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August 20, 2010

Countdown to kickoff; Basketball tickets on sale for arena's inaugural season

Dear Auburn Family,

A new academic year has arrived, students are back on campus, and excitement is in the air at Auburn University.

While most of the general student body returned to campus this week, our football players and many of our student-athletes across all of our sports have been here working out all summer to prepare for another year. The hard work they put in and the sacrifices they make are nothing short of remarkable.

Of course football season is fast approaching, and we are counting down the days to kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The energy and excitement around our football program and all of our sports is as high as I have ever seen it, and we anticipate another great year at Auburn.

Winning is our top goal as an athletics department, and we are all committed to doing what it takes to compete for championships. There is no question that our football program is headed in the right direction under the leadership of Coach Chizik and his staff, who over-achieved last year given the difficulties of a transition year and the depth issues that will continue to be a challenge moving forward.

While we are most proud of the Top Five recruiting class that is now part of our team, it will take several years of great recruiting to get us back to where we all want and expect to be. The fact that 31 of 32 players signed last year qualified academically speaks volumes about the character and caliber of the student-athletes Coach Chizik and his staff are recruiting, and this new class is clearly a big step in the right direction.

In addition to winning, our other goals are graduating our student-athletes, managing our fiscal affairs responsibly, complying with the rules, and growing and improving the gameday experience. Our gameday experience is second to none, from Tiger Walk and the flight of the eagle to the band and the electricity of Jordan-Hare Stadium, but we continue to look for ways to enhance it.

Let me mention just a few ways we are continuing to grow and improve the gameday experience for football. Fans will be able to visit the AU Team Shop or Lovelace Hall of Honor in Auburn Arena on gameday; new merchandise vendors will be set up throughout the stadium; more concessions options including Dreamland Barbeque will be offered; concessions prices will be the same as last year; a Live Radio headset carrying the Auburn Network broadcast will be available in the stadium for home and away games; and a more restrictive smoking policy has been put into place inside the stadium.

For the first time, fans voted to select the song for our players' intro video, which will of course debut on the HD videoboard at our season opener on Sept. 4. Our staff felt that was a small way we could allow the Auburn Family to connect with our program and be a part of the gameday experience.

We know that you as fans are an integral part of Auburn's nationally recognized gameday experience. We have the best fans and the best student section in the country, and I can assure you that means the world to our players and coaches. The hospitality that our fans show visitors is also an important part of what makes Auburn special, as letters and e-mails after each and every home game always remind us.

We ask that you continue to support our student-athletes and the Auburn Pride sportsmanship program this year and every year across all of our sports. We want to have the loudest stadium in the country and give our team a tremendous home-field advantage, but we also want to provide a great family atmosphere. Thank you in advance for doing your part to make that happen.

Basketball season tickets on sale

If you have not already, we also encourage you to purchase season tickets for Auburn men's and women's basketball. Now is the time to stake your claim to seats in the spectacular new Auburn Arena, where you will be closer to the action than ever before in an unbelievable venue. General public season tickets went on sale Monday and can be purchased by calling 1 (800) AUB-1957 or by visiting www.aubtix.com. Mark your calendars for the Auburn Arena Grand Opening on Friday, Oct. 15, and the inaugural men's and women's basketball games at the new arena at a historic double-header on Friday, Nov. 12. Watch for more news to come on both of these events.

It is almost that time, and we can't wait to see you in Auburn. Thank you for your support of our student-athletes through contributions to Tigers Unlimited as well as your presence at our athletic events. We could not do it without you.

God Bless and War Eagle!

Jay Jacobs
Director of Athletics