Arizona moves first two games of 2014 to weekdays

Arizona will host its season opener on a Friday night for the second consecutive season.

Casey Sapio

For the second straight year, Arizona will take the field for its season opener on a Friday night.

The Wildcats announced Monday that their 2014 opener against UNLV, previously scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 30, will instead be played on Friday, Aug. 29, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. or 7:15 p.m. at Arizona Stadium. The move presumably relates to television preference, although a network selection has not yet been released.

Also part of Monday’s announcement was the news that Arizona’s second game, a road contest against Texas-San Antonio at the Alamodome, has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. Arizona time (7 p.m. local time). That game had been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6.

"We’re excited to add two weekday games to our schedule," Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said in a statement. "Being so early in the college football season, there will be a lot of excitement surrounding these games."

Arizona is now scheduled to play four weekday games in 2014, as the Pac-12 schedule includes a contest at Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 2 and the Territorial Cup game against Arizona State on Friday, Nov. 28 in Tucson.

"I think these are exciting schedule changes for our fans with national audiences able to watch us play," Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement. "We had a good crowd for the 2013 season opener on a Friday night and we expect a similar result in 2014. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding our football program right now and these games add to that."

The Wildcats also played their 2013 season opener, the first of a home-and-home series with UTSA, on a Friday night.