Campus Closing Early for UCF Football Season-Opener
Head coach Scott Frost and his UCF Knights football team kick off the season at home against Florida International University at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 at Spectrum Stadium. Here’s everything Knights fans need to know, from pregame fun to parking.
Check out IOA Plaza outside the stadium before game time for plenty of family-friendly fun. You’ll find big inflatables for the kids and sponsors with plenty of giveaways.
On the concert stage, rising country star Bailey Callahan will perform at 2:30 p.m., followed by headliner Luke Combs at 4 p.m. Combs’ hit Hurricane reached No. 1 on the Country Radio charts in May, and his album This One’s for You reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums in its first week.
Clear Bag Policy
To ensure a safe experience and the smoothest possible entry to the stadium, a clear bag policy is in effect. No backpacks or handbags are allowed in the stadium. Approved bags are:
- Clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″.
- A logo no larger than 4.5″ x 3.4″ can be displayed on one side of a permissible clear bag.
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
- Small purses and clutch bags no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″ (with or without a handle or strap)
- Each guest may enter with one approved clear bag plus a small clutch purse.
- Medically necessary items (after proper inspection at gate 18)
UCF students have free entry to football games and all other athletic events with their student ID, and for the first time there will be student sections in both end zones. The student entrance is located at Gates 7-9 at the north end of the stadium, directly beneath the scoreboard. Students with student ID will now be able to purchase bottles of water and hotdogs for $2 each at the O-Town Links concessions stands near Gates 9 and 16.
Season ticket packages are available by calling 407-823-1000. Single game tickets are available at the stadium box office on the west side of the stadium near Gate 1. To purchase online, visit https://www.weriseandconquer.com/new.
There are plenty of tailgating options on campus. All lots open for tailgating at 2 p.m., except Lot E8 for RVs, which opens at 7 a.m.
Prime tailgating spots on Memory Mall are available to students and alumni through the Knights on the Mall online reservation system. Student spots were all taken not long after the reservation system opened at 6 p.m. Sunday, but as of Monday afternoon there were still alumni spots available.
Only Memory Mall requires reservations. Knights fans are welcome to tailgate without reservations in any other allowed areas on campus, and all fans are still welcome to enjoy the other activities on Memory Mall.
Before you tailgate, check out the Pegasus magazine story about UCF’s traditions. The article covers everything from proper face-painting, the best food to prep for tailgating, traditions such as the March to Victory, and how to keep cool in Florida’s heat.
Alumni Indoor Tailgate
Head to the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center for the Indoor Tailgate from 3-5 p.m., where alumni and guests will find a free, family-friendly zone. Make sure to show your alumni key card and driver’s license at the door. Indoor Tailgates feature air-conditioning, clean restrooms, barbecue available for purchase and more.
Classes will end and offices will close for normal operations at 1 p.m. to allow enough time for a smooth transition to game day activities, which begin at 2 p.m. The closings apply to the main and regional campus, the Rosen College of Hospitality Management and Central Florida Research Park.
Faculty members who have classes in progress at 1 p.m. may choose to conduct the portions of those sessions that come before that time. Some staff members will be required to work past the time when the university closes. Please speak with your supervisor about how your area will handle operations after 1 p.m.
The John C. Hitt Library will close at 3 p.m. Knightro’s and ‘63 South will be open their normal hours.
UCF will re-open for normal operations, including regular class and activity schedules, at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1.
Parking and Traffic
All vehicles without a game day parking permit are subject to towing after 1 p.m. in the following Gold Zone garages and lots: Garages C, D, F and H and Lots B4, B7, C2-C3 and E1-E8.
Students and employees will be able to stay in many campus parking lots and garages after classes have concluded. Those areas – referred to on game days as the Red Zone and Blue Zone – include garages A, B and I, the Libra Garage and lots B5-B6, B9 and H4. Students and staff and faculty members with a game day parking permit may remain parked in their designated Gold Zone lot or garage throughout the day as long as their game day permit is displayed.
Cash parking is available in Garage H for all fans with proceeds supporting first-generation scholarships.
After 4 p.m., only Gold Zone patrons with valid game day credentials or handicapped parking permits will be authorized to enter/exit the campus via North Orion Boulevard (the north entrance accessible from McCulloch Road).
To expedite postgame traffic, North Orion Boulevard will only be open to traffic traveling from Gemini Boulevard to McCulloch Road starting at 9 p.m. Saturday until postgame traffic is cleared. Vehicles will not be able to enter campus from McCulloch Road during that time. This will impact residents of Towers III and IV and those who park in Garage E.
Shuttles and Park & Ride
Fans may use free Park and Ride buses from two hours before kickoff until two hours after the game ends. Fans can park at Research Pavilion, 2424 Research Parkway, to catch a bus heading to lot D1 near Memory Mall.
Shuttles will continue to pick up students from all the apartment complexes around campus that are normally serviced, except for NorthView, Tivoli and Northgate because they’re so close to the stadium. Other shuttles will service the Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, Rosen College and Palm Valley.