FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Ever since Thursday’s announcement of the return of Fresno State football, the excitement only continues to grow in Bulldog Nation.
The return is a huge plus for shops selling Fresno State fan gear and while the inventory is largely the same, there’s a bigger focus on certain products with no fans allowed at any of the games. Meanwhile, for students, the return of football is a return of some normalcy.
Even before Thursday’s announcement, Bulldog Fan Zone’s phones have been busy.
“We’ve had a lot of customers come in every day [asking], ‘Are we gonna get to play? Are we gonna play?’ It’s like, I’m just waiting just like everyone else,” said store manager Misty Bassham.
But now that the Bulldogs will officially hit the turn next month, Bassham said the number of calls grows. However, with no fans allowed at the games this season, she has been making sure fans know of the other gear they have to bring the Red Wave home.
“We have flags, blankets, pillows — we even have things for your barbecue,” Bassham said. “Whatever you need to make your home party as good as a tailgate at the stadium, we’ve got it.”
For much of the student body, the first football game of the season is the real start of the semester. ASI Vice President Hisham Qutob said with football’s return, there’s a little sense of a regular school year in a time the campus is largely empty.
“It does feel like it’s a new beginning, essentially, and a new chapter for the rest of the semester,” Qutob said.
But, amid his excitement, a little hesitation. Qutob said safety needs to be paramount.
“We want to make sure that what we are doing is always safe, making sure we are taking every precaution. I’m sure we will be doing so,” he said. “[Also], to make sure our student-athletes are safe, as well as our community.”
The Mountain-West championship is set for Dec. 19. Right now, the conference’s plan is to have eight games this season.