CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois is excited to introduce plans that would transform what is currently Lot 36 on the west side of Memorial Stadium into a park setting that will be prime tailgating locations during Fighting Illini football game days.
"The Lot 36 area, inclusive of the Red Grange statue on the west side of Memorial Stadium, has seen a variety of uses throughout the 90-plus years the venue has been in existence," said Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "Fans who remember coming in for Tailgreat will be excited that this type of atmosphere will be returning along with some new wrinkles that we are finalizing in preparation for the 2015 home season.
"This park setting will be open for use throughout the year for a variety of activities and outdoor events. On Fighting Illini game days, this area will be the place to be, as we'll showcase first-come, first-served tailgating opportunities to any group who would like to be right next to the stadium. Fans will be able to bring in their own food and drinks into this area and the result will be a great party. Our priority is creating energy around the stadium that will then move inside as the Orange and Blue need us all, loud and proud, prepared to be an intimidating force inside Memorial Stadium."
Fans will be able to reserve space in Lot 36 beginning March 30, and will be available in the days leading up to each game on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The first event in the new area will be Friday, Sept. 4, when the Fighting Illini open the 2015 football season against Kent State with an 8 pm start time.
Customized tailgate parties, which include tents and tickets, can be coordinated by calling Scott Friedman at 217-244-3212. Prices will range from $300 - $2,000.
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