Moving LSU’s football operations 1,500 miles west to Arizona for the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl is a monumental logistical challenge for director of equipment Greg Stringfellow to solve.
It is hardly his first such hurdle, though. Stringfellow had to get LSU’s gear to Tempe, Arizona, in 2005 with one day’s notice when the Tigers' home game with Arizona State was moved there after Hurricane Katrina. He also had to oversee the 2,500-mile trek to Seattle for 2009’s season-opening game at Washington, LSU’s longest football road trip ever.
This move presents a special challenge because the Tigers will practice on campus Thursday morning before flying to Phoenix and setting up their headquarters at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale. The team will practice at a nearby high school, Notre Dame Prep, in advance of their Jan. 1 game with UCF in Glendale (noon, ESPN).
To be ready for the team’s first practice in Scottsdale next Friday, Stringfellow on Saturday is sending a rental truck full of practice gear to Arizona. The rest of LSU’s game equipment will leave on the team’s customized 18-wheeler after practice Thursday.
Professional drivers will ferry LSU’s gear to Scottsdale in the two trucks. Stringfellow and equipment staff members will fly to Phoenix on Wednesday to get everything ready.
“Our job is from the moment they land to make it feel like they’re at home,” said Stringfellow, who began serving as equipment manger in 2003.
The Tigers will practice Saturday before taking a three-day Christmas break and returning to practice Wednesday.
Ticket prices still soft
Getting LSU’s gear to Arizona isn’t the only challenge for the Fiesta Bowl.
The high cost of airfare is likely contributing to lower than normal prices for LSU-UCF tickets on the secondary market.
According to the website TicketClub.com, the average secondary market price for Fiesta Bowl tickets since the matchup was announced Dec. 2 has dropped from $173 to $91. The cheapest ticket, in the terrace (upper deck) at State Farm Stadium, can be had for $15 as compared to $143 before the teams were announced. Club seat prices are still going for as much as $1,161.
The face value of Fiesta Bowl tickets range from $95 for terrace level to $750 for club level seats.
As the higher-ranked team, No. 8 UCF will be the home team for the Fiesta Bowl while No. 11 LSU is the visitor. … Steve Levy (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst) and Todd McShay (sideline reporter) will call the game on TV. ... The Tigers (9-3) are seeking their 15th season of 10 wins or more and first since 2013.