Then: The football game has been the centerpiece of Homecoming from the beginning. In 1914, the UA Varsity defeated the Pomona Sage Hens in a close contest, 7–6, played in a field located roughly where the Arizona State Museum now stands. UA opened the new Arizona Stadium at Homecoming on Oct. 12, 1929, where the Wildcats, as they were now called, beat Cal Tech, 35–0, before a crowd of 6,000. During the World War years of 1918 and 1943–45, there were no Homecoming games.
Now: Expanded numerous times over the years, the current stadium holds upwards of 56,000 spectators, and a 5,356 square-foot video board was installed in 2011 to enhance the viewing experience. In 2013, the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility opened, providing new seating overlooking the north end zone as well as an all-in-one football space for staff and the team.
Today’s games are also widely televised, so Wildcat fans throughout the country can root for their favorite team. (College football ranks as the third favorite sport in the U.S., following professional football and baseball.)
The UA’s Homecoming win with the largest margin of defeat in the last 50 years was in 1980 against University of the Pacific, 65–35, setting several school and stadium records that still stand. The Wildcats overall Homecoming record is 55-35-5.