TEMPE, AZ — On Thursday, Arizona State University fans will head to the newly named Mountain America Stadium to watch their Sun Devils take on Southern Utah.
Mill Avenue businesses are preparing to welcome more fans with the upcoming new college football season.
“I know it’s a rebuilding year for the team, but it’s a very favorable home game schedule,” said Chris Purcell, chief operating officer of the ASU football team’s Pedal Haus Brewery. “We’ve remodeled the interior and expanded the space to show games, and we’re excited for college football to come back and for the Sun Devils to return to Tempe.”
Purcell said Pedal Haus is scheduled to be the official ASU watch party, meaning Sparky the mascot and the cheering group will be present at the brewery when the team plays away games.
He said they are ready for all fans as the summer months have been a little slow for business. Usually more people come in when the school reopens.
“Back to School week has been good for us and we’ve seen a lot of people coming back to town. We’re looking forward to the season and hope to have another spectacular year,” he said.
With the Sun Devils returning to the football stadium soon, the stadium name change isn’t the only change this season.
Former head coach Herm Edwards resigned mid-season last year. The football team had an interim coach, and then the university hired a new head coach, Kenny Dillingham, who is also an ASU graduate.
“I think it will be good. I’m really happy with it,” said ASU grad Bobbie Knowles of the fact that the team has a new coach. “I hope ASU doesn’t get into any more trouble.”
ASU’s football program has been under investigation by the NCAA since 2021 for allegations of recruiting violations.
On Sunday morning, a spokesman for the university announced that they had imposed a year-long bowling ban themselves as part of the investigation.
“I think that was unexpected, at least from my perspective,” said Jessica Sherman, another ASU graduate student.
“I think it’s unfortunate for the kids,” Purcell said.
Even though the Sun Devils won’t be playing any postseason games, Purcell said he’s still excited for the upcoming season, especially since the Territorial Cup against the University of Arizona will be played in the Valley this year.
“It’s a lot of fun to have U of A here. That’s always a big turnout. It doesn’t matter if ASU has its best year or its worst, that’s our bowl game every year,” Purcell said.