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Changes Abound at Ute stadium

Changes Abound at Ute stadium

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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingUtah's college football season kicks off in just over 24 hours from now. For Ute fans and Aggies making the trip south to Rice Eccles stadium tomorrow night, there are some cosmetic changes happening besides a new coach at Utah's home field.

It must be football season; there is a definitely a buzz around here. Today crews were inside the stadium testing the new state of the art video score board, one of many changes fans will see this year as the Utes begin the 2003 season, Thursday night.

The new Rice Eccles Stadium revamped in 1998 is now a little old considering everything that's happened since then.

Mark Amicone: "It's been a mad scramble with our construction guys as well as the manufacturer."

A two million dollar super size video scoreboard has gone up in six weeks and is only the latest in a series of renovations to the Ute's home field fast becoming one of the premier football arenas in the West.

Mark Amicone: "You get to see replays of game action. We're gonna put your picture up there; we're gonna show great moments in Utes sports."

At game time, if they’re lucky enough to get picked out of the crowds, fans can now see themselves up on the big screen.

The playing surface has changed three times since 1998. Road construction has been almost continuous. And a year ago the stadium's south end was an eyesore; now it's a tribute to the world's best athletes in winter sports.

Mark Amicone: "That's really exciting. You come in there and see the cauldron that was here for the Olympic games, the new visitor's center, the water fountains and all these things in there.”

The biggest change of all, is of course, the new coach. And when Urban Meyer's Ute's take the field tomorrow night Amicone expects fans will be out in full force.

Mark Amicone: "We hope every opponent comes here and gets a little anxious; that, ‘boy, Utah's got a great bunch of fans and it's a hard place to play.’"

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