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Bulls get green light from downtown

It won’t be visible from Raymond James Stadium, but Bulls fans in the downtown area and those watching ESPN2 will have an extra reason to cheer this Friday.

Thanks to the efforts of Stiles Property Management, the SunTrust Financial Centre in downtown Tampa will be bathed in green and gold light for No. 18 USF’s Friday night match-up with No. 5 West Virginia.

Stiles – the property management firm that began managing SunTrust’s 36-story skyscraper last week – accelerated its planned electrical repairs for the building after hearing the community’s desire to have the high-rise illuminated in

Bulls’ colors.

The company is having lighting gel lenses shipped overnight from New York to assure that the pyramid section at the top of the building will feature green and gold illumination by the time the Bulls take on the Mountaineers.

“We’re proud to light up the skyline to help celebrate the Bulls’ success,” Stiles Corporation President Doug Eagon said in a press release. “This is a great opportunity for Stiles to join the community in showcasing Tampa before a national audience.”

While this is the first time USF has ever had a building illuminated in its colors, the practice has occurred recently in other venues around the country.

Last season, the Empire State Building glowed red twice for Rutgers University athletic events – once during the Scarlet Knights’ 28-25 win over then-No. 3 Louisville, and again when the Rutgers’ women’s basketball team played Tennessee in the national championship game.

Green and Gold day

Recognizing the Tampa Bay area’s growing pride in the USF football team, Mayor Pam Iorio has declared Friday, Sept. 28, Green and Gold Day in the city of Tampa.

Iorio will join USF athletic director Doug Woolard and a crowd of Bulls fans at City Hall Plaza downtown at 10 a.m. Friday, when a USF banner will be hoisted onto the side of the Tampa Municipal Office Building.

The event is meant to show support for the Bulls as they prepare to face No. 5 West Virginia. Iorio is encouraging all fans to show their pride by wearing Bulls colors on Friday.

Rodriguez

Despite the growing hype surrounding the USF football team this season, West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez seems to think the main reason for Friday night’s sellout crowd at Raymond James Stadium is because of his team’s status as a Top Ten team.

In a story published in the Charleston Daily Mail Wednesday, Rodriguez compared his team to the New York Yankees, implying that the team’s away games sell out because those in attendance want a chance to see the No. 5 team in the nation.

“This supposedly is the biggest game they’ve ever played, and I’ve talked to our team about that,” Rodriguez told the Daily Mail. “We’re highly ranked and when you go somewhere, they’re going to sell out the stadium. I think it’s like the Yankees.”