RENO, Nev. – With ticket sales still surging and the field dedication on tap, excitement continues to build for the Nevada football team’s home opener on Saturday against UC Davis.
The game is billed as Chris Ault Night, with a pre-game dedication ceremony scheduled to honor the winningest coach in school history and the naming of Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Mackay and stadium gates open at 4 p.m. With the ceremony for Ault, who had a 41-year career as a player, coach and administrator at Nevadajb, scheduled to begin approximately 25 minutes before kickoff, fans are encouraged to arrive early.
A large crowd is expected with more than 22,000 tickets sold or distributed at the open of business on Friday and fans still buying or renewing their season tickets for the six-game home schedule this year. Game and season tickets are still available by calling (775) 784-6900 or visiting NevadaWolfPack.com.
The game marks the home debut of first-year coach Brian Polian and fans will see new fan-friendly features before and during the games at Mackay Stadium this year. The Wolf Pack has set a record for the most season tickets sold in a season with more than 9,800 season tickets this year (previous record: 9,738 in 2011).
Polian and the Pack have launched the new Wolf Pack Walk as the team will be dropped off in the tailgate lots north of the stadium (corner of Stadium Way and Anelli Lane) at 3:45 p.m. The coaches and players will then work their way through the crowd – the path is marked with blue paw prints – towards the Northwest entrance to Mackay.
“We wanted our fans to have the ability to literally reach out and shake hands with these guys and wish them luck,” Polian said. “And I hope the student body will get involved, too, because these are their peers. The student body has as much of a stake in this team as we do. We’re one of them.
The game will not be televised but is available for free via the new Mountain West Network as the school will broadcast the bulk of its non-televised sporting events for free online atwww.NevadaWolfPack.TV beginning this year. The broadcast begins at 5:30 p.m. and is also available on select mobile devices
The Wolf Pack Radio Network (Flagship: ESPN Radio 94.5 FM) will be on location in front of the Petersen Academic Center with its pre-game show beginning at 4:30 p.m. with Ryan Radtke, Chris Vargas and Alyx Sacks.
Other new features at Wolf Pack games this year:
– The fence surrounding the playing surface has been cut in half and covered with banners highlighting championship teams and postseason appearances in school history.
– New banners near the Zonie section highlighting Wolf Pack Legends like Marion Motley, Nate Burleson, Colin Kaepernick and others.
– The annual Running of the Wolves where 1,000 University freshmen will lead the team on to the field before the game.
– New pyrotechnics when the team enters the stadium.
– A new AM radio station – 1670 AM – to help fans with traffic information, parking and other gameday advisories.
– The free Sierra Spirit shuttle will have extended hours and will run until midnight on gamedays.
– Saturday is also High School Band Day with more than 400 area high school band members performing at halftime.