LAFAYETTE, La. — RVs and tents are lining Cajun Field as students and alumni get ready to wrap up their homecoming week. Plus, after restricted celebrations last year, both the university and fans are eager for Saturday’s game and events.
With an 11 a.m. kick off, some fans decided to spend the night and get the party started and be ready to go in the morning.
“We’re right here on the parade route, so we get to see when it passes right by us,” said Tim Seilhan and Karen Hays, who drove from the Baton Rouge area for the game. “We’re looking for a good game. It is 11 o clock... but we’ll be ready for it. It'll be a pretty day, perfect weather for football.”
They, like many other fans, are starting their tailgating a little early and cooking comfort Cajun food to balance out the cold weather ahead of the game.
“It wouldn’t be bad if the wind would stop,” they said. “About 20 mph winds out here. But we have a fire so we’re ready.”
As fans stroll in for an early Saturday game, the university's athletic department is hopeful for a large crowd.
“This is our faculty and staff appreciation game, so if you work for the University of Louisiana in any capacity, and you have a Cajun card, you come and get two free tickets. It’s also take your kid to the game, so any kid 12 or younger can get free admission,” said Jake Longenecker, UL Athletics marketing director. “We’ve revamped our student ticket policy, so any UL system school, so Nichols, Southeastern, the 9...You can bring your student id and get in for free, as if you were a UL student.”
He says the school is thrilled to return to a more traditional homecoming game day after the pandemic limited their fun last year.
“Obviously for us, this is very exciting,” he said. “Going forward, being able to move out of COVID and return to our ideal pageantry.”
A feeling echoed by fans waiting to hit the stands.
“It’s important for our team to know the support of the fans, that we’re here for them, that we’re really excited they’re bowl eligible now,” said Hays. “That they're one a winning streak, and we’re behind them 100 percent.”
Tailgating is expected to start at around 7 on Saturday morning. The game starts at 11, and after the game, the university expects fans to tailgate through the afternoon. There’ll be a series of activities throughout the evening to wrap up homecoming week.
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