TEMPE, AZ — On Thursday, Arizona State University fans will be heading to the newly named Mountain America Stadium to watch their Sun Devils take on Southern Utah.
Businesses on Mill Avenue are getting ready to welcome back more fans with a new college football season on the way.
“I know it’s a bit of a rebuild year for the team but it’s a very favorable home schedule,” said Chris Purcell, the chief operating officer for Pedal Haus Brewery of the ASU football team. “We remodeled inside and expanded space to show games, and we’re excited for college football to be back and Sun Devils coming back into Tempe.”
Purcell said Pedal Haus is designated to be the official watch party with ASU, so that means they’ll have Sparky the mascot and the cheer squad at the brewery when the team plays away games.
He said they’re ready for all the fans as the summer months have been a bit slow for business. They typically see more people come in when school is back in session.
“Back-to-school week was good for us and we saw a lot of people coming back into town. We’re excited for the season and we’re hopeful we’ll have another spectacular year,” he said.
As Sun Devils head back to the football stadium soon, the stadium name change isn’t the only new thing for this season.
Previous head coach Herm Edwards relinquished his role mid-season last year. The football team had an interim coach and then the university hired a new head coach, Kenny Dillingham, who is also an ASU alum.
“I think that’s going to be good. I’m real pleased with that,” ASU alum Bobbie Knowles said of the team having a new coach. “I’m hoping that ASU doesn’t get into any more trouble.”
ASU’s football program has been under investigation by the NCAA since 2021, over allegations of recruitment violations.
Sunday morning, a university spokesperson announced they self-imposed a one-year bowl ban amid the investigation.
“I think that was unexpected, at least, from my perspective,” said Jessica Sherman, another ASU alumni.
“I think it’s unfortunate for the kids,” Purcell said.
Though the Sun Devils won’t be playing in any post-season games, Purcell said he’s still excited for the upcoming season, especially since the Territorial Cup against the University of Arizona will be in the Valley this year.
“Having U of A coming up here is a lot of fun. That’s always a huge turnout. It doesn’t matter if ASU is having the best year or the worst year, that is our bowl game every year,” Purcell said.
Elenee Dao www.abc15.com
2023-08-27 23:05:43 , Tempe News