With more than 90 percent of season tickets sold and extra temporary bleachers, the school anticipates more than 3,000 people will witness the revival of Bruin football Saturday at Stoffer Family Stadium
Each fall, faculty, staff and students at George Fox University come together for Serve Day, putting aside all other cares and concerns in the name of community service.
In a lot of ways, its the most unifying event on the calendar for the Christian school and one that sets it apart from others.
This year, and for the first time in 46 years, however, the Bruin community will gather as one for a unifying ritual that has become a century-old tradition at most other colleges across the country: the football season opener.
Anticipation for the seminal contest against fellow upstart program Arizona Christian, which has been steadily building over the past two years but especially over the past two weeks, is set to boil over Saturday into a celebration of George Fox and the revival of the most popular sport in the country.
The community feeling on campus is really exciting, director of sports marketing Sarah Reid said. People are really excited to be a part of George Fox and part of this first football event.
Reid said that as of Friday the school has sold more than 90 percent of the nearly 1,200 seats it had set aside for season ticket holders in the covered grandstands, with sales picking up as the game approaches.
The school will sell a small number of general admission tickets on game day, but is no longer selling them in advance, meaning the only way to guarantee a seat at this point is to purchase some of the remaining season tickets, which cost $100 for five games and are available online at www. athletics.georgefox.edu.
General admission tickets will be $10, $5 for seniors 65-and-over and free for children under 10 with an adult.
The stadiums regular capacity will be approximately 2,800, but GFU plans to deploy additional temporary bleachers Saturday, pushing the expected attendance to over 3,000. Reid also said there will be some standing room space in the stadium.
Ive talked to friends in town here and people that Ive known for decades and theyre really excited about getting this thing started, athletic director Craig Taylor said. And so are our students. Its going to be a good mix. Its going to be the perfect storm.
The athletic department has given approximately 800 tickets to the student government, which has been giving them away on a first-come, first-served basis this week. The student section will be located in the grandstands between the covered grandstands and the Duke Athletic Center.
Before each game, a pre-game party with live music and concessions will be held at the Chehalem Cultural Center. The festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and culminate at 1 p.m. when the crowd will march together to the stadium.
A similar student celebration will be held in the quad, with students painting their faces and learning cheers before they head en masse to the game.
Vendors will be on hand in the parking lot to provide concessions, while the school has assembled a group of volunteers, known as the Bruin Brigade, to perform a number of game-day duties, from selling and taking tickets and serving as ushers and ball boys to handling parking and security.
Although Reid said most spots have been filled for the opening game, people can sign up to volunteer online at athletics.georgefox.edu/sports/fball/volunteer.
The Bruins have already drawn well for an intra-squad scrimmage two weeks ago, with head coach Chris Casey estimating that about 1,000 people were on hand for GFUs scrimmage versus a community college club team.
I hope its packed and loud and that everybody has a great time and it kicks off Bruin football in the right way, Taylor said. This is my first football game as an athletic director, too, so I dont know what to expect either. I just know its going to be crazy.