Football: Huskies set to kick off new season with new game day features

Randy Edsall and the UConn Huskies are adding to the game day experience in East Hartford. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Randy Edsall and the UConn Huskies are adding to the game day experience in East Hartford. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

As part of an initiative to increase fan attendance and the overall game day experience, the athletic department has announced several additions to enhance fan experience.

For opening night against No. 21 UCF, the Huskies will host a Throwback Thursday game to celebrate “15 Years at the Rent,” in East Hartford. All parking lots will open at 2 p.m., with season parking pass holders allowed to enter at 1 p.m. Also, tailgating will be permitted for two hours after the game as well.

An inaugural Happy Hour will take place for the first hour of the gates opening at Rentschler Field and includes discounted food, beverages and specials on merchandise. All discounted items will be sold at the Fresh Classics concession stand located behind section 136 near Gate A. Domestic 12 oz. drafts will cost $4 and $5 for a popcorn bucket that can be refilled throughout Happy Hour. For Thursday, Happy Hour will run from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

During the entirety of the season, Rent Dogs and bottled water can be purchased for $3 each.

There will be several new implementations to Fan Fest presented by Power Station this season, which will run for three hours prior to the game. A live band will perform on the Fan Fest stage, promotional giveaways, a live outdoor stage from 97.9 ESPN Hartford for the pre-game radio show and contests will be new this year. These free features will be located on the north side of the stadium between Gates C & D.

The first 200 fans that pick up a “Post-Game Experience” wristband at the athletics marketing tent during Fan Fest will be able to access the field to take photos for 30 minutes at the conclusion of the game.

The athletic department announced the addition of new concession stands, Two Roads Brewing Company located behind section 107 and Sam Adams Brewhouse behind section 108. There will also be two new food trucks, Whey Station and Greek’n Out.

UConn’s mascot Jonathan the XIV will have an expanded presence at all home games. He will have his own dog house and will be involved in the pre-game show.

To round out the new initiatives, the first 500 UConn student football season ticket holders will receive a “mystery” item to encourage them to arrive to games early and will be based on a first come first serve basis.

It is clear that the athletics department is making improvements to encourage fan attendance after a year that featured an average of 20,334, which was the worst average attendance in program history.


Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.