If you read Cactus Ranch or Devil's Digest message boards, you've heard the date "April 9th, 2011" several times. The date was printed on business cards and handed out to all that attended the LOI banquet a few weeks back.
There are a ton of rumors floating around. Some excitable fans think it's going to be a life-changing day, while others are more muted in their expectations. So what is going to happen?
If you ask me, we could be in for some big changes. While I have no inside information on the subject, I think it's going to be the following: a Sparky redesign, new uniforms, and plans to either upgrade Sun Devil Stadium... or build a new one.
For more, read after the jump.
UPDATE: More details and a video from ASU here.
New uniforms have been discussed for years -- the pants don't match the helmets, and where are the cool black jerseys? ASU's mascot is the Sun Devil, and the time has come for the uniforms to bring forth a sense of intensity that has been lacking from the design.
I see no reason as to why ASU can't follow in the footsteps of the Arizona Cardinals; I think everyone likes their black on black jerseys. Same goes for the Texas Tech Red Raiders -- those jerseys are awesome.
Next, the Sparky redesign. While he's extremely recognizable, he has no muscles. He doesn't scare anyone. Heck, he's still a Devil, so he's not the most kid-friendly character. When you think about "Devils" in sports, you get the menacing Duke Blue Devil, the psychotic Wake Forest Demon Deacon, and the New Jersey Devils logo, which is well done.
I'm not asking for a huge change, but I expect there to be some sort of upgrade to the intensity of Sparky. Maybe he's slightly ripped, perhaps he has a scowl. But the goofy, tremendously popular Sparky of recent times? He might be gone.
Lastly, and most importantly, the "new" Sun Devil Stadium. Without ample funding, this idea is not possible. In a lengthy discussion with a friend and fellow Sun Devil supporter, we both agreed that SDS would be great with upgrades, but it would cost an arm and a leg. His idea was to blow out the north upper deck, allowing for a view to the buttes and Tempe Town Lake. Building a concourse out there would allow the atmosphere to flow out into the open.
But think of all the problems at Sun Devil Stadium -- the cracks in the concrete, the ancient bench seating, the horrible bathroom facilities. If you fix all of those problems, you're running up a huge bill. The only thing standing in the way of a new stadium is the lack of space for it to be built.
There are options, however. I'm not sure how it could go down, but if ASU was able to "find" land to build on, such as Karsten golf course, then it would be feasible. Again, all of that relies on funding, availability of land, and other factors, such as need.
If anything needs an upgrade, though, it's Sun Devil Stadium. Urinal troughs are so 1960's.
We'll know for sure what the future brings on April 9th, but until then, we can guess. Post your predictions below!