Men's basketball could play game at Arizona Stadium
The UA is considering staging a men’s basketball game at Arizona Stadium.
On Monday, Albuquerque Journal reporter Geoff Grammer tweeted that Arizona is in talks to play a basketball game at Arizona Stadium against New Mexico.
Lobo head coach Craig Neal said on his radio talk show on Tuesday that New Mexico and Arizona are in discussions about a home-and-home series in Albuquerque and Tucson.
On Tuesday, UA athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted: “For those asking about a @APlayersProgram game in AZ Stadium. Something we are considering because of the passion of our fan base.”
Byrne also said the football stadium game would be against a team besides New Mexico if it happens.
“We have some ideas within our own athletic department of trying to take advantage of the uniqueness of, number one, the rabid fan base that we have, and number two, the incredible climate and weather,” head coach Sean Miller said in the Pac-12 teleconference call. “That’s an idea that we’ve thrown out there.”
Grammer reported that the UA and UNM were talking about playing a basketball/football day/night doubleheader, with hoops playing at 1 p.m. and football at 7 p.m.
Miller said he didn’t know if the football stadium basketball game will ever come to fruition, but he praised Byrne for thinking outside of the box.
“Things like this are a lot of times what separates athletic departments,” Miller said. “So, we are looking into it.”
Miller said New Mexico is one of the teams that the Wildcats have had dialogues with about playing a series.
“There’s no serious discussions with anyone in particular,” Miller said.
Arizona and New Mexico used to play a lot; the Wildcats lead the all-time series 83-42, but the two former conference rivals haven’t met since 2000.
Former UA head coach Lute Olson vowed “unequivocally” to discontinue playing New Mexico in a 1999 Tucson Citizen story after the Wildcats lost controversially at New Mexico in Jan. 1999.
The Lobos upset No. 8 Arizona, 79-78, after the clock started late, according to the story. New Mexico took the ball the length of the court to score a last-second game-winner.
—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520