University of Illinois

TAILGATING & PRE-GAME ACTIVITIES

Aside from finding the perfect place to park, you need to be prepared with all of the up to date tailgating rules, traditions, and, of course, food and drink! Tailgating at the University of Illinois is roomy, laid back, and gives the feeling of being at a big, back yard pig roast; people bring in bails of hay to sit on around the firepit, while pigs and other meats roast in giant smokers. Tailgating is permitted on all campus parking lots.

CAMPUS TAILGATING RULES
WHERE TO BUY FOOD FOR YOUR TAILGATE
ORGANIZED TAILGATES & PRE-GAME ACTIVITIES
SUMMARIZED PRE-KICKOFF SCHEDULE

 

TAILGATING RULES:

  • Tailgating is allowed on all campus football game day parking lots.
  • Personal tailgating tents and awnings must be 10’x 10’ or smaller, and must fit within the boundary of one designated parking space.
  • No saving parking spaces.
  • Designated hot charcoal disposal is provided in all lots.
  • No open fires (covered fire pits are allowed).
  • No political banners.
  • No inflatables.

 

WHERE TO BUY FOOD FOR YOUR TAILGATE

Champaign County Markets
331 Stoughton Street, Champaign, IL 61820; (217) 352-4123
2901 West Kirby Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821; (217) 351-8600
1914 Glenn Park Drive, Champaign, IL 61821; (217) 356-8242
All locations open 24 hours.
A full service grocery store with an elaborate deli, bakery and prepared foods department. Party trays can be ordered in advance.

World Harvest Foods
519 East University Avenue

Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 356-4444
Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 10am-6pm

International cheeses, meats, olives, chocolates and snacks. Middle Eastern menu of sandwiches, salads, platters and desserts that can all be ordered ahead of time through their catering department.

Wal-Mart Supercenter
2610 N. Prospect Avenue
Champaign, IL 61822
(217) 352-0700
Open 24 hours.

Hickory River Smokehouse
1706 N. Cunningham Avenue
Urbana, IL
61802
(217)337-1656
Mon-Sat, 10:30am-9pm; Sun, 11am-8pm
Catered BBQ Ribs, pulled pork, brisket, turkey, chicken, ham and side dishes, or if you have a big group, go for the whole hog roast.

The Black Dog Smoke and Ale House
201 North Broadway Avenue
Urbana, IL
61802
(217) 344-9334

Mon -Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm (bar stays open later) ; Sun, 11am-9pm
Not only do they smoke the typical beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs, they also create other specialties such as Seafood Gumbo, Santa Fe Smoked Chicken Soup, Smoked Catfish Tacos and a smoked chorizo sausage sandwich.

Market at the Square
Outdoors on the corner of Illinois & Vine Streets in Downtown Urbana
Sat, 7am-12pm May-Nov.
Since 1979, vendors have been coming from all over the state to sell their Illinois grown produce, dairy products, meats, baked goods and plants. Local musicians perform, there are hands-on arts activities for the kids, and local craftsmen also sell jewelry, art and handmade clothing.

Papa Del’s
206 E Green St
Champaign, IL61820
(217) 359-7700
Mon-Thurs, 10:30am -11pm; Fri- Sat, 10:30am-12am; Sun, 11am-11pm
Hot and cold subs, as well as thin crust or deep dish pizzas. Place an order for pick-up or delivery.

DP Dough
33 E Green Street
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 365 9663
Mon-Wed, 11am-2am; Thurs-Fri: 11am-3am; Sat, 11am-3am; Sun, 11am-1am
Calzones are great for an easy tailgate entrée. There are dozens of combos to choose from, including meats, cheeses, veggies and breakfast calzones. Place your order online.

Old Time Meat and Deli
2018 South Neil St.
Champaign, IL 61820
217-355-0000
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm
Call ahead for all kinds of meat and cheese deli trays or sandwich platters.

 

ORGANIZED TAILGATES & PRE-GAME ACTIVITIES

Illini Walk
Two and a half hours before kick-off, Illinois players and coaches, along with the cheerleaders and the Orange and Blue group of the Marching Illini, walk from the corner of First Street and Kirby Avenue to the football complex along Irwin Drive (north side of Memorial Stadium) as fans greet them.

Illini Street Fest
The Illini Walk kicks-off the Illini Street Fest two and a half hours before kick-off on First Street between Kirby Avenue and Irwin Drive. Street Fest is free and open to the public, and features a performance by the Marching Illini and Cheerleaders, a free concert by a different band each week, as well as fun for the kids such as inflatable games, a mini golf course and face painting. Food and beverages are for sale by various vendors.

 Marching Illini Public Warm-Ups
Approximately two hours before kick-off, the Marching Illini gather outside of the south end of Memorial Stadium to warm-up their chops and get themselves in the mindset for their pre-game performance. Each section warms-up individually. The Marching Illini Drumline makes a particularly impressive show of their skills during this time as they perform their whole cadence series for the fans.


 

 

SUMMARIZED PRE-KICKOFF SCHEDULE

  • 7am: Day-of-game campus parking lots open. See here for parking info.
  • 2 hours & 15 minutes before kickoff: Illini Walk, when Cheerleaders and Team walk from First Street to the football complex along Irwin Drive (north side of Memorial Stadium).
  • 2 hours before kickoff: Marching Illini pre-game public warm-ups outside south end of Memorial Stadium.
  • 1.5 hours before kickoff: Memorial Stadium gates open.