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Family Weekend brings extra cash to Wildcat county

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The annual Family Weekend Tailgate, held this year on Saturday, Oct. 12, is sold out. Family Weekend is the time of year where families from all over the country and world come to visit their kids. 

According to the University of Arizona’s Institutional Budget Document,  the projected number of undergrad non-resident students for Fiscal Year 2018 was 12,674. The projected number of graduate non-resident students was 3,869. 

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Family Weekend also brings an extra dose of money to Wildcat country, creating higher profits for the businesses surrounding the university. 

Illegal Pete’s can see anywhere from a 30% increase in sales for the week, according to data supplied by the restaurant. It is one of the biggest weekends for the restaurant along with the weeks of graduation and homecoming, according to April Ramirez, the general manager of Illegal Pete’s. 

The attendance limit of the tailgate increased after selling out, according to Annamarie Tellez, the director of UA Parent and Family Programs.

“We were originally going to be conservative and start with 200 guests, and that sold out probably within two days,” Tellez said. “So we increased the number to 500, and, again, it sold out so quickly.” 

There are three different price points for the tailgate and football game depending on what families want to do. For just the tailgate, with food and drinks, the ticket price is $25. A ticket for the tailgate and game with upper-level seating costs $35. Finally, a ticket for the tailgate and game with lower-level seating costs $50. 

There is another event on Saturday called the Family Fun Zone for family ambiance and meeting. 1,200 people have RSVP’d so far. The cost to attend is $5. 

“Next year, we’re going to try and combine that Family Fun Zone and Tailgate where anyone can have the opportunity to purchase on-site and make it fully inclusive,” Tellez said. 

Not all of the events have an entrance fee, however. The Ice Cream Social Wildcat Family Welcome event held on Friday, Oct. 11 from 4-5 p.m. is free. 

The money spent on football tickets goes to Arizona Athletics, but other than that, all of the money is going to the event, according to Tellez. 

“We’re covering the expenses of tent rentals, cost of food, the cost for the bartender to be on-site and we also have to pay security, so if you’re doing the math, we’re not actually generating any revenue,” Tellez said.

The rent for the tents, tables and chairs is the greatest expense, according to Tellez. 

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Sponsors cover the cost of the Family Fun Zone event, Tellez said. One of the campus’ partners, the Thrive Center, is providing free popcorn and a photo booth. This will help to alleviate some of the cost. Arizona Bounce Pro is providing bungee jumping, a rock-climbing wall and a mechanical bull. This was the largest sponsor at $5,000, Tellez said. 

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona is sponsoring the DJ on the UA Mall for Saturday’s festivities, according to Tellez. 

“I think everyone seems to be on board,” Tellez said, “and they understand the learning outcomes and our overall mission of making this a fully inclusive and accessible event.”


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