Could the Arizona Wildcats basketball team fill up a football stadium?
That's the question the New Mexico Lobos may have been asking themselves, as reports came out late Monday saying they were in talks with the Wildcats to play in 2015 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson and then at the Pit in New Mexico in 2016.
Lobo hoops coach Craig Neal said on radio there are talks between UNM/Arizona to play in 2015 in UA football stadium then in the Pit in '16— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) February 25, 2014
Neal said he doesn't know if the deal will get done, but he was just talking about it on his coach's radio show.— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) February 25, 2014
If the UA/UNM hoops game happens, said Neal, it may be a 1pm game in Arizona FB stadium w/ a UA FB game at 7 pm. Talks are very preliminary.— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) February 25, 2014
The idea of an outdoor game is a solid one, as it's something that has been happening across college basketball the last few years with some games being played on aircraft carriers.
And for Arizona, it would offer a chance to showcase the revamped football stadium to a larger audience, as well as attract more fans to the game.
However, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne basically shot down the idea Tuesday morning -- at least as it pertains to New Mexico.
For those asking about a @APlayersProgram game in AZ Stadium. Something we are considering because of the passion of our fan base.— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) February 25, 2014
Everything is preliminary. Surprised NM Coach took it upon himself to mention. If it happens it will be w/another team.— Greg Byrne (@Greg_Byrne) February 25, 2014
Did New Mexico leaking the news upset the Wildcats to the point where they no longer want to partner with them for the series? Maybe. Then again, it's also possible that the talks weren't that far along to begin with and Arizona was planning on exploring other options anyway.
Regardless, it appears likely that a basketball game will be played in Arizona Stadium sometime in the next few years.