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Louisville fan information for Saturday’s festivities

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And a tiny rant.

Louisville v Florida International Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

It’s been discussed ad nauseam on various forms of media throughout the week, so I won’t make an entire post about it, but let me add my voice to the throng of those who are disappointed that the tailgating lots won’t be open until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

I did a quick search and I couldn’t find another program with a policy even close to this one for an average game day, let alone one of the biggest regular season games in school history. For instance, Indiana opened up its tailgate lots at 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning in preparation for their 8 p.m. season opener against Ohio State. A year ago when we got to our tailgate spot a little bit before noon for the Clemson game in Death Valley, it felt like we were already a little late to the party.

I just don’t get the rationale here. If I want to go to College GameDay in the morning, what do I do when it’s over? Sit in the car? If I find a temporary spot to tailgate I won’t be able to drink because I know I’m going to have get behind the wheel again in a couple hours. It just doesn’t make any sense. I’d like to be able to just get to the stadium right after GameDay, get situated, and then let a beautiful day that should serve as an earned celebration for a fan base that has had sort of a rough go of it in recent years unfold as it may.

But that’s not going to happen, and I think that’s silly.

Anyway, here’s all of the fan information for Saturday from U of L:


ESPN's College GameDay Built by The Home Depot visits the University of Louisville this weekend for a top-15 matchup between the Cardinals and defending national champion Clemson at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Saturday's game is being broadcast on ABC and scheduled to start at 8:12 p.m.

College football's longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show provides a remarkable opportunity for fans to have a fun, spirited, and safe time leading up to the Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

The ESPN College GameDay set will be on the lawn in front of Grawemeyer Hall (2301 S 3rd Street Louisville, KY 40208). Lines are expected to form for fans to gain access to the areas closest to the stage beginning at 4 a.m., however, tents are not permitted. The pit behind the stage will open at approximately 5 a.m.

Access to the Stadium and GameDay Area

Limited free parking (about 600 spaces) is available for the public on Saturday morning only in the parking lot at 2545 South 3rd Street, located south of Eastern Parkway on 3rd Street. Fans may park in this lot until 2 p.m. Additional parking may be available surrounding the UofL campus, but some lots are used for event parking related to the game Saturday night.

The Ville'ns, UofL's student support group, will assist in handing out T-shirts to the first 1,000 fans to enter the pit. Donuts will be available for fans as they enter the pit on Saturday morning.

The gates to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium will open two hours prior to kickoff, starting at 6 p.m., with special Happy Hour pregame drink prices available. Fans arriving early can purchase a draft beer for $3 and canned beer for $4 on the Norton Terrace only.

Rules for "The Pit"

  • Fans may arrive early to begin lining up for access to the pit at 4 a.m. ET, with the area being open around 5 a.m.
  • Fans entering the pit will be checked by a security wand
  • No bags, backpacks or purses permitted in the pit
  • No offensive, vulgar, inappropriate or solicitation signage will be allowed (i.e., no political, religious, or .com, .org, .net signage)
  • No signs on a stick
  • No pens, pencils, markers or dry erase boards
  • No food or drinks
  • Throwing of objects is prohibited

Schedule of Events


  • 3 p.m. – College Football Live will be taped from the GameDay set.


  • 4 a.m. – Fans may begin lining up for access to pit behind the GameDay set.
  • 5 a.m. – The pit behind the ESPN College GameDay set opens.

During the morning

ESPN SportsCenter is expected to have reports live from the GameDay set

  • 9 a.m. – Noon – ESPN College Gameday will be live in the lawn in front of Grawemeyer Hall
  • 5:45 p.m. – CardMarch – Fans are encouraged to participate in the pregame CardMarch, which provides fans an opportunity to greet the Cardinals and cheer them on as the team enters the stadium. The team will be dropped off on the south side of the Denny Crum Overpass on Central Avenue two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff. With the assistance of the UofL marching band and spirit groups, the team will walk from the Green Lot, through the tunnel and into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Fans are invited to arrive early and create an entrance way for the players as they head into the stadium. For those not attending the GameDay set, look to provide support for the team as they arrive.
  • 6 p.m. – Gates open to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
  • 8:12 p.m. – Clemson at Louisville kickoff

A list of stadium policies, including prohibited items that may not be brought into the stadium, is available online.