Pedicabs, food trucks and a new art initiative: Hoosiers prepare for first home football game of the season
Sept. 7, 2016
There’s plenty to see and do at the first home game at Memorial Stadium for the IU Hoosiers football team. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. Sept. 10 against Ball State.
The game will be preceded by a Glow Run, set to begin at 9 p.m. Sept. 9. The glow-in-the-dark run/walk follows a roughly one-mile course through the IU Athletics campus, and ends in with a fireworks show. It is free and open to the public and families are welcome.
A flag will continue to be raised at the stadium when the Hoosiers win, continuing a practice begun in 2013 with the installation of the new flag pole at the south end of the stadium. That tradition is reflected in the theme for this year’s season and one that fans are encouraged to use on social media: #RaiseTheFlag.
IU’s own Olympic athletes will also be honored during the game, including two-time gold medal winning swimmer Lilly King.
New features this year include free pedicab rides for fans from the parking lot and tailgate areas to the stadium. While there is no cost to ride, drivers will accept tips, according to Jeremy Gray, associate athletic director for strategic communications and fan experience.
There will also be a dedicated ride-share drop-off location near Andy Mohr Field, intended to help ease traffic flow during busy home games. Traffic is expected to be heavy due to construction on Ind. 37, so fans are encouraged to follow IU Athletics on social media for same-day traffic and parking updates.
Food trucks will be parked on the east side of the stadium this year, in addition to the usual fare available inside the stadium’s concession stands.
Three water stations have been installed on the east and west concourses and in Knothole Park, allowing fans to fill their own water bottles or cups. While full or partially filled bottles or cups cannot be brought into the stadium, empty bottles or cups are permissible.
Fans might notice a few other changes to Memorial Stadium this year: New turf was installed over the summer. The new $700,000 surface replaced the previous eight year old turf, which was due for an update.
In addition, IU Athletics just launched its “Football is BIG at IU” art initiative. Twelve oversized fiberglass footballs decorated by local artists or groups of artists will be displayed on campus and throughout Bloomington in support of the season. Artists and art groups selected to create one of the footballs will be provided with a stipend and funds for supplies totaling $1,000. The public art is being made possible through a partnership with the city of Bloomington, IU, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and Visit Bloomington.
And for the first time ever this year, IU Athletics will host special Memorial Stadium and IU Athletics venue tours on Friday nights before games. Tours will feature special interactive experiences and will include behind-the-scenes access. The tours will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Friday before home games. Fans will be able to sign up for tours online.
In June, the IU Board of Trustees approved a $53 million renovation and addition project at Memorial Stadium. Construction is slated to begin at the conclusion of this year’s football season.
The new addition will provide a home for the program’s development program known as the Excellence Academy and create a bold new "front door" to campus for the stadium, while the renovations will improve the fan experience and upgrade the football locker room area.