Gonzaga’s ‘Tent City’ anticipates big game against BYU


Empty pizza boxes were strewn across the frost-covered ground as Gonzaga students began to appear from outside the basketball arena in a place they call Tent City. Camped out from last night, students emerged, prepared for the bitter cold of the morning in coats, gloves and some just wearing a sleeping bag.

“I can’t give you a temperature, but it was cold last night,” sophomore Brett Stevens said.

Gonzaga students braved the cold to get front-row seats to the last home game of the season.

“We waited three hours to get our tickets last Sunday and have been waiting in line over here since we didn’t make it into Tent City,” said Kelsey Simonson, a student from Seattle. “BYU is a pretty big game.”

Tent City is a camp of rental tents that Gonzaga students set up to wait in line for big games.

Gonzaga University is a Catholic Jesuit school and knows a thing or two about religion. “We have Mass every Saturday, and the school does events for Good Friday and everything,” said Austin Johnson, a student from Spokane. “It’s a cool atmosphere.”

While students agree to the code of conduct by choosing to attend the school, they don’t have an honor code they have to sign. They did know about BYU’s culture.

“BYU is a Mormon school in Utah,” Stevens said. “That’s about all I know.”

Other students appeared to know more about BYU than just the obvious. “Danny Ainge went there and Jimmer Fredette. I won’t forget when Jimmer played GU,” Preston Rameriz said.

 The match-ups of the two teams proved to be memorable for most of the students.

“We only camp out when the games are a big deal. This game is definitely a bigger deal,” Johnson said. “We know it’s a big deal for BYU to win this game for the tournament, and last time we played them it was a huge game.”

Other students considered BYU to be the new rivalry for the Zags.

“BYU is probably our rival right now,” Stevens said.

Gonzaga students anxiously waited from Tent City to enter “the Kennel” for tip-off Saturday night.

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