ZonaZoo adjusts Arizona stadium student section, band seating arrangement
As it has been unable to consistently fill its former 10,000-seat allotment, the football student section has been stripped of two whole sections.
For most of the 2012 season, the ZonaZoo was comprised of sections one through nine. For 2013, however, it will only be sections one through six and section eight.
“The benefit is having the band inside the student section, which is going to create much more of an atmosphere that you have at basketball games,” said ZonaZoo associate director Mario Ziccarelli. “This way the whole student section can hear the band, instead of it kind of being lost in the acoustics of the corner. And this way, hopefully, the fans will be more unified.”
The capacity for the student section will drop to about 9,000, by about a thousand. Ziccarelli said that’s still more than most student sections in the Pac-12 and in the country.
“For what you’re giving up, it’s a small section for the benefit of having a more unified student section,” said Ziccarelli, who will be the 2013-14 ZonaZoo executive director.
The decrease started with the band moving into the student section for Arizona’s 56-31 win over Colorado on national TV.
“It was something that kind of happened for the Colorado game,” Ziccarelli said. “It was an impromptu move to put them there; I think all parties agreed that it really worked well.”
The band remained in the ZonaZoo section for the last home game, with ASU, though the student section was opened to the general population because it was Thanksgiving weekend.
“We both agreed it would be a good shift,” Ziccarelli said about the ZonaZoo and athletic department.
The last ZonaZoo section — section eight — is sandwiched between the band and the Young Alumni/Red Zone. The Pride of Arizona has moved into section seven.
The Red Zone, which was eliminated after the 2010 season in order to make room for construction of the new scoreboard, was a discount section for rowdy fans established when John Mackovic became head coach in 2001.
The Red Zone gained national infamy when a YouTube video of Red Zoners went up showing them verbally and physically assaulting Iowa fans during Arizona’s 34-27 win over the No. 9 Hawkeyes in 2010.
“Young alumni” are graduates within the last five years and receive a 15 percent discount. Season tickets in the Red Zone will cost $165.
“It’s just a nice setup to have alumni continue to sit near,” Ziccarelli said. “I think the problem was that the alumni still have their Cat Cards, so they could buy a ticket, and then they take up a ZonaZoo spot and they kind of have a section — like they’re still part of it.”
This season, only 10,286 ZonaZoo passes were purchased, 10,154 before the start of basketball season.
Despite there being fewer guaranteed seats, prices for the passes will remain the same: $150 and $110.
After struggling to fill all of Arizona Stadium last season, the Wildcats will add 11 new sections in the northern end zone, plus more luxury boxes.
Attendance at UA games in 2012 was mostly under 50,000, including 45,602 for No. 18 Oklahoma State.
Seating capacity for Arizona Stadium as a whole was about 52,000 in 2012 and will be about 56,000 for 2013 with the new northern end zone seats.
“I don’t think it’s odd,” Ziccarelli said about taking seats from the students while the rest of the stadium isn’t full. “I think they’re trying to make a tighter ZonaZoo — keep us more along the sidelines. I don’t see it being a problem. I think it will look better for TV to have the sea of red … more packed.”