Arizona-NAU football game will feature nod to Hispanic heritage


Arizona Stadium will have a different look Saturday when the University of Arizona takes on Northern Arizona. The celebration of hispanic Heritage Night will include mariachi performances a well as scoreboards honoring the teams in spanish. ( Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics )
TUCSON – One scoreboard will say “ Gatos, ” the other “ Leñadores. ” Mariachi will perform before and during the game .
Saturday night ’ s in-state clash between the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona will not be your ordinary college football meeting .
It will besides be spanish american Heritage Night at Arizona Stadium, the signature celebration of a university determined to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Wednesday. The scoreboards will reflect this with the Spanish-translation of the schools ’ nicknames : Wildcats and Lumberjacks.

The university intends to celebrate not only the Hispanic/Latinx community on campus but besides in Tucson .
The city is 43.6 % Hispanic/Latinx, according to the U.S. census. With such a high representation in Tucson, the Wildcats ’ athletic department believes it is authoritative to ensure Hispanic heritage is recognized and celebrated properly .
The university wants to make diverseness and inclusion a priority, and it hopes that is reflected during spanish american Heritage Month .
“ Hispanic Heritage is the biggest celebration that we have because it is the top minority group in Tucson and we want to represent that rich people culture that they have, ” said Thomas Harris, associate athletic film director for diverseness and inclusion .
Harris said he took the side to help educate professionals within the acrobatic department about diversity and to create safe, culturally competent spaces for the athletes there, including those in the Hispanic/Latinx community .
His precedence is not entirely teaching the staff about diverse cultures, he said, but to besides have representation across the staff that allows for athletes to see people who resemble them .
“ As a student-athlete, you need staff members that look like you, ” Harris said. “ There are certain barriers that folks have up, and if staff is able to identify with a student-athlete, those barriers are easier to break through. ”
To highlight the culture, Saturday ’ mho game will include a limited Hispanic/Latinx-themed Wildcats logo created by the university, a well as the scoreboards that recognize the teams ’ nicknames .
A video featuring Hispanic/Latinx athletes and athletic department staff will air in the stadium before the game and on the university ’ s social media accounts .
“ The student-athletes, they respond well, they feel honored and they feel seen, ” Harris said. “ That ’ s what it ’ south all about. ”
Roberta Stout, a Tucson native and athletic department staff member, has helped organize the halftime performance. She described the spanish american Heritage performance as “ the bejewel ” of the celebration .
The halftime indicate will include engagement by local anesthetic community groups .
“ Being able to recognize the polish and how it has influenced our city and our campus is important, ” Stout said. “ It ’ s bang-up to shine a light on it. ”
Because the university has a high gear spanish american representation, the athletic department felt it was important to show its esteem for the culture, not only during spanish american Heritage Month and the football bet on, but by systematically showcasing the spanish language. In the accrue of 2020, 26.2 % of the university ’ s registration was Hispanic of Latinx.

On August 2, the Wildcats athletic department created Spanish-language social media accounts with the mention “ Arizona Athletics en Español ” to cater to the population of spanish-speaking fans that follow the university ’ s athletic programs .

The social media accounts post completely in spanish and are organized by Tucson native and the voice of UArizona sports, Francisco Romero .
“ Growing up, I used to think the university was out of reach but that wasn ’ t the shell, ” Romero said “ The University of Arizona is in our backyards and all of these efforts merely lets us know that the university is ours, it ’ s there for you. ”
Romero said he has been working for the Arizona athletic department since 1999 broadcasting games in spanish and said it is the longest running spanish broadcast in college sports .
He is joined in the booth by Jorge Leyva and Marco Rincon, who will be doing the color commentate and play-by-play, respectively, for Saturday ’ randomness crippled .
Levya has been the play-by-play voice in spanish for Wildcats football games for about five years .
“ It merely makes sense to serve the demographic that represents about one-half of the community, ” Leyva said .
The university has a wide strive in southern Arizona, and Leyva is grateful that the acrobatic course of study has the tools to reach the surrounding community in a direction that is directly relatable for them .
“ Being associated with something so ingrained in the residential district of Tucson motivates me to keep on going, ” he said.

feedback surrounding past hispanic Heritage day celebrations have been well received. The athletic department is determined to keep the Hispanic/Latinx community well represented .
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