The Arizona Wildcats can advance to the College World Series without leaving Tucson. But they're going to have to sweat.
The NCAA announced Tucson as one of eight Super Regional hosts tonight. The UA (41-17) will face St. John’s (40-21) in a best-of-three series starting Friday at Hi Corbett Field, with the winner advancing to next week’s College World Series in Omaha. All three games will be shown live on ESPN2.
There's a catch, however: The games will be held at noon, noon and 1 p.m., with temperatures expected to be scorching.
The heat gives the Wildcats a competitive advantage, but will undoubtedly hurt them at the turnstiles.
"We're home, which is great," coach Andy Lopez told the Star tonight. "I feel a little bad, though, because it's probably going to hurt the gate a little bit. From a baseball perspective, we're going to be fine. I just feel bad for our fans with jobs."
Athletic director Greg Byrne conceded that the time is “not ideal”, but said he was confident UA fans could brave the heat. Stadium officials will offer free water to those in attendance over the weekend, he said.
“We know people in Arizona know how to dress and handle the sun, and we feel confident that our fans will be out there in force to help cheer our team on,” Byrne said.
UA season ticket holders have until Tuesday at 3 p.m. to pre-order reserved all-session tickets ($18 and $25). All-session passes will go on sale to the general public Tuesday at 6 p.m. Single-session tickets will go on sale later in the week.