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University of Utah officially joins Pac-12 Friday

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - An exciting day for University of Utah and its fans. The school officially becomes a member of the Pac-12 at midnight.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - An exciting day for University of Utah and its fans. The school officially becomes a member of the Pac-12 at midnight.

A party officially begins at the Ute Store in Sandy and it will continue to 1 a.m.

“Go Utes. Wahooo!” said University of Utah student Jeffrey Cardon.

Students are excited.

The Pac-12 means more prestige.

For example, the number one Pac-12 team can play a bowl game with a payout $34 million more than the top earning bowl for the Mountain West Conference.

“Now that we've gotten to the Pac-12 it's kind of like we're ahead of the game. It's kind of like we left you guys behind. You know we don't really deal with you anymore,” said Cardon.

He's talking about BYU the Utes big rival. The sentiment is fairly common among students at the Salt Lake City campus.

“Oh well for BYU. I'm happy for them. I'm happy for Jimmer, but I'm Utah through and through and (the rivalry game) it's not going to be as big for us anymore. We'll have a bigger and better rivalry with someone else,” said University of Utah fan Brooke Gardner.

Along with looking for new rivals, the Utes have new merchandise to buy.

Back rooms in Ute stores are stocked with Pac-12 merchandise. Clerks are not allowed to place the items on sales floors until midnight Friday.

“This is real exciting. We have not seen as much excitement about merchandise other than maybe the two Fiesta and Sugar Bowls that we went to,” said Marketing Director at Utah Red Zone, Mike Cherry.

Big sales and big excitement as the University of Utah progresses to the Pac-12 Conference.


Fore information about celebrations read below:

Utah Pac-12 Day Celebration Plans Finalized

Free shuttles, ice cream, face tattoos and more.

SALT LAKE CITY—Plans have been finalized for the Utah Pac-12 day celebration scheduled for Friday, July 1 at noon on the south lawn of the state Capitol. The celebration and parking for the event will be free to the public. In addition, free shuttles will begin transporting fans from the campus to the Capitol starting at 10:30 a.m. The pickup and drop-off locations are the Heritage Center, the Rice-Eccles Stadium parking lot and the married student housing villages. Shuttles will pick up and drop off every 30 minutes until 1:30 p.m.

The ASUU will host a Student Tent Party on the south lawn, providing free ice cream sandwiches for early-arriving fans. The Utah cheerleaders, dance team and Swoop will move throughout the crowd and distribute temporary face tattoos while the Utah pep band plays a medley of school favorites.

The program will begin at noon and the speaking line-up (in order) is Utah Athletics Director Chris Hill, University of Utah Interim President Lorris Betz, ASUU Student Body President Neela Pack, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, Congressman Jim Matheson and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, who will formally declare July 1, 2011 as Utah Pac-12 day. Other dignitaries seated on the stage will be Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Senate President Michael Waddoups and House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart.

Source: Liz Abel
Associate Athletics Director, University of Utah
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