ASU Fan Day Report

Whether it was curiosity to see the much-publicized ICA building or just sheer optimism for the upcoming season, hundreds of fans showed up at the Wells Fargo Arena to meet the Sun Devil players and coaches. The fans also got an opportunity to tour the ICA building, and attend the grand opening of the newly renovated Team Shop.

Paul Strauss, Senior Program Coordinator for the Team Shop was instrumental in all of the designing phases of the newest addition to the ASU building. "Our new store is 1800 sq. ft. and the old store was about 400." He says, "We are now exclusively selling ASU merchandise, rather than selling also Cardinals merchandise (the store will be closed on Cardinals' game days). That allowed us to sell 10 times more ASU merchandise than before. So, we can expand our categories of merchandise. In the past we just had your basic T-Shirts and hats. Now we have kids and ladies items, and we also have an entire Adidas section in the store. All the things that the customer wants we've been able to deliver as far as variety." Strauss mentioned that they'd be a section called the Sparky Shop Collection that will have custom made products that can only be purchased at this shop. The shop will also be the exclusive provider of ASU's official website, and will over 250 items on-line.

Strauss brings a wealth of experience from managing the Suns and Diamondbacks team shops. "That experience helped us determine what will and won't work with the store. It also allows us to plan ahead when the team will be a dominant program, and we'll have more customer traffic. We have the ability to have 10 cash registers, and we can also expand the store to the Hall of Fame area. The highs and lows of the professional team shops gives us the knowledge of where we are, and where we want to be."

The Team Shop store hours are as follows: M-F 10:00 AM– 6:30 PM. Saturdays (non ASU game days) 11:00-3:00. On ASU game days it will be open 9:00 – until 30 minutes following kick-off.

DevilsDigest also talked to the fans on hand at the Fan Day event, and asked them about their impressions of the ICA building, as well as the season outlook:

John Froke from Glendale: "It's (ICA) gorgeous and state of the art. It puts us back on the map with the other excellent facilities of the Pac-10, as well as across the country. It's phenomenal…Hopefully we do better than last year. I'd be very happy camper with having a wining season, beating U of A, and going to a bowl. 8-5 would work for me."

Tom Eddington from Gilbert: "It's nice and a big improvement from last year. I'm happy they kept the south end zones where they were (smile). I hope from a recruiting standpoint it will pay dividends…It could be a tough season. It will be a rebuilding year, and we may have a losing record. If we couldn't do well with a senior offensive line last year, I don't think we can do much better this year. But I can see all this turning around in a few years. The fans just have to be patient."

Freddie Rodriguez from Phoenix: "The ICA building is real nice. I like the Team Shop the most…I got my hopes and my heart with the team. I think they'll make it. I don't have any predictions, but I hope they beat Nebraska, and the rest of the games."

Jay Wagner from Gilbert: "It's very nice. It puts us up there with a lot of other good programs. I had a chance to tour Penn State years ago, and the great facilities I saw there I see here now. Hopefully it all helps us win…I hope we can break .500 and go to a bowl game."

Dan Varner from Chandler: "It's great. I went first of all to the weight room, and saw some players lifting. Made me wanna to work out right there, but they won't let me lift (smile). The whole layout is beautiful, and I look forward to the Hall of Fame area…I'm not that bold to make a prediction, but I'm behind the team no matter what."

Eric Trace from Tempe: "The new building is just incredible. It will be a tremendous asset for recruiting. The weight room is cool, the training table is impressive, the training facilities are real impressive too and it's good for all ASU sports not just Football…I think we're gonna struggle a little bit, but the future is real bright fro the Sun Devils. I think we'll be 7-6."

Brandon Roberts from Mesa: "Oh man it rules! Everything is outstanding. There's a lot to see, so I'll have to come back and see the rest…I don't know what to predict this year. Probably 8-5. But looking towards next year we're gonna be real good."

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