There was plenty to like about Indiana Football’s season-opening win against Ball State last weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium, and there will be even more for Hoosier football fans to enjoy this Saturday when Coach Tom Allen’s team welcomes Eastern Illinois for IU’s home opener at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
IU’s new beer and wine pilot program, renovated restrooms, improved wayfinding and welcome signage, tiered ticket pricing, the return of the names to the back of the football jerseys and the renovation of the “Orange” parking lot highlight the exciting and enticing changes in store for Hoosier fans on what is forecasted to be a picturesque early fall afternoon this Saturday.
“We pride ourselves on offering one of the most welcoming, family-friendly and affordable gameday experiences in the Big Ten, and we’re excited to activate these new options and additions for our fans to enjoy beginning this weekend,” said IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. “There’s no better place to be on a football Saturday than at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, and I’m confident that these changes will enhance what was already an outstanding football game experience.”
In addition to the new fan experience enhancements (which are detailed below), IU Football fans will get their first chance to see Allen’s Hoosier football team line up and play at home this fall. The Hoosiers are coming off a 34-24 win over Ball State, a game that saw a number of award-winning individual performances. Most notably, freshman quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after completing 24-of-40 passes for 326 yards and a touchdown, while placekicker Logan Justus was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after tying an IU single-game record with four field goals, including a series of career bests from 48, 49, and 50 yards.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE GAME-DAY EXPERIENCE
While the play on the field promises to be exciting, there’s also plenty in store for football fans to enjoy off the field. Among the new items that fans can expect Saturday are:
- Beer and Wine Pilot Program: IU Athletics retained Upland Brewery for a pilot program to sell beer and wine in the public areas of Memorial Stadium this season. The main goals for this program are to enhance the game-day experience for our fans and reduce alcohol-related incidents in and around the stadium. Additional details about the program can be found HERE.
- Restroom Renovations: Not coincidentally to the new beer and wine sales, the restrooms in Memorial Stadium’s main concourse have all been renovated in preparation for the 2019 season. The improvements in the 14 restroom facilities include new roofs, new lighting, and fresh paint.
- Improved Wayfinding and Welcome Signage: The wayfinding and directional signage in and around Memorial Stadium have been increased and improved, highlighted by the new, friendlier “Welcome to Memorial Stadium” sign. We have doubled the directional and wayfinding signs inside Memorial Stadium All parking lot entry signage have been updated. We have added five eight-foot “YOU ARE HERE” signs in parking lots to help direct fans to gates and provide helpful information. We have also added signage stressing the ability to call or text 812-369-6948 (MYIU).
- Tiered Ticket Pricing: Hoosier fans can now take advantage of new tiered single-game ticket pricing for home games at Memorial Stadium. The new single-game pricing structure includes four options for each of IU’s six home football games, with a single-game, general public ticket against Eastern Illinois available for as little as $20. While the IU Football season ticket remains the most affordable option for fans attending multiple games, the new single-game tiered pricing structure gives fans another option to consider. Additional details on the tiered ticket pricing can be found HERE.
- Names Return to the Back of IU Football Jerseys: IU Athletics has returned the names of IU’s football players to the back of their jerseys. In so doing, IU Athletics recognized the unique nature of football in terms of the size of the competition venue, the distance between players and fans as well as the size of the roster and use of the duplicate numbers. Additional details about this decision can be found HERE.
- “Orange” Parking Lot Renovation: Thanks to a project funded by the university, the IU Athletics “Orange” Parking Lot, located between Memorial Stadium and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, underwent a $1.71 million reconstruction and re-alignment over the summer. The project included the improvement and addition of green space similar to what can be found in the recent, university-funded renovation of the “Purple” Lot. The reconfigured Orange Lot, accessible through Gate 4 at the intersection of Woodlawn and 17th Street, will dramatically improve game-day vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow, as well as enhance the tailgating experience.
GETTING TO THE GAME
To seek assistance for our fans in getting to our games as quickly and conveniently as possible, IU Athletics recently convened a meeting with senior representatives from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indiana State Police, Indiana University Police Department, and other Indiana University campus entities. Athletics sought assistance, particularly from INDOT, to identify and address traffic issues during the upcoming season and to communicate publicly those issues so that Hoosier fans have the most up-to-date and complete information for their trips to Memorial Stadium.
INDOT has advised that there are several ongoing traffic projects that could impact travel times from various points around the state. INDOT has further advised that some, but not all, of those projects will be cleared for every IU home football game. Because the impact of these projects is constantly evolving and changing, INDOT advises that fans should utilize the following tools:
Waze, a community based traffic and navigation app, will be used to communicate traffic patterns in real time. Fans are strongly encouraged to download it and utilize it during their trip to Memorial Stadium. The app will automatically update the football pre and postgame traffic pattern as they go into effect. Download it here.
TrafficWise can be found on INDOT’s website and provides information about traffic conditions, road closures, traffic cameras, travel times and message boards. Fans can also call 1-800-261-7623 for updates. Current Restrictions/Closings.
Fans can opt in to the text alert system by texting IUFB to 313131 to begin receiving alerts from IU Athletics. Only pertinent information surrounding travel, traffic, weather and emergency situations will be shared on the text system.