Arizona-BYU football set for Glendale in 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona football program is expanding its reach into Sun Devil Territory.

The Wildcats announced Thursday that they will play a 2016 game against Brigham Young at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale as part of a three-game series with the Cougars.

The series will also include games in Tucson in 2018 and Provo, Utah, in 2020.

Specific dates and times will be announced later.

“Our Phoenix-area fan base is an important part of our Arizona Athletics community,” athletic director Greg Byrne said. “We’re excited to announce our series with BYU and especially playing the first game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale in 2016. These three games will provide the coaches, student-athletes and fans of both Arizona and BYU with a great regional match-up.

“One of the things that pleases me most about our game in Phoenix is that it falls in a season where we still will have seven home games on the University of Arizona campus, and there will not be a negative impact on the Tucson business community,” Byrne added.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez has scheduled spring scrimmages in the Phoenix area since his arrival two seasons ago as a means of connecting with the Phoenix fan base.

“We’re very excited to have a game in Phoenix,” Rodriguez said. “We have a lot of Arizona fans and supporters in the Valley and this is great for them. I also think this is a great series with BYU, a program with a lot of tradition. I think this match-up will have regional and national interest.”

Arizona and BYU were rivals in the Western Athletic Conference before Arizona joined the Pac-12 and have met 22 times previously, with the Wildcats leading the series 12-9-1. The first meeting between the two teams was in 1936, and the most recent meeting was the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl — a 31-21 victory for the Wildcats.

“This is a great regional series and a unique opportunity for our large fan base in Arizona to see us play,” said BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe. “Arizona has a great football tradition and University of Phoenix Stadium is an incredible NFL venue. I believe the venue and location will attract a lot of our fans in support of the Cougars.”