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The Daily Illini

The many ways to experience Illini football game days

Tommy Polcyn, Assistant sports editor

Thanks to its long history of strong athletics, the University of Illinois has garnered a sizable following by fans from all over the country. You can catch most of the games on TV or at least follow the scores online, but these are some of the more fun ways to watch them on campus.

Go to the game

Being a student at the University of Illinois comes with some major perks when it comes to sporting events. By just showing your iCard, all students have free access to watch any sporting event on campus besides football basketball and volleyball. Although those tickets aren’t free, students get a major discount and tickets can usually be found for as little as $10. For the biggest fans, there is also the option to get involved in the student sections (Block I for football, and Orange Krush for basketball). They put on some fun events that often include free food or t-shirts for all of its members.

Road Trip

Often times for larger sports like basketball and football, student sections will offer traveling packages and group trips to some of the closer schools. Just this past year a large group of students traveled to Iowa for the football game. Specifically, students that are members of Illini Pride have the opportunity to go on road trips for free by attending enough events and earning points. It’s a good opportunity to see some other Big Ten campuses and possibly visit friends if you know people at other schools.

Report on the sidelines or in the press box

Even if you aren’t a journalism major, watching a game from the sidelines or press box is a unique opportunity. The Daily Illini sports section is always looking to hire new reporters and after gaining some experience anyone can get the opportunity to cover some of the bigger sporting events. This gives you a great opportunity to interact with players, coaches, and other writers from newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune or Sun-Times.

Block

At a campus that has so much participation in Greek-Life, block is one of the cooler traditions that has formed to support Illini athletics with your fraternity or sorority. Every Saturday morning many of the fraternities will pair up with sororities and go to some of the on-campus bars such as The Red Lion, Kam’s, or Joe’s. They almost always have the games on and even if you are not 21 (Champaign’s legal age to get into bars is 19), it is still a fun environment to hangout with friends and cheer on the Illini.

No matter your method, getting involved in Illinois sports is one of the most fun things you can do during your career at Illinois. The tradition alone draws in fans across the country, but being a part of it while you are on campus is a completely different atmosphere. There’s nothing quite like looking out into the stands and seeing thousands of people wearing orange and cheering on your school.

Tommy is a sophomore in Media.
polcyn2@dailyillini.com

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