Football game day information
Since it’s the first game of the season, and the landscape around Rynearson Stadium has changed a bit with the addition of The Bubble, I thought it might be worthwhile to review some game day basics.
Parking and tailgating
Parking remains free at lots A-D and 1-10. However, as was the case for this game last year, the new student orientation will be going on earlier in the day, and they’ll be using lots A-D, so those lots are expected to be full by 4 p.m. There is some handicapped parking available at the Convocation Center, and a courtesy shuttle will run to and from all parking lots.
All the parking lots are designated tailgating areas, and tailgating is permitted before the game, but not during (duh) or after (boo!). Drinking games, common source alcohol containers (kegs, punch bowls, etc.), glass beverage containers, and animals are prohibited, as is under-age drinking.
As always, the Eagle’s Landing Fan Zone is free, and features inflatables, games and contests, music, entertainment and more, located just outside Gate 1 on the west side of Rynearson Stadium starting two hours before kickoff. At each home game, and at the three non-conference away games, there will be an alumni relations tailgate. Home tailgates are directly in front of the main (west) entrance to Rynearson stadium, and start two hours before kickoff, while away tailgates will start three hours before kickoff.
For this game only, there are two special promotions. Veterans and current members of the US Armed Forces can order tickets for just $3, though it looks like there’s a $4 processing fee per order (not per ticket), and there will be a special veterans’ tailgate starting at 4 p.m. on the west side of Rynearson. Since Saturday is the new student orientation, there will also be a free new student parent/family tailgate, starting immediately after the Convocation Ceremony. The family of each new EMU student will receive four free game tickets. OK, so none of the new student stuff is really free, you’re paying thousands of dollars in tuition, but it’s a nice touch, and it helps EMU rack up the ticket count for this season.
I’m guessing most people reading this blog either have season tickets, bought the voucher pack, or are students. But just in case you need to buy tickets at the game, you can buy them at Gate 1, Gate 3, and the Convocation Center ticket office outside Gate 2. If you’re expecting tickets at Will Call, that will be located inside the Convocation Center atrium, and a valid ID (photo ID, I assume) is required.
In Rynearson Stadium
Gates to the stadium will open one hour before kickoff, which for this weekend, means 6 p.m. All bags are subject to search upon entry to Rynearson Stadium, although I’ve never actually seen anyone’s bag searched here. If you need to leave the stadium, you’ll need to have your hand stamped and show your ticket stub to get back in.
Items prohibited from Rynearson Stadium include alcohol, coolers, outside food and beverages, cameras or camcorders on tripods, strollers, weapons, laser lights, illegal substances, and backpacks/bags over 10 x 10 (inches, I assume). Smoking is prohibited in the stadium, but there are designated smoking areas just outside. Explicitly allowed items include sealed water bottles, seat cushions, blankets, rain gear (they don’t say anything about umbrellas, so I’m guessing they’re permitted, but please don’t!), binoculars without a case, pagers (people still use them?), cell phones, hand-held cameras, small radios, diaper bags (with a baby), and purses smaller than 10 x 10 (again, I assume this is inches).
Restrooms are located under the stands on both sides of the stadium, as well as inside the Convocation Center. EMU says they’re all handicapped-accessible, but unless they’ve made off-season improvements, there are no baby changing stations.
Cheering loudly is encouraged!