Lights, camera... Wolf Pack
Nevada goes under the lights for first time in ‘new’ Mackay Stadium history
For the first time in its 36-year history, Mackay Stadium played host to a night football game on Aug. 30. A crowd of 25,256 — 12th-largest in Mackay history — came out to watch the Wolf Pack defeat Southern Utah, 24-23.
“Anytime you initiate a new tradition, you gamble,” Nevada athletic director Chris Ault says. “Of course, time and our success on the field will dictate the imprint of this perception. But I have to say the atmosphere and crowd of 25,256 created some electricity, and I’m not just talking about the new stadium lights.”
Tailgaters started appearing in the various Mackay parking lots in the afternoon of Aug. 30. Temperatures in the 90s during the day were in the comfortable 70s by the time the game ended at around 10:40 p.m. Kickoff was at 7:05 p.m.
“It brought back to mind the excitement and record crowds of the mid-1990s, when we were averaging over 24,000 (per game),” says Ault, Nevada’s head football coach from 1976-95. “The future is purchased by the present, so I’m optimistic that this new-found enthusiasm will become contagious and bring a whole new energy to our program. That’s when a perceived gamble is thought to be a good idea whose time has come.”