January 21, 2018 Currently: 50° | Complete forecast

rebels football:

Dirt lot at Sam Boyd Stadium gets an upgrade

Fans have long complained about the dust before and after UNLV home football games


Las Vegas Sun file photo

Wisconsin fans Jeremy Winter and Amanda Karp walk toward Sam Boyd Stadium from the all-dirt east parking lot for last year’s UNLV football game against Wisconsin. Most of the dirt has been covered with an asphalt milling substance, which will be a welcome surprise for fan’s attending the Rebels’ 2011 home opener against Hawaii.

The Rebel Room

Here come's Hawaii

Ryan Greene and Ray Brewer take a closer look at this weekend's UNLV home opener at Sam Boyd Stadium, as the struggling Rebels defense will hardly have a soft landing from its two tough road trips, welcoming in the always prolific Hawaii Warriors for a Saturday night showdown. Does UNLV have a chance? What type of result would be considered a success?

Fans attending the UNLV football team’s home opener against Hawaii Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium will notice a significant upgrade outside the facility.

The all-dirt parking lot in the south and east of the stadium has been partially covered with an asphalt milling substance, an upgrade that covers about two-thirds of the dirt and should minimize the dust before and after games. Additionally, a large portion of the south entry off Russell Road was paved.

The area is popular for pregame tailgating, with fans long vocal in their displeasure of having to battle dust to enjoy the pageantry of a college-football Saturday.

“The two predominant questions I hear with football are, No. 1 the stadium issue and where it is located, and No. 1A the parking lot,” said Jim Livengood, UNLV’s athletic director. “Folks don’t want to get three car washes after going to a game.”

The project was completed by Las Vegas Paving and cost $200,000, which was paid in trade, Livengood said.

A small area in the south parking lot remains dirt, but will be watered down on game days to help limit dust, said Barry Barto, an associate athletic director in charge of special projects. Officials said the upgrades will make the experience of attending a game more enjoyable.

“I remember after the game, when people are leaving, you couldn’t see three cars in front of you because of the dust,” Barto said.

Addressing the parking lot problem required coordinating with Clark County, which owns the dirt portion of land outside the stadium, said Jeff Chalfant, the stadium manager at Sam Boyd. The current use agreement calls for UNLV to maintain (security, maintenance and upgrades) the land and requires approval for upgrades such as covering or paving the parking lot, Chalfant said.

“Technically, the county told us not to (cover) any more of it,” Chalfant said. He added that legal issues with the flood plan and water diversion also had to be considered, meaning the university covered as much of the dirt as it could.

Chalfant said UNLV is in the process of putting together a new agreement that includes the freedom to do other improvements.

“It’s so much better than last year,” Livengood said. “But I don’t want to give people the wrong perceptions. There is much more that needs to be done.”

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  1. I would think that this new surface will last a long time, since the Rebels are such a sorry excuse for a football team that few people will go to Boyd. Why they bother to have a football team is a mystery. And the funny thing is that UNR is fighting to get in the Mountain West conference.

    Maybe to be sure they have a chance to whack UNLV yearly?

    Hawaii 45
    UNLV 3

  2. So it only took 40 years... oh wait it's Clark County... never mind.

  3. Only 45? Hmmm......

  4. tailgates will be more popular than the games until UNLV starts winning. If "doggie" actually went out there, it might know that.

  5. It's a shame that the city was too short-sighted to see the benefits of an on-campus stadium.. Although, having a nice stadium would not make watching the Rebels any easier.. If Hauck can't turn it around in the next few years, I think it's time to seriously consider cutting the program. (I've had season tickets for 10 years)

  6. I wonder if AD Livengood has $200,000 extra to spend on recruiting service gurus like Willie Lyles so that we can improve the team with better players. We could have tailgating lots made of quicksand for all I care, as long as we had a respectable team, I would start going to games.

  7. Great to have a lot instead of that dirt monstrosity that was there. I went to the Washington/Hawaii game on Saturday, and the entire city of Seattle gets into the game. There was 61k people at the game. Also, I've never heard more people argue about parking than in Vegas. I walked 2 miles to get to the stadium, but so did everyone else, and when we got there, the tailgate was easily 50 RVs and countless EZ-ups. Vegas even has a perk no one else has in that they serve beer at Sam Boyd. We had to exit the stadium to grab a brew by the water.

  8. UNLV-123, JV Coach Hauck will never turn the program around it's a wash. Bottom ten if not the worst, enjoy the tailgate. The program is a joke thanks AD Livengood for nothing.

  9. Shame! The choking dirt parking lot was always my favorite bit about watching UNLV play at Sam Boyd

  10. And I just heard the dirt is currently a 20 point favorite over UNLV.

  11. The parking lot get a little improvement and people here still complain......sheeesh.

    The real question is what did UNLV trade Las Vegas Paving for that was worth $200,000?

  12. Hawaii will win the game

  13. Curtis, don't you get bored of saying the program is terrible and placing blame on everyone? UNLV has been a low level program since they started playing in division 1, only having a handful of winning seasons and a few bowl games. We've had 5 coaches with overall losing records, so unless you think they were all just terrible coaches, maybe the atmosphere surrounding UNLV football has something to do with it?

    People like you, who live to complain about something like college athletics, need to get a life. :)

  14. "Where is the stadium located?"

    That question is a major part of why UNLV football has so much trouble in fielding a competitive team.

  15. Whether or not you think Hauck is going to turn the team around or not, the fact remains that this was a much needed upgrade. It may not upgrade the team, but it upgrades the experience.

    I'm sure the $200,000 paid it trade probably will come in the form of advertising, tickets, etc...

    Those of you suggesting that we get rid of the football program just don't get how college athletics works; simple as that. While the football team is awful right now, it still is a necessity.