Saturday marks the opening of college football season with two games being played separately in Charlotte (more on that in a moment) and one of those games is the Dukes Mayo Classic.
In the ultimate pregame maneuver, ESPN’s early morning College GameDay has chosen to broadcast from Uptown in advance of the Gamecocks playing the Tarheels at 7:30pm at Bank of America Stadium.
First airing in 1987, College GameDay airs every Saturday morning at 10am (an unofficial version of it starts at 9am as a bonus hour) featuring a marquee matchup of college football teams, predictions, celebrity guests and a remarkable turnout of sign-wielding, face-painted fans.
More than that, GameDay rotates its broadcast across campuses each weekend based on the most notable matchups.
And this weekend, that’s us!
I’ve compiled some tips to check out the set and maybe even make it on tv.
1.) Be Prepared – Take all your game day essentials whether it’s weather-related gear, snacks, parking plans, etc.
2.) Be Patient – Roads will be closed, traffic could be directed and there will likely be a line to get in. Security checks are a possibilty as homemade signs need to be approved. You could be there for hours, especially if it behooves you to get there super early to secure your spot.
3.) Speaking of… Go Early – If you want a good spot, be sure to go early. Pros recommend getting there no later than 5am to get in “the pit”.
4.) Treat College GameDay Like An Actual Game Day – Can’t hurt to get ready the night before. Go to bed early to be well-rested, hydrate and maybe put the things you need out ahead of time on Friday.
5.) Go All Out – It’s a special occasion so treat it like one! Make a sign, be creative when you do, wear school colors and get loud. The cameras love an enthusiastic fan.
6.) But Know The Rules – No vulgar signs or face-painting allowed so please be both mindful and respectful. Bags and food aren’t allowed if you’re going go get into the pit, the en masse area for fans to make it on television.
7.) Take Some Friends – It’s not a requirement and going stag is absolutely acceptable but anecdotally people seem to enjoy taking the squad with them for a memorable time.
Lastly, make the experience yours. Even if you’re not into the full-on commitment, maybe go for a run, take a bike ride or stroll past the setup while they’re filming between 9am and noon. They’ve never broadcast from here before and it’s an awesome thing to behold.
As mentioned above, the Dukes Mayo Classic has tickets available on StubHub for about $100. But! It’s literally not the only game in town.
Charlotte opens at-home to South Carolina State at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Those tickets start at $25 on the university’s website.
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