NAU teams are only a few weeks away from their first games of the 2012 season, and odds are that Lumberjack fans will feel a new excitement throughout athletics.

Lower ticket prices, a refurbished Skydome and a brand new attitude mean the Lumberjacks will be showing a renewed pride when the axe falls in August.

The football Jacks travel to Tempe to meet the ASU Sun Devils on Aug. 30, then to Sin City to play UNLV on Sept. 8. The first home game of the 2012 season is at 4 p.m. Sept. 15 against Fort Lewis.

The Lumberjacks feature Walter Payton Award candidate running back Zach Bauman as the leader of an offensive unit, bolstered by the experience of a senior quarterback in Cary Grossart.

“We are excited about the upcoming season and hope the Flagstaff community will join us,” said Lisa Campos, vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics. NAU President John Haeger added, “Athletic events are opportunities for us to come together, support our students and strengthen the bond between the university and the community.”

Football won’t be the only game in town, though. The Lumberjack soccer squad travels to Vegas on Aug. 17, and hosts ASU and the University of Arizona the following weekend. For all the sports schedules, including volleyball, visit nau.edu/athletics.

“NAU has established a great tradition in athletics while emphasizing student success, and that’s a strong foundation to build on,” Campos said. “I look forward to building an even stronger bond between athletics and academics, and to answering President Haeger’s call for consistently competitive teams.”