With a pivotal season just a little over two months away, the University of Utah football team decided to kick off the summer with an open house for some of their fans on Thursday evening. In a goodwill effort, head coach Kyle Whittingham and the rest of the team opened the doors of the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center to season ticket holders. The two-hour event gave fans the opportunity to check out the front half of the facility, which houses individual and team awards and trophies, as well as offering a chance to meet the players and coaches.
While ticket holders waited in a line that spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of the football center, they were treated to entertainment from a magician, a balloon artist, and other entertainers. Utes mascot Swoop joined in the fun outside, talking pictures, signing autographs, and playing with children in line. Various football players also came outside to interact with the fans, bringing ice cream sandwiches, bottled waters, and 2014 schedule magnets with them. They were also passing out posters and signing items for the fans.
Once in the doors, ticket holders could look at trophies and awards (including the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and 2009 Sugar Bowl trophies), take pictures at a special Utah football photo booth, and buy discounted Ute merchandise. In the cafeteria area, all the team sat at a horseshoe of tables signing posters and other memorabilia. Key players included Dres Anderson, Kenneth Scott, and Devontae Booker, among others. New players that just arrived, like freshman Donovan Isom, were also present and meeting fans, as well as the coaching staff and other people involved with the football program.
The Utes will kick off their season on August 28 when they host Idaho State at Rice-Eccles Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time.