We’re less than 48 hours from Football Time in the Bluegrass, which means you’re probably making your plans for Saturday’s season opener against Louisiana Lafayette. To help you enjoy the day in the most ridiculous manner possible, I put together this handy little guide, which includes a schedule, maps, and some DOs and DON’Ts. Go Cats.
DO arrive early
The game’s not until 7 p.m., but the parking lots open at 8 a.m. and there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout the day, all of which are much more fun than sitting in traffic. Speaking of, here’s the pregame traffic flow map:
Lexington Police will try their best to keep everything flowing smoothly, but I can guarantee you Nicholasville Road will still be a mess. That’s why you should arrive early, otherwise, by 5:30 p.m., you’re gonna be like this while all your friends are having fun:
DO pay attention to these parking maps
That’s right, there are three FREE PARKING GARAGES at the following locations:
- Parking Structure #2 — accessible from University Drive near the WT Young Library
- Parking Structure #3 — Kentucky Clinic parking off Virginia Avenue
- Parking Structure #6 — On the corner of Virginia Avenue and Press Avenue
Click on the map above for a better view.
DO pack a little extra money if you’re planning to take the shuttle
One of the best ways to get to the games the past few years was the LexTran shuttle from downtown. Unfortunately, LexTran no longer operates the shuttle, which used to cost $5. It’s now run by Miller Transportation, who is charging $15 for a roundtrip. For more information, visit millertransportation.com.
DON’T have a tailgate? DO make a friend
Parking passes are worth their weight in gold at Commonwealth Stadium, so if you’re not one of the lucky few hosting a tailgate, make a friend who is. We’re all Cats fans, especially if you bring a nice bottle of bourbon with you.
DO pace yourself
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. With highs expected to be in the 90’s, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to sneak some water in between all those light beers. Speaking of, if you love craft beer but don’t love the bloat/nap that comes with it after a few, try a session ale. My favorite is Founders All-Day IPA. As always, drink responsibly.
DO go to Matthew Mitchell/Sundy Best concert starting at 3 PM
Matthew Mitchell and the Go Big Blue Band will open for country duo Sundy Best at approximately 3 p.m. in the Glenn Infiniti of Lexington Green Lot adjacent to Gate 1. Sundy Best will take the stage at 4 p.m. and break for the Cat Walk at 4:45 p.m.
DO sing along to “Since U Been Gone”
I had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Mitchell at the KSR Party last Saturday, and after I got over my fangirling, I insisted he and his band play “Since U Been Gone.” Probably in an attempt to appease the pathetic fan girl in front of him, he agreed, so I’ll be on the front row singing along. You should be too.
DON’T storm the stage and tell everyone to go streaking
This goes along with pacing yourself.
DO listen to the KSR Pregame Show
Country music not your thing? Listen to the KSR Pregame Show starting at 3 p.m. on WLAP and all the UK Radio Network affiliates. Matt, Ryan, Jared, and Drew will be making the rounds at Commonwealth Stadium to bring you the sights and sounds from opening day.
DO invite the guys to your tailgate if you’re having one
Food and cold beverages are always appreciated.
DON’T invite Kentucky Joe
Although he’ll probably already be there anyways.
DO cheer for Auburn
Because they’re playing Louisville at 3:30 p.m. and a Cardinal loss would make a great day even better.
DON’T be late to the Cat Walk
It starts at 4:45 p.m. outside Gate 1. Here’s a map:
If you’re lost, just look for Boom Williams’ dad. He’ll get you there:
DO go to the Nutter Field House to watch Freddie Maggard and Christi Thomas on “Cat Talk to the Cat Walk”
Our own Freddie Maggard has a new 30-minute show with Christi Thomas entitled “Cat Talk to the Cat Walk” immediately following the KSR Pregame Show. The show, part of UK’s “Countdown to Kickoff,” will be broadcast outside of the Nutter Fieldhouse. Come check it out in person, or if you’re at home, listen on the radio or watch the live video stream on UKAthletics.com.
DO acquaint yourself with the new Stadium Map
Which gate should you go in? Check the back of your ticket.
DON’T bring that big bag
Guests are allowed one bag no larger than 13.5â€³ x 10â€³ x 7â€³ and they must fit within the sizing bins at each entrance. Here’s a handy guide from UK Athletics:
Leave the L.L. Bean backpack at home for this one.
DO expect slightly better cell service
There may not be free wifi at the stadium yet, but Mitch Barnhart said fans can expect better cell service if they have AT&T or Verizon.
DON’T nitpick over the stuff that may not be finished
Construction crews and volunteers have been working around the clock to make sure everything is finished or as closed to finished as it can be for Saturday. This morning, Mitch Barnhart said there will be a few things left to do, but odds are, you won’t even notice them unless you’re in the suite level. Besides, this is a football game, not HGTV. Chill.
DO marvel at the transformation
I love Commonwealth Stadium, but I think we can all agree it hasn’t exactly been the coolest stadium in the SEC, unless you’re really into plain concrete. Now, Kentucky football finally has a stadium fans can be proud of, and all season, TV commentators and visiting fans will be buzzing about it. Enjoy it.
DO pat Mitch Barnhart on the back if you see him
He deserves it.