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2013 football tailgating plans

WKU Athletics announced its football gameday experience plans for the 2013 season Tuesday, offering fans the opportunity to be closer to the heart of campus than ever before and become immersed at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium this fall.

2013tailgatingIn all, WKU will offer more 30 different areas for tailgating and picnicking all located within half of a mile of the stadium, most of which are available all day on gameday with no cost to enter, and approximately 4,500 free parking spaces.

The Hilltoppers open the home schedule at 6 p.m. Sept. 21 against Morgan State. (More: 2013 WKU schedule; 2013 Gameday Central)

The Parking Structure 1 Garage (PS1), located on the north side of E.A. Diddle Arena, remains admissible on gameday free of charge. This structure provides approximately 500 free covered parking spaces and is part of over 4,500 free paved parking spaces available throughout campus for fans attending games. More: Tailgating and parking map

Family Fun
Returning to The Hill this fall in a new location is “TopperTown,” a kids play area featuring inflatables, balloon artistry, face painting and games for kids of all ages. TopperTown opens three hours prior to kickoff and is free for the entire family, and it is located in front of Parking Structure 2 (PS2) on the campus side, directly across Avenue of Champions from the Downing Student Union.

Fans can experience TopperWalk, also in a new location, and cheer on the entire WKU football team and Coach Petrino as they enter the stadium two hours prior to kickoff. TopperWalk starts on Avenue of Champions across from the South Lawn, where the team buses will drop off the players and coaches so they can walk by fans and along with the WKU Cheerleaders, Topperettes, Big Red Marching Band and Big Red into the stadium.

Tailgating and Picnicking
Game-by-game tailgating sales have been eliminated for the 2013 season. Those areas in the heart of campus at McLean Hall, “The Valley,” Bates-Runner Hall and the Service Supply Building lawn that were previously $20 tailgating areas payable on gameday become free, first-come first-serve tailgating areas.

The tailgating areas open at 8 a.m. on Saturday gamedays, and WKU Athletics reserves the right to close grass tailgating areas due to inclement weather. Tailgating areas close 30 minutes prior to kickoff, and the parking spaces will be lined for easy parking.

Tailgating and picnicking logistics for the Tuesday, Oct. 15 game against Louisiana-Lafayette will be announced when they are finalized.

Fans may utilize other grass and lawn areas throughout campus to picnic and for other non-tailgating activities. Those utilizing the lawns on gameday may set up tents six hours and 30 minutes prior to kickoff, and all areas will be closed 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Pop-up tents, grills and coolers are permissible, and loading and unloading zones are located throughout campus and available on a temporary basis for those wishing to unload items on the lawns where parking is not permitted.

Despite construction at the Downing Student Union the grass on the South Lawn is available for picnicking this season, with fans able to utilize the grass on gameday as space allows.

More: Tailgating and parking map

Opening Act at Augenstein Alumni Center
On gamedays, the WKU Alumni Association will host Opening Act, sponsored by US Bank, at the Augenstein Alumni Center at 292 Alumni Ave. The building will be open to the public three-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff and will close 30 minutes before kickoff. All alumni and fans are invited to tailgate on the lawn and enjoy the facility.

WKU Dining will be grilling at Rally Alley with tailgate food and beverages available on the Casalengo Terrace between the Augenstein Alumni Center and Alumni Square Parking Garage. In addition, there will be a limited number of Opening Act tickets, exclusively for Alumni Association members, available for presale at $20 each. Tickets include a parking spot in the Kentucky Street lot and three food vouchers at Rally Alley. For information, contact Kara Neidell at (270) 745-4395 or alumnievents@wku.edu. Visit alumni.wku.edu for more details.

Contact: Michael Schroeder, (270) 745-5045.

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