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UA football brings business to Tucson

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A bunch of red means a bunch of green for the University of Arizona and surrounding businesses as football season and the school year begin.

"Go 'Cats! Bear Down!" cheered U of A alumnus Vanessa Weeks at fan fest on the U of A mall.

Wildcat fever was everywhere Friday, from football players to firefighters on the U of A mall . And that meant more U of A gear sold at the bookstore tent.

"It was kind of slow, and then a lot of people started showing up and then it was like, 'attack of everyone' was coming," said bookstore employee and U of A sophomore Alixx Mendez.

Across the street, Rosati's pizza was also riding the wave of enthusiasm, and has been. Its manager said that business was up 60 percent compared to the same time last year.

"It's night and day. With the light rail being installed, and all of the students coming back, this first week has just been great. The last couple of weeks have been really, really amazing for us," said Rosati's general manager Sean Bronson.

That is reassuring news for those banking on Arizona enthusiasm , as well as anyone looking for some hometown spirit.

"I think the Arizona Wildcats, the University of Arizona, brings the community together. It's everything," said fire truck owner and retired firefighter Mike Rhyner.

"I like it a lot better than ASU," Taylor Long said to the cheers of Weeks, her father's wife.

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