ASU students have been lining along the walls of Wells Fargo Arena with tents, sleeping bags and their schoolbooks.
These Sun Devils are sleeping in tents out in the cold instead of their own beds, voluntarily. What for? A wristband.
The ASU football team faces Stanford in the battle for the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Wristbands for student section seating are being distributed starting at 8 a.m.
Marketing sophomore Matt Cowan, along with 40 of his friends, has been at Wells Fargo Arena since Monday to make sure he reserves his spot for priority seating in Sun Devil Stadium. The first 180 people are guaranteed seats in the first three rows of section 32, Cowan said.
“It’s such a monumental game,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we were guaranteed the first two or three rows.”
Journalism sophomore Tyler Bell said he wanted to have a good view for the game.
“I want to be on TV,” he said. “I just want to be in the lower bowl for sure.”
The campers choose to sacrifice their beds for the experience of being a true Sun Devil, and the experience of the game.
Business freshman Matt Howard said he didn’t know if he would get another chance to attend a championship game.
“I was debating whether or not to tent, but I made the decision,” he said. “It’s like camping. It’s fun.”
Howard was only a few hours into his campout commitment, but he and his group, who had been there since Tuesday, said they were good at keeping themselves entertained. The friends brought a puppy to join the group, and do things such as skateboard and listen to music in their downtime.
Bell said the ideal tools for camping out would be a George Foreman grill and an Xbox.
Bell spent his first night at the campout Tuesday with a group of his friends. His site includes two tents, four chairs, a TV stand, an Xbox One, four video games, a 37-inch TV, blankets and a bunch of snacks.
“We’ve pretty much got it figured out,” Bell stated.
With finals week approaching, and some finals this week, the students are still managing to work on school while being dedicated Sun Devils. Many take trips to the library to study and use the Wi-Fi.
Finance junior Tyler Moser has been taking shifts with his group, with some people holding down the campsite while others study in the library.
“Most of my tests are next week, so I’ve been doing a little studying,” he said.
Cowan’s group and many campers down the line have not only had to deal with the looming stress of finals, but the sudden drop in temperature.
“The weather has been pretty rough,” Cowan said. “We’ve gotten through so far.”
Bell suggested to any Sun Devils planning on joining the campers, bring plenty of warm clothes, blankets and food.
Priority wristband distribution begins at 8 a.m. for ASU students. Kick-off is at 5:45 p.m.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org