PROVO -- Fans attending the Cougars' season-opener against Georgia Tech on Thursday, Aug. 28 will be treated to a memorable, historic event. For the first time in BYU football history, a former player's jersey will be retired during halftime ceremonies at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
As announced earlier this summer, BYU will retire the No. 8 jersey of former All-American and future NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young during halftime ceremonies.
"This is one of those events fans will not want to miss," BYU athletics director Val Hale said. "In addition to watching a great football game, we are going to dedicate the entire half time to honoring one of BYU's all-time greatest players. Steve Young is the most decorated football player in BYU history. He created many wonderful memories for BYU fans.
"This is one of those events that people will be talking about for years. They'll be able to say, "I was there the night they retired Steve Young's jersey.'"
During his days as an up-and-coming coach, head coach Gary Crowton said he remembers being amazed and entertained by Young's on-field accomplishments.
"As a young coach, I remember what a thrill it was for me to watch Steve Young play," Crowton said. "I remember some of the amazing things he did as a Cougar, as a 49'er, and even as a rookie with Tampa Bay. He has given us, as fans, so many memories.
"If every seat in Edwards Stadium is not filled when they retire his jersey, I think it will be a disservice to Steve. He has brought a tremendous amount of joy and happiness to Cougar fans for many years. I tell you what, it will be a big honor for me, personally, to be able to be on the same field when they retire his jersey."
Sophomore quarterback Matt Berry, who also wears jersey No. 8, said it will be an exciting night.
"It's our season-opener, and they're retiring Steve's jersey," Berry said. "It's going to be an exciting night for everyone. I know, for me, it is such a great honor to wear Steve's number. He left such a great legacy-something for me to shoot for.
"I think BYU should retire more jerseys. There are so many guys who have established the tradition here. That tradition is something for all of us to live up to."
According to ticket manager David Miles, as Thursday's game draws closer, sales have been brisk; however, there are still great seats available for this special event.
Season ticket sales are on pace to match or exceed last year's total. Because many of last year's season-ticket holders have purchased seats in the new "Club Seat" section of the stadium, there are more desirable seats available for fans to purchase along the sidelines.
According to BYU's marketing director, Tony Jewkes, fans thinking about purchasing tickets should consider the season-ticket option. With great seats now available, due to the new Club Seats, fans can save $15 on endzone seats or $29 on sideline seats when purchasing season tickets over single-game tickets.
In addition to saving money, 2003 season-ticket holders will also receive first priority to purchase season tickets for the 2004 season, which will include home games against Notre Dame and USC, in addition to an exciting Mountain West Conference schedule. In addition, Jewkes added, fans purchasing season tickets will receive a $6 credit at the concession stands at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
"At this point, we're wanting to make people aware that great, quality seats are still available," Jewkes said. "In the past these seats have not been available to the general public. Now, with the new Club Seats, fans have access to these seats along the sidelines.
Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can contact the BYU ticket office at (801) 378-BYU1 or (800) 322-BYU1. Packages start at $90 for endzone seating, $156 for sideline seats. Fans who contribute to the Cougar Club at the Legacy level may also purchase west-side chair seats for only $250.
Fans who contribute a minimum $1,000 to the Cougar Club qualify to purchase season tickets in the new Club Seats in section 34, located between the 40-yard lines on the east side of Edwards Stadium. Season-ticket holders in this section will also receive special amenities, including priority parking, a meal and game program.
Fans contributing a minimum $500 to the Cougar Club qualify to purchase season tickets in sections 33B and 35A, located between the North and South 30- and 40-yard lines along the east-side of the stadium. Fans purchasing tickets in this section will also receive special amenities, including priority parking and a game program.
For more information on the east side Club Seats, fans can call 422-2583 or toll free at 1-800-426-4298.
While many great season-tickets packages are still available, fans may also purchase single-game tickets. Single-event tickets for all games (except Utah on Nov. 22) start at $17 for endzone seating and $30 for seats on the sidelines. (For the Utah game, tickets are available for $20 in the endzone and $35 for sidelines.) Students can purchase individual-game tickets for only $14. The Utah game will cost students just $17 for endzone seating.
Students still wishing to purchase a All-Sport pass may do so at the ticket office. Student All-Sport passes are $85 and include rotating, reserved seats for all six home games.