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Tailgate lots will open early for Notre Dame game

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And other changes.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

U of L has announced a number of changes to the game day experience at Cardinal Stadium. Some are specific to Monday night’s season-opener against Notre Dame and others will be consistent policies throughout the 2019 season.

Perhaps most notably, the stadium parking lots will open at noon on Monday, a full eight hours before kickoff against the Fighting Irish. The extended tailgating time was attempted last season for U of L’s week two game against Indiana State, but the opponent and the weather produced a result that I don’t think will be indicative of what we’re going to see from fans on Labor Day.

Here’s the full release on changes, which also include Chick-fil-A being sold inside the stadium:

Stadium Parking Lots Open at Noon Monday

Fans with reserved parking passes in the UofL lots surrounding the stadium can enter the lots beginning at noon for Monday’s opener against Notre Dame, a special early entrance two hours ahead of the regular five-hour opening time for the parking lots. Stadium gates will open at 6 p.m. for the 8 p.m. game vs. Notre Dame.

Card March

Fans continue to have an opportunity to greet the Cardinals and cheer them on as the team enters the stadium with the pregame Card March. The team will be dropped off on the south side of the Denny Crum Overpass on Central Avenue two hours and 30 minutes prior to kickoff at each game (5:30 p.m. for Monday’s 8 p.m. game against Notre Dame). With the assistance of the UofL marching band and spirit groups, the team will walk from the Purple Lot, through the tunnel and into Cardinal Stadium. Fans are invited to arrive early and create an entrance way for the players as they head into the stadium.

Same Lots, Different Color

What had previously been the Green parking lots at Cardinal Stadium are now the Planet Fitness Purple Lots, recognizing the multimillion dollar gift to UofL Athletics from Rick and David Kueber (pronounced KEE-ber), leading Planet Fitness franchisees and co-founders of Sun Tan City.

More Food and Beverage Options

In addition to many concession favorites on sale at Cardinal Stadium, a new variety of options will be available the season in Cardinal Stadium.

  • Fan vs Food Gourmet Dogs – half-pound footlong hotdogs topped with opponent themed food items
  • Chick-fil-A sandwiches will be sold in two kiosks on the main concourse.
  • Ben’s Made from Scratch Soft Pretzels – Awesome pretzels made in front of the fans.
  • Cardinal Nachos – nachos this year will be topped with RED jalapenos.
  • Frozen Lemonade Carts in eight locations will be selling frozen strawberry and regular lemonade cups.
  • A rebranded a bar in the Brown & Williamson Club will feature local Goodwood Brewery craft beer products.
  • Funnel cakes -- regular funnel cakes will be available at the North Endzone concession stands, plus a special UofL Funnel Cake, made with red velvet funnel cake mix and black icing, will be on sale at a location on the main concourse.

Value Menu Pricing

Among the variety of food and beverage options is a value menu for fans at marked concession stands. Five key concession item prices are reduced for the season to $3, including a hot dog, popcorn, pretzel, 20-ounce soft drink and bottled water. Multiple menu items will remain available at varying prices in addition to the value selections.

Happy Hour Prices

To promote early entrance to the stadium, gates will open two hours prior to kick off – 6 p.m. -- for the Sept. 2 home opener against Notre Dame, with special Happy Hour pregame drink prices available. Fans arriving early can purchase $3 domestic draft beer or $5 12 ounce cans on the Norton Terrace or UPS Flight Deck, and $3 domestic drafts throughout the remainder of the stadium until kickoff. Also related to beverages and with a nod to sustainability, beer sold in cans throughout the game will be left in the can, not poured in plastic cups.

Special Fill-Up Cups

A special cup available for season ticket holders will allow $3 soda fill-ups throughout the season with that cup only, and only for fountain sodas at purchased at permanent concession stands. An email to season ticket holders will provide additional information, including early pickup times this week.

Some Sections Renumbered

A new section numbering system has been established in some areas to make Cardinal Stadium easier to navigate. Recent expansion projects left some areas that could be confusing. The areas that are affected include the west side suites, the north end expansion upper level, the Pepsi Club, Brown and Williamson Club, the PNC Club loge seats, and the UPS Flight Deck. While actual seat locations have not changed, these sections are renumbered:

  • The UPS flight deck sections 1-12 will now be numbered sections 301-312.
  • The PNC Club will now be numbered E1-E12 (previously L1-L12) with the “E” indicating east.
  • The 200/300 level Pepsi Club will be renumbered to N1 – N9 (previously 238-246) and N20-N25 (previously 338-346) with the “N” indicating north.
  • The 300 level Brown and Williamson Club will now be numbered W1-W17 (previously 301-317) with the “W” indicating west.
  • The 400 upper level will now be 200 level sections numbered 238-246 (North End Expansion Upper Level previously 438-446)
  • The 400/500 level suites will now be numbered in line with the east and west side suites and will include an “S” to indicate suite level.

Fireworks

Celebrations in the south end zone will be much louder this year. Fireworks during pregame and after Louisville touchdowns have been relocated from above the Schnellenberger Complex to the roof of the Norton Terrace.

Magnetic Wanding

Fans are encouraged to enter the stadium early, as magnetic wanding is part of the entry process for all patrons at all gates on game days for security measures. Upon entering the queue at the stadium gates, fans will be asked to empty their pockets prior to being wanded by a security guard. Cell phones, keys or other metal objects are examples of items that should be held in one’s hands over the head while being scanned.

Clear Bag Policy

A clear bag policy remains in place for Cardinal Stadium. Fans are encouraged not to bring any bags inside the stadium; however, each ticket holder is allowed one small clutch purse (no larger than 6.5 x 4.5 inches) and one large clear bag, either a one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag or a 12 x 6 x 12 inches clear tote bag. The policy, which includes all UofL athletics venues on campus, is similar to one instituted at all NFL and many collegiate venues in recent years, enhancing security procedures to ensure a safe environment.

Diaper bags (with child) are permitted and subject to a thorough security inspection. A clear bag is strongly recommended for bringing diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children. An exception will be made to allow medical items that cannot be transported in a clear bag into the venue. Medically necessary items or equipment may be brought to the game, but the bags or equipment must be inspected and tagged by security supervisors at the entry gates.

Fans will be asked to return non-approved bags or other items to their vehicle prior to stadium entry. There is no check-in location for prohibited bags at the stadium.

All media representatives with necessary bags and equipment must enter the stadium at Gate 7B to have each item inspected and tagged prior to entering the stadium.

Approved clear tote bags are available for purchase from Cardinal Authentic, the store located at Gate 2 of Cardinal Stadium at 2800 South Floyd Street. For additional inquiries on purchasing bags from Cardinal Authentic, call 502-852-3002. Fans are reminded that a standard, one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag is approved. Fans may also bring appropriately sized clear tote bags they have previously obtained at other venues.

No Tobacco Products

Fans are also advised that the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and vaping, is strictly prohibited in all UofL facilities, as well as within 50 feet of an exterior gate or entrance. There are no designated smoking areas within Cardinal Stadium and re-entry is prohibited. All UofL athletic facilities are part of the UofL tobacco-free campus.

Customer Relations

Patrons who need assistance before they enter the stadium can look for our new Customer Relations staff that will be located throughout the stadium parking lots. These staff members will be available to answer questions and relay information to the stadium command center on game days to help make everyone’s tailgating experience the best it can be. Customer Relations Booths can be found at Sections 108, 120, 132, 243 and on the UPS Flight Deck near the south elevators. Services offered at the Customer Relations booths include but are not limited to:• Providing general information assistance• Tag-A-Kid / At-Risk Adult ID Program• Lost and found• Guest feedback forms• Family / Assisted restroom entry codes• Purchase game day program• Curtained area for mothers to breast feed their children within Customer Relations Booths located at Sections 108, 120 and 132.

Post Game Taxi Stand:

UofL along with LMPD will work with both Yellow and Taxi 7 to provide a post-game taxi stand for fans to grab a ride home. Located on the east-bound lanes of Central Ave., fans can access the taxi stand by walking up the Central Ave stairs on the south side of Central Ave. after walking through the Card March tunnel. Taxis will begin staging approx. 30 minutes prior to the end of each game.

Uber / Lyft Drop-off & Pick-up Protocols:

Fans will be able to use both Uber and Lyft to come to and from games. A dedicated drop-off and pick-up location has been created on 3rd street at Jim Patterson Stadium. Access to this lot will be via 3rd street only from either Central Ave or University Blvd. to the Brook St. overpass.