It’s happening, Charlotte 49ers fans. Saturday ushers in a new era as the football team plays its first ever spring game at 1pm. Here’s what you need to know if you’re headed down to the stadium–or can’t make it (much of this info courtesy of Charlotte49ers.com).
Getting onto Campus/Parking
–First things first: you need to know that you can’t enter campus except via the main entrance on University City Blvd. (Highway 49) or the John Kirk Drive entrance. All other entrances will be closed starting at 8am.
–There will be signs designating where you can park and can’t park. Any lot designated for football parking and tailgating is for that purpose. Not going to the game but need to be on campus, and have a UNCC permit? You can park in East Deck 2 or 3. Just visiting campus? East Deck 1 is available. Which brings us to our next point…
–Your best bet unless you really, really need to be on campus is to not to attempt going onto campus at all. As bad as traffic can get during basketball games with 5000-6000 fans, it will be much worse with (at the max) 10,000-15,000 trying to get around.
–Back to parking. The full list of designated parking areas is here. If you need to buy a parking permit, there is a place you can do it right here. Students–you’ll need to plan to move your cars out of lot 25 before Friday night.
–Tailgating lots open four hours before the game (9am tomorrow), so if you’re up that early, feel free to head over. Lots will close two hours after the game.
–Alcohol is allowed; obviously, not in the stadium. No kegs or drinking games. Naturally, you’ll have to be old enough.
–This link (same as the parking info) will tell you where you are allowed to tailgate, whether you’re a student, FSL holder, or a fan.
–On gameday mornings, the team will be taken off campus for meetings and a pregame meal.
–At 9:49am, the team will be dropped off at the corner of Craver Road and Cameron Blvd. and take a walk down Niner Way, which is the path down from Craver Road (near the walkway), to the stadium. This will not occur before the spring game, though.
–The spring game will incorporate a fan tunnel that will greet players as they enter the field. This will likely be a part of all the games come fall.
–The game will be four 12-minute quarters, just like any other regulation football game. Kickoff is at 1pm.
–After the game, there will be a 45-minute autograph session with the players.
–Matt Johnson will be the starting quarterback for the green squad; the white squad will feature Lee McNeill under center. Johnson has been seen by many as the favorite to be the week one starter against Campbell, but both he and McNeill have a final chance to make their case going in. Here’s the full roster, with many players to suit up for both squads.
–Not going to the game? ESPN 730 will have the call on the radio. Matt Swierad and former Panther Kevin Donnalley will be behind the mic to call the game.
–Injured players: Brandon Banks (ankle), Daniel Blitch (foot); Caleb Clayton-Molby (wrist); Kariym Gent (ankle); Prince Mayela (hip); Mark Montini (shoulder); Josh Tann (knee); Terrance Winchester (knee).
That’s about it. If you’re going, enjoy the game! We’ll recap it on Saturday afternoon.