Zags fans pack the Kennel for first basketball game in more than 20 months

SPOKANE, Wash.– For the first time in more than 20 months, Zags fans were back in the Kennel.

It’s the start of college basketball season and fans are excited to be back. The excitement could be felt all through the McCarthy Center Tuesday when the Bulldogs took on Dixie State for their season opener.

Some fans even camped out overnight just to get a spot in the front row.

“I’m expecting my voice to go out. It’s going to be insane. The energy is unmatched,” said one student.

From the band to the cheerleaders and even the free swag, everything felt like it was back to normal.

“There’s something magical about this place. When you walk in, it’s such a good day,” said one student.

It’s been a long road to get here, but Zags fans say they are ready to keep cheering on the number one team.

“We’re here to go to school here, but there’s also the priority of basketball that’s almost at the same level it seems like. Everything is just so dedicated to coming to the games,” said one fan.

As for the team, they want to be one game better than they were last year. However, that is a little ways off still.

The next game is on Saturday against Texas. If it’s anything like the season opener, fans can expect another eventful game.

You’ll have to pack your COVID-19 vaccine card or proof of a negative test along with that foam finger for any upcoming Gonzaga University games. Fans 12 and older would need to bring proof of vaccination and a photo I.D. or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours ahead of any ticketed game. You can read more about those guidelines here.

MORE: Strong second half lifts no. 1 Gonzaga to one-sided win in season opener

MORE: Gonzaga ranked #1 on USA Today’s preseason coaches poll