LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville athletics department is planning several events for Saturday's football matchup between the U of L Cardinals and Clemson, including plans for ESPN's College GameDay broadcast. Here's what you need to know:
Early morning access to the pit
The ESPN College GameDay set will be located on the lawn in front of Grawemeyer Hall on the University of Louisville campus, located at 2301 S. 3rd Street. According to a news release, lines are expected to form at 4 a.m. Saturday for fans hoping to gain access to the areas closest to the stage. The "pit area" -- the area behind the stage -- will open at 5 a.m.
Donuts will be available for fans in the pit on Saturday morning, and a student support group will hand out t-shirts to the first 1,000 fans to enter the pit.
Tents are not permitted.
The university says about 600 free parking spaces will be available to the public Saturday morning in the parking lot located at 2545 S. 3rd Street, south of Eastern Parkway. Fans may only park in this lot until 2 p.m. Other parking spots may be available.
ESPN SportsCenter broadcast live reports from the GameDay Set from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Rules for the "pit area"
According to the news release, the following rules and prohibitions apply to the pit area:
2 p.m.: Stadium parking lots open
According to a news release from Senior Associate Athletics Director Kenny Klein, the parking lots at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium will open at 2 p.m. Only fans with reserved parking passes in the U of L lots surrounding the stadium can begin entering the lots at that time, as part of, "a special early entrance one hour ahead of the regular five-hour opening time for the parking lots."
Some fans expressed disappointment they have to wait until 2 p.m. to start tailgating. Many fans tweeted to say they want to keep the party going after ESPN's College GameDay broadcast wraps up at noon.
"We're treating them as two separate events because they're so distanced form one another," Klein said. "A game at 8 o'clock and a morning program from 9 a.m. to noon are very separate.
"I'm sure some people may want to line up early and then go get a nap in that time before they make it to the parking lots."
ESPN's Radio's College GameDay
ESPN Radio's College GameDay broadcast will go live from the stadium from noon until 7 p.m., according to the news release. The seven-hour show will feature hosts Doug Kezirian, Brad Edwards and Trevor Matich.
"Fans are encouraged to be present around the stage during the program," the news release states. "The stage will be placed just inside Gate 3 at the southeast corner of the stadium, with an area open around the stage for fans within the gate. Fans will be asked to exit the area at 5:30 p.m. to head to Card March, so stadium personnel may prepare for the opening of the stadium gates for the game ticket holders at 6 p.m."
Nissan Heisman House
According to the news release, the Nissan Heisman House Tour will stop at Saturday's game. The tour will be located in the Travis Roofing Supply parking lot at 2931 South Floyd Street, across from the stadium Green Lot.
From 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to -- among other things -- engage in the following activities:
Chris Redman and Deion Branch
Chris Redman, a former U of L quarterback, will take part in a "Chalk Talk" session with ESPN anchor Neil Everett. From 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., he will be signing autographs. Former U of L Cardinal wide receiver Deion Branch will also be signing autographs from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Red Cross Donations
Throughout the day, staff from the American Red Cross will be at the stadium, collecting donations for victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Those accepting donations will be wearing Red Cross vets and carrying donation buckets. Cash and checks will be accepted. Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross. These representatives will be located outside the stadium gates, as well as at Street Fest and at Grawemeyer Hall during the ESPN College GameDay show to collect the donations.
Additionally, fans will be provided with a text number they can use to donate immediately.
On Sept. 4, U of L Athletics sent a semi trailer truck full of gear to help Houston-area hurricane victims. Cardinal student-athletes loaded the vehicle.
Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Fans are encouraged to clean up their waste and recycle what they can. According to the news release, volunteers will be handing out green bags in the stadium for fans' recyclables, including aluminum cans, plastic cups, plates, utensils, water bottles, cardboard and paper bags. Fans are asked not to put glass, plastic grocery bags or food and drink in the green bags.
At the end of the day, fans can leave the tied up green bags in their parking spot when they leave the parking lot, and the stadium staff will collect them.
The Card March
Fans will have an opportunity to greet the Cardinals as they enter the stadium for the pregame "Card March." The team will arrive on the south side of the Denny Drum Overpass at 5:45 p.m., two hours and 15 minutes before the game begins. Accompanied by the U of L marching band and spirit groups, the team will walk from the Green Lot, through the tunnel and into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Fans are invited to arrive early and cheer them on.
Magnetic wanding has been added to the entry process at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium at all gates on game days -- so fans are encouraged to enter the stadium early. Fans will be asked to empty their pockets before they are wanded by a security guard. Fans should hold metal objects such as cell phones and keys in their hands over their heads as they are wanded.
Fans are encouraged not to bring any bags inside the stadium. However, according to the news release:
"...each ticket holder is allowed one small clutch purse (no larger than 6.5 x 4.5 inches) and one clear bag, either a one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag, or a 12 x 6 x 12 inches clear tote bag...
Diaper bags (with child) are permitted and subject to a thorough security inspection. A clear bag is strongly recommended for bringing diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children. An exception will be made to allow medical items that cannot be transported in a clear bag into the venue. Medically necessary items or equipment may be brought to the game, but the bags or equipment must be inspected and tagged by security supervisors at the entry gates.
Fans will be asked to return non-approved bags or other items to their vehicle prior to stadium entry. There is no check-in location for prohibited bags at the stadium."
The news release adds that clear tote bags will be available for purchase from Cardinal Authentic, a store located at Gate 2 of of the stadium. For more information, call (502) 852-3002.
A standard, one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag is acceptable. Fans may also bring appropriately sized clear tote bags they have obtained from other venues.
Tobacco products prohibited
There are no designated smoking areas within Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, and re-entry is prohibited. Fans are asked to remember that, "the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and vaping, is strictly prohibited in all U of L facilities, as well as within 50 feet of an exterior gate or entrance."
"Another added security measure is that an unopened bottle of water may no longer be brought into the stadium," the news release states. "Fans seeking water are encouraged to obtain a free cup of ice from a concession stand employee. Cups may be filled at any of the stadium water fountains located throughout the inner concourse on the main level and on either end of the UPS flight deck."
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