BOWL

UA's big-game Saturday: Want to see bowl, hoops live? It's doable

2012-12-13T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:12:56Z UA's big-game Saturday: Want to see bowl, hoops live? It's doablePatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 13, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Even if you don't own a private jet, there are ways to watch both the Arizona Wildcats' New Mexico Bowl against Nevada and home basketball contest against Florida in person Saturday.

It's doable. Here's how:

Math time. How much time do you have to get from Albuquerque to Tucson? Let's crunch the numbers.

The New Mexico Bowl starts at 11 a.m., and the basketball game tips at either 8:05 or 8:10 p.m., depending on whether ESPN puts a five-minute "slide" on the start time to compensate for the game ahead of it running late.

The average UA football game this season went 3 hours and 27 minutes.

The five games that were decided by 25 or more points - resulting in irrelevant fourth quarters - all ran shorter than 3:27, skewing the average.

But Nevada's rushing offense drains the clock - its last two games, at 2:42 and 2:57, would be the UA's shortest all year.

We'll spot you a few minutes to sing the alma mater - but not to wait for the drawn-out trophy presentations - and assume you walk out of University Stadium at 2:30 p.m.

That gives you 5 hours and 40 minutes, tops, to get to McKale.

You won't have to worry about traffic; UA athletic director Greg Byrne said Wednesday the Wildcats sold about half their allotted 5,000 bowl tickets.

"We're very pleased to be going to Albuquerque," he said. "At the same time, too, we knew this would be the most challenging game for us to get a contingent to."

You can fly. Ambitious fans can take one of two flights from Albuquerque International Sunport, 10 minutes from the stadium.

There's a nonstop Southwest Airlines flight from Albuquerque at 3:40 p.m. that lands here at 4:50.

US Airways also offers a 3:40 p.m. flight that, after a Phoenix layover, reaches its Tucson terminus at 6:28.

Both were less than $150 online Wednesday.

The UA considered offering a travel package to get fans home in time for the basketball game, but a chartered flight "cost a ton" and was deemed not feasible, said Katie Clark of Bon Voyage Travel, which offers packages returning Sunday.

Byrne said the Wildcats looked at using Florida's chartered plane to shuttle fans over, but it "didn't have the crew to switch out."

"We looked at every option we could," he said, "but we couldn't find one that makes sense."

You can drive. Let's be clear: We don't want you to speed through New Mexico. It's not safe, and its speed traps are notorious. But …

It's 447 miles - almost all freeway - from University Stadium to McKale Center.

If you averaged 75 miles per hour and didn't stop for a bathroom break (or Hatch chiles), you could leave the football game at 2:30 p.m. and arrive at McKale Center in just under six hours.

You'd miss tipoff, but not by much.

Or you can veg out. Rather than race from one place to the other, you could enjoy one game on television and attend the other.

Or watch both on ESPN and not leave the house.

Either way, it will be a busy day.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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