Football's success brings Byrne confidence

Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne believes the Fiesta Bowl is the next step, but not the last one. Read on to see his thoughts on the Fiesta Bowl, ticket sales, and more.

Greg Byrne did not know where Arizona would wind up in the postseason, but that doesn't mean he did not hear the rumors like everybody else.

"I was in Phoenix last week and stopped by and saw Mike Nealy, the head of the Fiesta Bowl," Byrne said. "I know they don’t want to get lobbied to death, but the reality is I don’t think they even knew.

"It was the College Football Selection Committee. I have a lot of friends on that, but they had made it very clear we couldn’t talk, so I wanted to respect the privacy they were trying to obtain through their process.

"I had heard a little chatter that there was a chance of it last week and then even a little bit more this morning, but we certainly did not have any confirmation until we saw it pop up on the screen with everybody else."

Although Byrne is excited about Arizona being in one of the bigger bowls,he does not want to stand still when it comes to building the program.

"I think this is another big step for our program," Byrne said. "We want to compete for championships in whatever sport we compete in and this is certainly an indication we are heading in the right way with it.

"I think it’s a great thing for the future of Arizona football. It is going to be important in these next couple years that we continue to reinvest in our success.

"We can’t just say we have arrived. We have to have vision for the future and we are going to continue to be aggressive in what we do."

That aggressiveness will include ticket sales, as Arizona has an allotment of 12,500 that it needs to sell.

"We need to sell our tickets," Byrne said. "The good thing is that early on we have had people concerned because the website is working and we got a couple messages saying it is taking 15, 20 minutes to process the tickets.

"That’s a good thing because it means there is a lot of website traffic. They’ve been going quickly and we feel very confident."

The Fiesta Bowl will help Arizona financially, but it also gets spread throughout the entire conference as well.

"Everything is split by the conference, but it means an addition four million dollars for our conference," Byrne said. "That will help us financially bottom line and we have a lot of needs, so that is a good thing for us."


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