Last spring, Eastern Kentucky University Athletics worked with Student Life, the Student Government Association, the President’s Council, Greek Alumni and current chapters to enhance the student experience at home football games.
With approval from all parties, the student tailgate lot is being moved to the lot adjacent to the Fitness & Wellness Center. The goal is to increase student engagement and participation by providing a better fan experience at all athletic events, especially football games. The trend across the country is to move student tailgate areas closer to the stadium, to allow students easier access into each venue. With the new east side of Roy Kidd Stadium opening this fall, this is a prime opportunity to increase the fan experience, especially for students.
Admission is free for all EKU students to all home athletics events.
Here are some key points current students are very excited about from the discussions last spring:
- The new student section is within the first three sections of the east side of the stadium. Students will now be within just a few yards of their seating section, the north end zone hill, and the Touchdown Terrace. Students will have the ability to go back and forth between the game and their tailgate area to offer the fan experience preferred by the student body. With the tailgate area just steps outside Roy Kidd Stadium, the hope is more students will participate throughout the game and help provide a strong home field advantage.
- Aramark will provide a full smoker with BBQ and other items for the student tailgate area.
- Tailgating will open six hours prior to each home kickoff. With the east side of the stadium opening this fall, athletics will open the east side restrooms and Moberly restrooms six hours prior for any students who need to utilize facilities during their tailgate experience.
- This new location will highlight Greek Life even more. All fans will experience the Greek Life tailgate area since it is truly part of the game day atmosphere just steps outside the stadium. Students and fans will be able to see some of the game action from the tailgating area.
The previous student tailgate area designated within Alumni Coliseum lot will now be the home of the Bluegrass RV Zone. Colonel Club parking and tailgating will be improved as well, as EKU Athletics continues to improve the fan experience for all parties.
In addition to the game day changes, a new event will be introduced each Friday evening before a Saturday home football game. The Friday Fan Jam will feature a free concert. The football team will get the Friday Fan Jam started with a brief address to the crowd and then will begin a new tradition of rubbing the foot of the Daniel Boone statue on the players' way to dinner in the Powell Building.
The Colonels will play their first home game of the 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 23, against Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech University. Kickoff at Roy Kidd Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.