UNH athletics prepares for a much-anticipated homecoming game day
One hundred and fifty years later, here we are. UNH prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary with its annual homecoming weekend with festivities starting on Friday. One of the featured events, as is every year, is the Homecoming football game and tailgate.
“Well it’s a great celebration, a lot of people at the university have worked very hard to do this the right way and to celebrate the 150 so we have all these amazing events taking place this weekend,” Athletics Director Marty Scarano said. “The students are front and center, in all the offerings.”
With the components of the 150th anniversary as well as the inaugural year of Wildcat Stadium, the UNH athletics department is anticipating a big turnout. I sat down with both Senior Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs Jon Danos and Scarano to discuss logistics and details of the event, and what students should be informed of before the festivities begin.
The first topic of discussion was the organization of parking, in particular Boulder Field. As before, the Boulder Field parking lot is reserved for UNH alumni only for vehicle purposes. Scarano mentioned that pedestrians are welcome into the lot as well. Along with Boulder, Lot-A will be open for tailgating as well as the addition of Lewis Field, which will be open for UNH alumni. Parking for all tailgating lots however, have been sold out. In addition, alcohol cannot be carried into the tailgate areas, or there will be no tailgating in line ing to get in.
Boulder Field will open for vehicle traffic and parking starting at 10:30 a.m., and the due to the addition of Lewis Field, the parking process will take a while. As this is the case, Scarano, Danos and the athletics department strongly advise for pedestrians to show up around 12:30 p.m., as this will create the most efficient way to enter the tailgate, as opposed to arriving at 11:30 a.m. and waiting longer.
“We are going to make sure Boulder is full of the vehicle traffic before we admit the pedestrian traffic,” Scarano said. “[12:30 p.m.] should be the critical mass we should have boulder all situated in preparations for [fans] to come in and enjoy the party.”
“If you want to get on the lot, arriving early is not a good thing, it will actually take longer,” Danos said, the overall message being arriving at the tailgate an hour or two after the scheduled opening is highly recommended to avoid congestion and create a better experience from the start.
For students, if you choose to enter, the Cat Pack Plaza will be in full swing this Saturday. The first 1500 students to enter the stadium will receive catered food sponsored by the athletics department.
“One of the things that we did to try and inspire student to buy tickets is to activate the area with food,” Danos said. “We’re going to be giving out some free food some pulled pork and pulled chicken…we are sponsoring and it’s provided by a caterer,” he said.
Overall, the goal of the process is to give fans and alumni the most enjoyable experience possible. Scarano understands the magnitude of the event and encourages Wildcats to look our for eachother.
“We know the students love the event so we just want them to be responsible and safe,” Scarano said. “Look out for one another. If you see a fellow wildcat in need of help, help them.”
Be safe, responsible and enjoy the day. UNH kick off vs. William and Mary starts at 3:30 p.m.