SALT LAKE CITY — The BYU football program is taking steps to make its entire game-day experience more enjoyable for fans — from the on-the-field product, to stadium improvements and enhanced pregame festivities.

On Media Day, BYU announced that Cougar Canyon, the school's tailgating alternative, will make its debut at the season opener against Utah on Aug. 29 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

"Regardless of when the game is, I really think it’s going to be a really cool experience for everyone," BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. "It’s really common in other places, especially in the SEC, to have that type of environment, and it’s going to be really cool."

Activities begin three and a half hours before kickoff directly west of the stadium. According to a press release, this fan experience will include:

  • BYU inflatables
  • Autograph signings by BYU teams
  • Live bands and DJs
  • Large LED video board showing college football games, BYU highlights and upcoming events
  • Local food trucks
  • BYU merchandise and apparel
  • Photo opportunities with former Cougar greats and major trophies, such as the 1984 National Championship Trophy, Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award, Outland Trophy, Doak Walker Award, bowl trophies, etc.
  • Gatherings for football alumni and corporate partners

"Anytime you can have music and food and fans around, I think it would be really cool for everyone to kinda socialize in that area and hang out. I’m really excited about it," Sitake said. "I saw the drawings and the announcement of it, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I give a lot of credit to David Almadova for making that happen. Fans have been asking for it, and I think it’s the right time for it to happen."

The BYU football team will take its Cougar Walk through the Canyon two and a half hours before kickoff. This tradition allows fans the chance to cheer on players and coaches as they arrive to the stadium.

"From what I understand, there’s going to be lots of food there," Sitake said. He jokingly added, "So when I do the Cougar Walk through, I expect to get some food baskets on the way in."

Stadium improvements will be completed in time for the 2019 season.

Ongoing projects include the addition of structural sections at all four corners of the stadium to connect four independent stands at the mezzanine level, allowing fans to walk between stands without needing to go to the ground level.

The stadium is also adding restrooms to the north and south mezzanine levels.