Preparations underway as U of L welcomes national audience for C - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Preparations underway as U of L welcomes national audience for College GameDay

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Crews prepping Grawmeyer Hall on U of L's campus ahead of ESPN's College Game Day Crews prepping Grawmeyer Hall on U of L's campus ahead of ESPN's College Game Day

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Preparations are underway for ESPN's College GameDay at the University of Louisville. 

The national event will return to to Louisville for the second year in a row Saturday when the Cardinals take on No. 2 Clemson.

"Everyone's really excited already,” U of L Senior Annie Nash said. 

The staff on campus is busy trimming trees and hedges, tidying landscaping, cutting grass and painting to ensure the school is top form for the big event. Crews are setting up for college football's biggest stage. 

"ESPN's advance crew came here yesterday and met with a large group of our staff to get preparations rolling, and our physical plant people have been on site since early this morning,” said John Karman, Director of Media Relations at  U of L.

The ESPN set will sit outside of the university’s iconic Grawmeyer Hall. Last year’s GameDay set was near the stadium, but construction for the expansion ruled that out as an option this year. Students said the campus is buzzing with excitement. 

"It's pretty crazy,” Senior Blaine Harris said. “You can just tell it's in the energy here." 

When GameDay came calling, it was an offer the university just couldn't pass up, even on short notice.  

"This is just such a great opportunity for the university," said Karman, adding he believes two million viewers will tune in for the game. "We get to show off how beautiful our campus is."

Thousands of College GameDay T-shirts are being printed and heading to stores. For manufacturers, the short notice also meant a quick planning, production and turnaround time. 

"We started printing first thing this morning, then we're delivering this afternoon,” Shea Beckwith said. 

Her company, MPC Promotions, is one of the largest local producers of University of Louisville and Louisville Cardinal merchandise. The Cardinals will hold a "blackout" for the night game on Saturday and black T-shirts will fill Cardinal Stadium under the lights. MPC Promotions is pumping out more than 5,000 black T-shirts in time for the big game. 

"It's as many as we can get out a day, then we immediately get them out to our retailers" Beckwith said. "So it's just as many thousands as we can do."

Since the game was moved to prime time, kickoff is set for 8:12 p.m. Saturday.

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