AUSTIN (KXAN) — UT football is back, and with it comes some changes to the game-day experience at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
KXAN’s Tom Miller spoke with UT Executive Senior Assistant Athletics Director Drew Martin about what will be different for fans as they take in the first game of the season.
Read a full transcription of the discussion below or use the video player above.
TOM: Game Day is upon us, and there’s gonna be some new experiences for fans coming out to DKR [Texas-Memorial Stadium] tell us what they can expect.
DREW: Absolutely. We’ve got Bevo Boulevard and Smokies Midway is back. We’ve got new games and new rides on Smokey’s Midway. We have new food trucks and Hook ‘Em hanging out with our big giant beer hall. And then Longhorns City Limits, that’s gonna be kicking off at 11:30. At 12:30, our headliner Pat Green comes on. So, you’re gonna want to be at Longhorn City Limits presented by Still Austin Whiskey for that.
TOM: And it sounds like inside the stadium, the band’s going to be doing some new things. The lights are different.
DREW: We’ve installed a brand-new lighting system. It’s fantastic. You can see it working right now. The guys are working really, really hard to put on a heck of a light show, particularly for our night games you may not see much at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, but I guarantee you that throughout the season, we get night games… you’ll see it. Then [the] Longhorn Band, they’ve worked so hard all summer long and a brand new pregame show that’s all about the great state of Texas, you’re really going to want to be in here. As a matter of fact, they’re joining one of our parades you know, we do three parades before each game. You’ve got Bevo coming in on his parade on Bevo Boulevard three hours out. You’ve got the team doing their stampede, at two hours out. And then the band is starting a brand-new parade they’re going to go down into the stadium on Bevo Boulevard, down Smokey’s Midway, they’re going to be coming in at one hour out.
TOM: And it’s going to be hot, no denying that, possibly more than 100 degrees. How do you prepare for that?
DREW: It’s going to be hot, and we’re just encouraging our fans over and over and over to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, particularly on Friday. You cannot start on Saturday and fill up an empty tank before game time, so hydrate all day Friday and make sure to hydrate Saturday. You can bring in up to one-liter sealed bottle of water with you. And then we’ve got 16 water monsters which are massive water distributions for free. So, drink that first bottle of water. Go back and keep filling it up. Keep filling up, keep filling up. If you just like to buy water at the games, we’ve dropped the prices to $3 for tomorrow. There are over half a million bottles of water in DKR. Right now. Ready for tomorrow. Make sure you hydrate.
TOM: And for the students who want to go to the game they have the big-ticket option which will get them into all the games. Can you explain that? And why you want to go to these games?
DREW: Absolutely. Well, it’s part of the student experience if you’re a student at any college, but particularly the University of Texas at Austin, buy that big ticket, it gets you into all of our events space available at some of them, we got some smaller capacities other places, but definitely buy that big-ticket is $200. Then for football games, you pull a ticket. We started out on Tuesday, our first-ever real ticket claim here. Continue through Wednesday. You got to claim the ticket to come to the game, don’t show up without a ticket. But when you claim that ticket, you also have to use it. So what’s new this year is if you claim a ticket, you can return it if for whatever reason on Friday, you can’t come to the game… you’re not feeling well, you suddenly have plans, mom/dad called you home for the weekend. You’ve got to return the ticket because if you get two strikes for claiming a ticket and not using a ticket that means one other of your fellow student members can’t go in. We’re gonna ding you on that. You’re not going to be able to get another football ticket if you have two strikes.