MISSOULA, Mont. - A record setting crowd is what Griz fans and officials are predicting for Saturday night's game.
Excited fans for both the Griz and opponent Appalachian State weren't hard to find in Missoula Friday afternoon.
"We didn't have a very good season last year and I'm looking forward to a good one this year," said Griz fan Steve Nelson.
It's been more than nine months since the Griz took field for a game but Saturday night the much anticipated 2013 season kicks off.
"I always enjoy a football game and we've got a great team," said Griz fan Norman Carey.
The Griz will take on Appalachian State under the lights; it's the first time the home opener has also been a night game.
"I think it will be fabulous, I think it's real exciting, and it will be a little cooler and it will just be something different, and it will be great for the University and for Missoula," said Nelson.
"They're a quality team too, we love coming here, the fans the whole atmosphere out here is pretty much like in Boone," said App State fan Larry Cecile.
It's not just the lights that will play in to the atmosphere; it's the size of the crowd as well. The capacity of Washington-Grizzly Stadium is 25,217. But that's just seats. When you factor in concession workers, security, media, everyone who makes the game possible the actual attendance is higher than that.
The all time record was set last November when the Bobcats came to town, but predictions are Saturday's game will top that.
Griz Nation couldn't be more excited, though some from Appalachian Nation are a little nervous.
"It's just going to be an awesome night game, it's going to be beautiful," Carey said.
"It will be an electric atmosphere," said App fan Charlie Atkinson. "But last time we were under the lights we lost in the last possession," added Stacy Reedy.
Saturday's game is a ‘maroon out' for Griz fans. The University of Montana Bookstore stocked up on extra gear. The store will stay open until 9 p.m. to accommodate the 7 p.m. start time of the game.