Minutemen Football Kicks Off 2019 Home Slate Sept. 7 with Enhanced Fan Experience and McGuirk Stadium Updates

The UMass football team takes the field against Rutgers on Aug. 30, 2019
The UMass football team takes the field against Rutgers on Aug. 30, 2019

The Minutemen football team will kick off its six-game home slate at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 against Southern Illinois at 3:30 p.m. The team will debut their new clasically-themed maroon uniforms for the game as they look to tally the first career win for first-year head coach Walt Bell.

UMass will celebrate all of the great businesses in the area by desgnating the occasion as the first annual “Valley Tally” game, encouraging local business owners and restauranteurs to come out to the game and display their UMass pride. UMass Athletics will also host a school supply drive to benefit Holyoke Public Schools during the day, and fans can bring items to drop off at the Fan Experience Tent prior to entering the stadium.

A limited number of UMass-themed mini-cowbells will be distributed to fans entering the stadium on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gates to McGuirk Stadium open 90 minutes before kickoff. Season and single-game tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting UMassAthletics.com or calling 1-866-UMASS-TIX, and fans are encouraged to pre-purchase parking online for the discounted rate of $5; parking is $10 (cash only) on gameday. 

Before the first home game of the 2019 season, UMass Athletics will introduce fans to a number of experiential updates surrounding gameday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The information below details the introductions and updates to existing experiences.

Stadium Improvements 

  • UMass Athletics will debut its new, state-of-the-art videoboard and sound system as well as the addition of the North endzone’s auxiliary scoreboard for the first time.
  • The restroom facilities on the Northeast and Northwest sides of the stadium will not be completed or available for the Southern Illinois game, but the project team is working to complete the restroom facilities as quickly as possible for use at future games this season.

Commonwealth Club - South Endzone Pavilion

  • The Commonwealth Club has moved inside the stadium and will have a permanent presence beyond the South endzone at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.
  • Food and beverage will be available for purchase within the Commonwealth Club, a space which offers fans a unique, field-level view of the action. The Commonwealth Club opens 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
  • Season passes to the Commonwealth Club have sold out for the 2019 season, and the Commonwealth Club is already sold out for the Southern Illinois game, but a limited number of individual passes for each remaining gameday will be sold beginning with the Sat., Sept. 21 contest against Coastal Carolina.
  • For more information on the Commonwealth Club, contact the UMass Athletics Tickets Office at 1-866-UMASS-TIX

Concessions from Award-Winning UMass Dining

UMass Dining, recently named as Best Campus Food in the nation for the fourth year in a row by the Princeton Review, returns to McGuirk Stadium this season to offer fans fresh, local concessions options.

  • Food choices available for purchase by fans at the Southern Illionis game include local sausage and pepper grinders, lobster rolls, Legal Seafoods clam chowder, sushi, fresh fruit and stadium staples such as hot dogs, chicken tenders, jumbo soft pretzels and popcorn.
  • A wide variety of soda, beer, wine and spiked seltzer will also be available throughout the stadium.

Fan Activities Tent

UMass Athletics returns its family-friendly Fan Activities Tent with a variety of events geared toward all age groups. The tent opens at 11:30 a.m. before the Southern Illinois game. Activities will include:

  • The Happy Face Painter (12:30-3:30 p.m.)
  • Bounce House
  • Sam the Minuteman coloring sheet
  • Poster-making station
  • Temporary tattoo station
  • UMass Athletics student-athlete meet & greet (participating teams/individuals to be announced ahead of each home game)
  • Photo station with Sam the Minuteman
  • Opportunities to win UMass-branded prizes, including pens, keychains, keytags, cell phone wallets, stadium cups, car magnets, vehicle decals and more

Minuteman March

  • The Minuteman March will now begin at the Northwest corner of the Bernie Dallas Mall.
  • The team will arrive two hours, 10 minutes prior to kickoff at each of the six home games.
  • Fans are asked to line the walkway from Bernie Dallas Mall to the FPC to support the team as it arrives on gameday.
  • A diagram of the new Minuteman March route is available here.

Pregame Cheer and Dance Performance

  • At 2:15 p.m., catch the UMass Athletics Cheerleaders and the UMass Minuteman Marching Band at the Bernie Dallas Mall for a pregame performance setting the stage for the day's big event.

Pregame Crowd-Sourced Spotify Playlist

  • Fans can contribute song suggestions to a Spotify playlist that will be used during pregame warmups at each of the six home games.
  • Limit of five song suggestions per fan.
  • The playlist will be in-use on shuffle during all pregame activities while UMass is not warming up on the field.
  • Fans can contribute song ideas via Spotify here.

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