By Britney Tabor The Shorthorn
ARLINGTON, Texas (U-WIRE) -- The Tarleton State University Texans will host their football season opener against New Mexico Highlands University at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mavericks Stadium.

As a show of support of the referendum vote to bring football back to UTA, Tarleton's athletics director is giving $1 tickets to all UTA students with an ID. The Texans are opening their season at Mavericks Stadium because of a delay in the installation of their new artificial turf at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville. Tarleton, who rented the stadium for the event, establishes the ticket prices for all spectators attending the game.

Athletics director Pete Carlon said he is excited about seeing a college game on this campus and feels sure that a number of students who like football will come out to watch the game. Although he said he does not think this will be an indicator of what a college game will be like if UTA gets a team, it will give students a chance to support college football.

"I just think it will be a quality football game," Carlon said. "If students are interested in watching a quality football game, they'll get one here on Thursday night."

Mavericks Stadium, a 13,000-seat venue, has opened its doors to host high school football and soccer games, band competitions, and high school and college track meets since football ended in 1985.

Student Congress President Casey Townsend said although he believes UTA students want to see football come back, there will not be a lot of excitement for students because it's not their home team that they will be cheering for.

"People want to see their own team and there is a difference between seeing a college football game and their university," Townsend said.

He said although it would be more significant if UTA was playing, this football game is a college event that can help in enhancing college life.

"It's nice to see more events that are tailored to campus life," Townsend said.

Computer science senior Usman Tareen said he will probably attend the game because it is at UTA, but he agrees with Townsend. He said the university has a stadium, and they should have their own team playing there. To cheer for a team, a student has to be emotionally attached to them, Tareen said.

"A lot of people won't care because it's not our team," he said. "It's hard to support the team of a school you don't go to."

(C) 2004 The Shorthorn via U-WIRE.