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Arizona State removes wall in Wells Fargo Arena, adds 4,000 seats

A young Arizona fan watches the action against Arizona State from high above at Wells Fargo Arena during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona won the game 71-54. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
LISTEN: Bobby Hurley, ASU Men's Basketball Coach

Arizona State last played at home on Dec. 22 against Pacific. When the Sun Devils take the court Thursday, Wells Fargo Arena will look a little different.

A wall that once enveloped a portion of the upper bowl was removed to reveal 4,000 additional seats. With capacity now over 14,000, it’s expected that the wall will remain down for the rest of the season.

“The support we’re getting is phenomenal,” head coach Bobby Hurley told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

The move signals a step in the right direction for a program that has won 15 games in each of the past two seasons. Hurley stopped practice on Tuesday to point out the significance of the change to his team.

Demand for tickets is soaring in Tempe as the Sun Devils are in the national rankings at No. 11 following a non-conference slate featuring wins over Xavier and Kansas. In its past three home games, ASU sold out against Vanderbilt and nearly did the same against Longwood and Pacific.

“The atmosphere we had for Vanderbilt was outstanding, Pacific was a virtual sellout,” Hurley told Doug & Wolf. “I’ve never beaten Oregon since I’ve been here, it’s our first Pac-12 game. I know guys will be really fired up.”

ASU ranks third in Pac-12 home attendance coming into the week with 7,919 fans per game, trailing only Arizona (14,244) and Utah (12,199).

In years past, the Sun Devils have only sold out for the Territorial Cup. With an improved team and larger fan base, that is likely to change.

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