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BYU Fan Fest Brings Cougar Nation Together For 2021 Football Season

Sep 4, 2021, 12:50 AM
BYU Fan Fest - Las Vegas...
Young BYU fan interacts with BYU cheerleaders at Las Vegas Fan Fest. (BYU Photo)
(BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – On the eve of the 2021 BYU football season, Cougar Nation gathered together for the first time in nearly two years.

BYU football fans got ready for the new season at “Fan Fest.” The Fan Fest has typically been an annual event in the off-season. But with such a large contingent of BYU fans making the trek to Vegas for the Cougars opener against the Arizona Wildcats, it was a no-brainer to bring Cougar Nation together in the desert.

You have to go all the way back to November 16, 2019, to find the last time a large gathering of BYU football fans was at one place. That was BYU’s final home game at LaVell Edwards of the 2019 football season. Nearly two years ago.

BYU Football season kicked off at Fan Fest

Last season, amidst BYU’s remarkable rise to a No. 11 ranking, fans weren’t able to show up in the tens of thousands that they are known to do. That, of course, was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic is still a strong reminder when you walk inside any business in Las Vegas. But for a couple of hours, families of BYU fans were able to enjoy Cougar Tails, BYU Creamery Chocolate Milk, face paintings, pictures with Cosmo, or even try your hand at 40-yard dashes.

BYU was expecting around between 4-6,000 fans to show up. Cougar fans easily exceeded that projection in the first 30 minutes. There was no official number of fans there, but to say the least, it was a lot.

Anyone that thought Arizona fans put a large dent in the record-setting ticket sales for the 25th all-time meeting between BYU and Arizona is likely going to be disappointed. Saturday night at the Las Vegas “Death Star” known as Allegiant Stadium will likely be a sea of royal blue.

Back again, and it feels so good

Along with food and entertainment for the kids, BYU fans watched live shows from KSL Sports’ UnRivaled on KSL NewsRadio and BYUtv’s BYU Sports Nation. Vandy Creations, a group of diehard of BYU fans, brought in a “Cougar Hummer” that featured a hybrid Raiders/BYU mashup logo for fans to get pictures.

Former BYU greats Jamal Willis and Tim McTyer were on hand to interact with fans to reminisce about the glory days and discuss the potential glory for BYU football under head coach Kalani Sitake.

The best part of it the Fan Fest was seeing all the excitement people had to be amongst their friends and family again. It’s a reminder that sports, especially college football, can bring people together. We took it for granted in the past. Never again.

Now it’s time to enjoy the season.

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.

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