DAVIS, Calif. – UC Davis football gamedays will get a fresh, new look this fall with addition of several features, including the "Kickoff Street Party," upgraded concession offerings, a new outside food policy and a return to a postgame tradition for fans, thanks to changes announced by Director of Athletics Kevin Blue.
Blue announced the changes exclusively to season ticket holders on Friday evening at Aggie Stadium during their ticket pickup event. Many of the upgrades came from fans through a survey conducted after last season.
“Our staff has been thorough in evaluating the Aggie Stadium experience from recent seasons and listening to feedback from fans, while also applying our own expertise in an effort to create an optimally welcoming spectator environment,“ Blue said. “We appreciate the commitment of time and energy that Aggie supporters make each Saturday and we want to ensure that attending our football games is maximally enjoyable."
The changes will take effect, beginning with the home opener on Sept. 10 against Southern Oregon.
KICKOFF STREET PARTY
UC Davis Athletics will be hosting a street party before each game along La Rue Road in front of the main entrance to Aggie Stadium. Food and beverage options, music, children's activities and several other offerings will fill the westbound side of the road adjacent to the Aggie tailgate area.
"We want to give fans a chance to come out with their friends, enjoy a festive pregame atmosphere and get ready for the game in a new way," Blue said. "We expect the Kickoff Party Zone to continue to grow throughout the season."
The road will be closed to traffic in both directions beginning at the corner of Hutchison Blvd. and La Rue Road to Garrod Drive.
An expanded menu and new food trucks highlight concession changes for the upcoming season. Besides traditional stadium fare such as hot dogs, nachos and popcorn, several recent and new additions to the menu will include brisket dogs, gyros, Philly steaks, burritos, salads, veggie wraps and chili.
Additionally, $5 and $8 meal combos will be offered for both children and adults. Signage will direct fans to different parts of the stadium so that they can find their favorite items. Specialized coffees and smoothies, as well as desserts and ice cream sandwiches, will also be available throughout the game.
OUTSIDE FOOD POLICY
A new outside food policy is being implemented which allows fans to bring in light snacks or modest amounts of food for personal consumption.
Aggie Stadium has long been a national leader in being a zero-waste facility and fans are encouraged to bring their food in reusable containers that they take home with them. They are also being asked to remove any trash when they leave the stadium as well.
From a beverage perspective, sealed water bottles will continue to be allowed.
"We received a lot of input from fans regarding the issue of bringing in food. We think we've established a policy that enables increased flexibility for individuals and families who wish to bring in food of their choosing while also remaining committed to our zero-waste goal at Aggie Stadium," said Blue.
POSTGAME ON-FIELD ACCESS
Joining the players and coaches on the turf after games at Toomey Field was a proud Aggie tradition and it returns in 2016 at Aggie Stadium. Starting with the "Throwback Game" on Sept. 10, fans will be allowed onto Jim Sochor Field at Aggie Stadium following the end of each game.
"Interacting with our student-athletes and coaches is a great experience for our supporters," said Blue. "In particular, we hope that many young fans will take advantage of the opportunity to come down on the field and meet the great scholar-athlete role models on our team that represent UC Davis."
There are four primary access points onto the field and fans will be directed to the nearest one during postgame festivities.
Blue said season ticket holders were excited to hear about the changes to the UC Davis football gameday experience. He hopes to see the experience grow even stronger as more fans engage with the home games.
"The most important thing we could do for our fans is listen," he said. "Our staff incorporated helpful fan feedback into these new policies. We look forward to making them part of new Aggie traditions."