Homecoming tailgaters kick off festivities before kick-off

By Hailey Kurth

One of the highlights of homecoming every year is the football game, but for some people, the fun begins long before kick-off.

Tailgating outside Huskie Stadium Saturday can be fun if students keep certain things in mind.

Students should come prepared and bring food, said Travis Dillavou, sophomore mechanical engineering major.

“We do the usual burgers and hot dogs,” said Rebeca Manjarres, physical therapy graduate student. “But if it’s cold outside, we also bring chili.”

Tailgaters who decide not to bring their own food aren’t without options.

“We have a concession trailer that’s at the southwest side of the stadium,” said Sue Hansfield, assistant athletic director of facilities and events operations.

NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith said safety is important to keep in mind while tailgating as well. Participants should know when to stop and to not do anything dangerous, Smith said.

“No dancing on top of vehicles,” Smith said. “I think someone fell off of one last year during tailgating.”

In terms of location, there are a number of parking lots surrounding the stadium. Parking in lots K, L, or the Convocation Center costs $10 for cars and $15 for buses and vans, Hansfield said.

“Everyone’s got their tents out there,” Hansfield said, “You’ve got the college tents out at the [Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center] alumni village, and then we’ve got some of the Greek organizations with tents on the east side.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Convocation Center. Ticket booths open three-and-a-half hours before kick-off and students can pick up their ticket with a valid OneCard.

When kick-off arrives, some items won’t be let into the stadium. Bags or purses cannot exceed a certain size and no alcohol or outside food or drink is permitted.

However, some things are always allowed.

“Bring NIU pride,” said Daniel Bankemper, sophomore mechanical engineering major.