May 11, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Associated Press -- The University of Wyoming's 2002 football season is scheduled to begin with a bowl-like game against Tennessee at Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville.
The deal announced Wednesday will reserve 7,000 seats for Cowboys fans and secure ESPN coverage of the Aug. 31, 2002, game at the Tennessee Titans' 67,000-seat home field.
"It's a tremendous venue to have the opportunity to play a college football game," Wyoming athletic director Lee Moon said.
Even more thrilling the game's financial benefit: $2.35 million guaranteed for the university.
In comparison, Moon said, the Cowboys were host to two of their biggest rivals last season, had four other home games and netted $925,000 for the entire season.
Moving the game also made Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer happy.
"I'm very excited about it. I was excited about it when coach (Doug) Dickey first mentioned the possibility," Fulmer said. "We don't have to travel, which is big because that will be the first year we have to play 12 games and we have some demanding non-conference opponents."
The Vols open a home-and-home series with the Miami Hurricanes in 2002.
"Now that (Wyoming) game won't be an all-day thing to get out there and to get back . . . Games like that, you lose practice time and it's a disadvantage," Fulmer said.
Ticket prices have not been finalized, but should be comparable to the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game at Adelphia this fall. Moon said prices at the stadium range from $40 to $75.
"The only financial commitment we have out of that $2.35 (million) is we have to pay Tennessee $200,000, which is their guarantee, and then our expenses of taking our team," said Moon, who added that to generate that amount for a game at Wyoming tickets would have to be sold for $200 a piece.