon because fans have already been locking down tickets.

Fresh off an 11-1 season a year ago, BYU fans are chomping at the bit to be at this game. BYU’s ticket allotment sold out in a matter of hours back in April.

Back at BYU’s annual Media Day, BYUtv hosts stated the contingent of Cougar fans expected in Las Vegas for the 2021 season opener could be the largest gathering of BYU fans ever assembled outside the state of Utah.

BYU fans are being asked to wear royal blue to coincide with the football team’s “Royal Rush” uniforms. We will see how big of a turnout Cougar Nation makes Saturday night within the 57,000+ tickets that are currently sold.

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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