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April 12, 2013

Arizona, BYU to start 3-game series in Glendale in 2016

Arizona will play BYU in a three-game series starting 2016 in Glendale, Ariz., UA athletic director Greg Byrne announced Friday morning via Google+.

The teams will play in Tucson in 2018 and in Provo, Utah, in 2020.

The first game will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. The venue seats 63,400 - or more than 11,500 than the current capacity at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.

"Our Phoenix-area fan base is an important part of our Arizona Athletics community," Byrne said. "We're excited to announce our series with BYU and especially playing the first game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2016. These three games will provide the coaches, student-athletes and fans of both Arizona and BYU with a great regional match-up. I look forward to working with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe to further promote this series and providing an exciting atmosphere for our fans.

"One of the things that pleases me most about our game in Phoenix is that it falls in a season where we still will have seven home games on the University of Arizona campus and there will not be a negative impact on the Tucson business community."

Last season, the Wildcats averaged 47,931 per home game and topped out at 51,901 for the regular-season finale against rival Arizona State. But the north end zone - which will house the $72 million Lowell-Stevens Football Facility starting in 2013 - was closed off for construction.

The Wildcats and Cougars both finished the 2012 season with 8-5 records, including a bowl win apiece.

The Phoenix area is considered to have a strong LDS community.

"This is a great regional series and a unique opportunity for our large fan base in Arizona to see us play," Holmoe said. "Arizona has a great football tradition and University of Phoenix Stadium is an incredible NFL venue. I believe the venue and location will attract a lot of our fans in support of the Cougars."

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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