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UNLV Rebels play last home opener at Sam Boyd Stadium

Posted at 11:13 PM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 17:27:37-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UNLV Rebel Football players took to the field Saturday in what would be their final home opener at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The stadium has been home to UNLV football since 1971, leaving long term fans and tailgaters like Bob Kessler with a nostalgic feeling heading into the season.

"I made it to 75 years old, and I'm still not done yet," Kessler said.

Kessler said he's been going to UNLV games at Sam Boyd since it opened.

"This beautiful area we're in," he said and gestured to the lawn around his tailgate, "all these trees and everything were just twigs."

Kessler agreed that Sam Boyd was more than just concrete and metal to fans.

He said the stadium represented good times, good friends, and good memories lasting the course of nearly half a century.

"The people that are old like me that have been here forever," Kessler said, "yeah, that;s the experience."

Before the Rebels move into Allegiant Stadium and leave Sam Boyd behind, Mark Wallington, Senior Assistant Director for Communications at UNLV, said they're offering a farewell tour.

"We wanted to send it out in style," Wallington said.

Wallington said it was called the Sam Boyd Farewell Campaign, and every home game will honor a Rebels great from different decades.

He said they were also collecting fan's memories on social media using the hashtag #SBSFarewell.

"We didn't want to forget to commemorate all the memories and great times here we've had for five decades," Wallington said.

He said UNLV is also offering a "Faithful Fans" pricing option for season tickets that would lock in the per-game ticket price for season tickets next year in Allegiant Stadium.

UNLV won their season opener over Southern Utah in a 56 - 23 victory.