Going to UL Games This Fall? Here are Changes You Need to Be Aware Of
The season opener for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns is less than three weeks away. That's right, college football is almost here. If you're planning to head to Cajun Field this year, you're going to notice some things are different.
Associate Athletic Director John Dugas visited ESPN1420 Monday afternoon to go over some of the things that are changing at Cajun Field
The biggest change, obviously, is the bowling in of the south end zone with nearly six thousand new seats. This will raise the Cajun Field seating capacity to nearly 37,000 seats. The grassy area in the north end zone remains the same...for now. That grassy area (which will be full the first couple of games) will increase stadium capacity to about 42,000 per the Fire Marshall. Season tickets in the south end zone are on sale now.
If you're in the South End Zone, you'll get a great view of the new video board in the north end zone. UL has partnered with Daktronics to have an HD video board that measures 30X54'. Replays will be sharper and clearer than ever before (and bigger, too.) and, of course, always, pertinent information such as score, time, down and distance,etc, will be displayed as well.
The top of the south end zone seating has new buildings which will surely help the comfort of the fans. Brand new restroom facilities are in the building. The number of restrooms, cleanliness and convenience should make game day much more comfortable. In addition, a new concession area in the south end and other adjustments will give the fans sixteen new points of sale with expanded menus as well.
The band has moved. With the new seating, the Pride of Acadiana (at their request,) has moved over a couple of sections and will now be located in the southeast corner of Cajun Field. By angling the band in that corner, fans throughout the stadium will be able to hear the band. In the past. those on the east side were pretty much out of luck. Not any more.
That means student seating (called "The Red Zone" has been moved over a couple of sections as well. This means that they'll still be located on the East side, but closer to the South End.
This means some brand new prime, 50-yard line seats are available for sale. Those season tickets are available for purchase and, if not sold out, will be available for individual games as well. Chairbacks are being installed for all season tickets sold.
If you're an AT&T customer, you know the frustration of trying to call or text someone on game day at Cajun Field. Good news for you. UL has partnered with AT&T to have another cell tower at the stadium. That should make communication much easier for fans, especially if they have an issue at the stadium. That new tower will surely get a test at the first home game when a record crowd is expected.
Whether you are a season ticket holder, RCAF member or just a fan, there are changes this year which will affect everyone. With season tickets and RCAF memberships at an all time high, as well as the demand for tailgating and RV spots, the administration has been forced to do things differently.
First of all, there will be NO GENERAL ADMISSION PARKING AT CAJUN FIELD. Period. If you do not have a parking pass (which means you have at least a $250.00 RCAF membership), you'll be parking behind the Hilton Garden Inn. The good news is they've made lots of improvements to that area which will make that prime parking area accessible, even if it rains. (Now, here's a hint. If you go down Eraste Landry and then take one of the side roads near Cajundome Boulevard, you'll probably get into that parking area faster than going up or down Congress. Try it, and thank us later.)
The CAJUNDOME will not be available for parking if there are events going on in that facility that weekend. And, for game one, parking there isn't an option. Our guests from Southern are renting that parking lot for their RV's making the trip and their season ticket holders. If you were at the game in 2009, you know Jaguar Nation travels and travels in big numbers. They are being accommodated.
There is a new area for RV Parking. It's the north end zone. New electrical has been installed to accommodate 81 RV spots on the north end of the stadium, which was previously general parking. The area where RV's used to be located is, for now, a parking lot for employees. And, remember, it won't be long before construction begins at the track/soccer facility.
With all the RV's moving, there's a new route for the Cajun Walk. The walk will now be down the street on the west side, parallel to Cajun Field. It should still start at the same time (2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff). But fans will now be lining the street between Cajun Field and Bertrand Drive to greet the team as they head from the buses to the locker room.
As far as construction goes, right now the message is, pardon our progress. It's still a muddy mess on the south end near the oak tree. That's because construction will be starting soon on the new Athletic Performance Center, a seventeen million dollar facility. Before construction can begin, however, all of the underground electrical needs to be installed. They're almost done, but fans should be forewarned, it's not as aesthetically beautiful or convenient as fans are used to. Those who tailgate in that area will still have a place to tailgate, but it may be, for the time being, on limestone rather than grass. Like we said...pardon our progress.
OK, speaking of tailgating. There are a few changes there, too. If you have a tailgating spot, well, first of all, congratulations. Counting the RV's there are about 400 of those spots available. The waiting list is right at 100 or more. So, good for you. But there are changes in the rules for tailgaters. After much conversation, it's been decided that those people with tailgating passes (TG) will be allowed to park their vehicles at their tailgating spot PROVIDED a) their vehicle fits totally within their tailgate spot AND the vehicle enters the tailgate area prior to the closing of Reinhardt Drive which is now SIX HOURS before kickoff. That time could be modified later if there is inclement weather and crowds are expected to be smaller, but plan on the six hour rule being in effect. That means for most home games, your vehicle needs to be in your tailgating area by 12 noon.
If you are going to park your vehicle outside your spot, make sure you have the proper pass. You will NOT be allowed to park in the gravel area (D Lot) with a TG Parking pass. You MUST have an RCAF pass (A,B,C or D) to park your car somewhere other than your spot.
Why is that? Well, here's some good news. Because the number of big donors has increased, the A and B lots have had to be expanded. That moves the C lot back a bit and reduces the number of parking spots available on the gravel, or D lot. There simply aren't enough spaces to take care of RCAF parking AND tailgate passes.
It is also recommended if you erect a tent at your spot, you take care of that on Friday. The tailgate area is available for setting up tents, etc., anytime after 2pm on Friday. It's just a whole lot easier that way. And, if you need to bring your vehicle from the RCAF lot to your tailgating spot AFTER the game to load up things, be prepared to wait until about 30 minutes after the game ends to be allowed to do so.
If you're one of those who are waiting for a tailgate spot, or, you can't make every game but want to tailgate when you do go, there's good news for you. There will be a limited number of tailgating spots and RV hookups at Blackham Coliseum. They will be available on a first come, first served basis beginning at 7am on game day. Those spots will be $125.00 for tailgating, $175 for RV's.