Ahead of Thursday night’s WKU Football season opener against Rice at 7 (CT) at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, WKU Athletics has announced its gameday plans and logistics, as well as improved food and family fun options for the entire 2016 season.
The WKU Ticket Office remains open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for fans looking to buy season and single-game tickets. Season tickets begin at just $80 per person. Back for 2016 is the popular “Big Red Family Plan” – a four-pack of reserved seats for just $200, or just $350 per person for the entire season, less than $9 per game for reserved seating.
New for 2016 is the “Stewart Richey Fan Experience Center,” located at the 50-yard line of the east concourse. Fans with gameday questions can head to this location to get all the answers to their in-stadium questions.
For Thursday’s game, no new parking will be allowed after noon on South Lawn, Avenue of Champions, the lots around E.A. Diddle Arena and on College Heights Boulevard to allow fans with reserved gameday parking to move in. No new parking will be allowed in Parking Structure 1 (PS1) and Parking Structure 2 (PS2) after 2 p.m. to allow gameday parking. (Note: Additional parking/traffic information for WKU faculty, staff and students is listed below and on the Parking & Transportation Services website.)
Avenue of Champions closes to through-traffic at 4 p.m., and event shuttle service begins at 5 p.m. People still parked in Hilltopper Athletic Foundation reserved spots will be towed beginning at 4. Once Avenue of Champions closes to through-traffic for gameday, all parking access for Lot 3, Lot 4, South Lawn and Avenue of Champions is accessed via University Boulevard from College Heights Boulevard.
Free parking is available at the Kentucky Street, Creason Street and University Boulevard lots with shuttle service beginning at 5 p.m., and are part of over 3,000 free paved parking spaces available throughout campus for fans attending the game. More: Event parking information; Event shuttle service map
HAF members are encouraged to display their parking permit prior to arrival to expedite the parking process. For season parking permit information, contact the HAF at (270) 745-5321 or visit supporthaf.org.
Tailgating and Picnicking
Tailgating begins at 4 p.m. Thursday. Tailgating is allowed in all non-reserved parking lots and in designated grassy areas. Fans may utilize other grass and lawn areas throughout campus to picnic and for other non-tailgating activities. 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. The grass on the South Lawn is available for picnicking this season, with fans able to utilize the grass on gameday as space allows. WKU Athletics reserves the right to close grass tailgating areas due to inclement weather. More: Tailgating map for Thursday’s game.
Ticket booths at the stadium will open at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Ticket Office at E.A. Diddle Arena will be open Thursday during normal business hours until sales shift to the stadium at 4. Gates at the stadium will open 90 minutes prior to kickoff, and doors to the Jack and Jackie Harbaugh Club will open two hours prior to the game. Gates 1, 3, 5 and 6 are used for general public entry and sales, and Gate 4 is the student entrance with Gate 3 used for student guest entry. Also located at Gate 5 is W-Club will call and sales, general public will call, cheerleading and dance pass list, recruit pass list for sports other than football, football player and coach pass list. For tickets, contact the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 or visit the office in E.A. Diddle Arena. Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day at WKUTickets.com.
Returning to The Hill this fall 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 PS2 on the campus side, directly across Avenue of Champions from the Downing Student Union.
Fans can experience TopperWalk and cheer on the entire WKU Football team and Coach Brohm as they enter the stadium two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff (4:45 p.m. for Thursday’s game). TopperWalk starts on Avenue of Champions in front of PS1 across from the Downing Student Union, 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.
Promotions and giveaways for the 2016 season can be accessed in the Fan Zone at WKUSports.com and are continually updated.
Opening Act at Augenstein Alumni Center
For the fourth-straight season, the WKU Alumni Association will host Opening Act on gamedays, sponsored by US Bank, at the Augenstein Alumni Center at 292 Alumni Ave. The building will be open to the public two-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff and will close 30 minutes before kickoff (4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for Thursday’s game). All alumni and fans are invited to tailgate on the lawn and enjoy the facility. Alumni Avenue, which runs in front of the Alumni Center, will close from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the Satterthwaite Atrium Bar located inside the Augenstein Alumni Center. For information, contact the WKU Alumni Association at (270) 745-4395 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit alumni.wku.edu for details.
WKU Gameday App
WKU Athletics joined forces with IMG and SportsLabs to develop the WKU Gameday App to keep Hilltopper fans connected to the action while at the game or watching from home. The WKU Gameday App is packed with robust social, on-campus and stadium features that enhance the gameday experience by delivering:
- Free live game audio
- Real-time Instagram and Twitter feeds from the team and fans
- The official game-day guide with key times, events and need-to-know information including stadium maps and parking to plan the day
- Enhanced location-aware maps for fans attending both home and away games
- Live conference and Top 25 scores and real-time stats
- Opt-in alerts for weather updates, pregame events, play-by-play information and more
WKU’s Gameday App can be found as a free download in both the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores by searching “WKU Gameday.”
Contact: Kyle Neaves, (270) 745-3756
Gameday Information for the Campus Community
Here’s information from WKU Parking & Transportation for faculty, staff and students:
Several parking lots will be reserved for event parking and road closures will occur before game time. Transit services will also be modified during road closures. More: Event parking information.
- Portions of Diddle West will be reserved for media parking beginning Tuesday evening.
- Portions of South Lawn Lot will be reserved beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
- Lots surrounding Diddle Arena (Diddle North, Diddle South, Diddle West), South Lawn Lot, Avenue of Champions and College Heights Boulevard Lot, and Floors 1-3 of PS1 will be reserved for event parking. Vehicles will not be allowed to park in reserved areas after noon Thursday and the lots must be cleared by 4 p.m. Thursday.
- More information for faculty and staff
Avenue of Champions H4 Housing Permit Zone
- The first 15 spaces past the Poland Lot entrance must be cleared by 1 p.m. Wednesday. Alternate parking is available in the Creason Lot.
- The housing spaces next to Preston Center before the Poland Lot entrance must be cleared by noon Thursday. Alternate parking is available in the Creason Lot.
- Any vehicles remaining past the respective times will be fined $35 and relocated.
- More information for Housing students
- Please allow extra time to park and get to evening classes. PTS recommends using South Campus for park and ride service to and from Main Campus. White Line buses will run a modified route from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Green Line buses will run a modified route from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Red Line will run a normal schedule until 8 p.m. The Parking and Transit Options Map describes specific parking, transit and traffic changes.
- Recommended parking lots for commuters: North Chestnut, University Boulevard, Kentucky Street, Gated Hilltop, College Hill, Hub Lot and other lots on The Hill. Parking lots near the stadium are reserved for event parking will not be available. This includes lots surrounding Diddle Arena, South Lawn, PS1, PS2, Avenue of Champions and College Heights Boulevard Lot. Unrestricted lots will be crowded due to fan parking.
- More information for Commuter students
- Avenue of Champions will be closed from 4 p.m. until the end of the game. Traffic will detour onto College Heights Boulevard.
- The downhill lane of College Heights Boulevard will be closed from 4:30 p.m. until kickoff. Traffic will detour onto Colonnade Drive.
- Alumni Avenue will be closed in front of Augenstein Alumni Center from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- WKU and Bowling Green Police will begin directing event traffic away from campus at the end of the third quarter.
- The Valley, DSU, and Keen Hall bus stops will be closed from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- The White Line and Green Line routes will be rerouted beginning at 4 p.m. to serve all stops on Normal Drive.
- The SGA Safe Ride Purple Line will run its normal route and schedule.
The Parking and Transit Options Map shows lots that are reserved for event parking and summarizes transit service changes for Thursday evening. University offices will close at 3:30 p.m. for non-essential personnel. If you are not attending the football game and are able to leave, please leave campus as quickly as possible after 3:30 p.m. Classes will continue as scheduled. More: Event parking information.
For other event information, visit www.wku.edu/transportation.
Contact: Parking & Transportation, (270) 745-2361