Austin and I are both college football fans. Last year we took the RV to a West Virginia football game and it was a really neat experience! We fly out of Phoenix for Thanksgiving so we checked the football schedules to see if we could go to another game this year. Turns out, we totally could! Both Arizona and Arizona State have home games the weekend before Thanksgiving. We decided to head down to Tucson to check out the University of Arizona on game day.
Arizona RV Parking Permits
We started planning for this over the summer in case we needed to get a parking pass to park on campus overnight for the game weekend. Austin talked to the athletics department and the parking department several times and gathered all of the info. He was on the phone one day for over an hour sorting it out and paying for our parking pass. They gave us the directions to our lot and told us to arrive any time after 5.
Well, we pulled into the lot and were surprised to see that we were the first RV there since it was already late in the evening. We were even more surprised at the location – it didn’t seem right as it was right behind sorority houses. We decided to call to verify things. The athletics department closed before we arrived so we called the parking department. The situation confused everyone, and the person we talked to didn’t seem to know either, so we started cooking dinner.
Shortly after, campus police showed up. We explained our situation and showed them the emails that said this is where we were to be and our parking receipt. Campus police said someone gave us bad information and we might have to move. They were nice about it, but the whole process was a little frustrating since we had tried so hard to go about it the right way. We could stay to finish dinner, but then we would have to leave.
A Lucky Break
About 20 minutes later, one of the 3 security officers came back and knocked on our door. She was super nice. and told us that she felt so bad about how everything was handled and the bad information we had been given, so she had made some phone calls. She gave us directions to another lot on campus where we could park for the night. Yay! That was super nice of her to go out of her way for us. We really appreciated only having to move a mile down the road after the exhausting day we had. Long story short – you can’t park overnight on Arizona’s campus!!
Arizona Game Day
On game day, we got to the parking lot as soon as possible to get ready for a fun day of tailgating. Well, no one else seemed to show up. Then, when people finally did start trickling in, they would set up their camper and tables and then leave! Such a different tailgating experience from what we do in the South. We found out that everyone goes downtown for lunch or shopping and people don’t start tailgating until 6 hours before game time. Even then – people still trickled in so the party atmosphere didn’t really pick up until well after that!
Exploring Tucson on Foot
While we were waiting for the tailgating to pick up, we walked around campus and downtown and checked everything out. We ended up walking around 5 miles. We had fun touring the city and the campus. There are several quirky shops that we stopped in. We checked out a few different bars, but felt really, really old so we didn’t stay at any of them! The campus is pretty too – we are glad we had a chance to check it all out without crowds.
Tailgating and Moving On
When we returned to the RV the atmosphere had finally picked up, but it still wasn’t what we are used to! I guess it isn’t surprising since we both grew up in the South where college football is everything. We had a good time people watching and walking around, but we ended up deciding not to try to get tickets to the game and to head to a campground for the night. We are really glad to experience the day and see campus, but for now we will stick to tailgating in the South!