Promotion Details Announced for 2014 Home Baseball Season
March 17, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced a full slate of marketing promotions for the 2014 home season at Illinois Field. The sixth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue (April 27), Honor and Serve Day (May 3) and Kid Captain and birthday party opportunities at every game highlight the list of Fighting Illini baseball promotions.
Baseball Bingo presented by Olive Garden also will be available at every game. Each fan that participates will receive a $5 off coupon, and the winner of baseball bingo will receive a free appetizer or menu item from Olive Garden. Baseball cards will be given away at the final three Big Ten series, and select players will sign autographs after every Friday home game.
The sixth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue presented by WCIA, the premier promotion for Fighting Illini baseball, will be held Sunday, April 27, when Illinois hosts Indiana at 1 p.m. at Illinois Field. The event has quickly become successful, as the previous five editions have drawn an average crowd of 3,022 fans to Illinois Field, including an all-time high of 5,214 in 2009. This year's event will feature free BBQ for the first 500 people, courtesy of Hickory River, along with interactive activities. More details will be released in the coming weeks.
For the third year in a row, the Illini will wear special commemorative jerseys as part of Honor and Serve Day at Illinois Field. The event, which is designed to honor University of Illinois student veterans and all of America's military heroes along with serving the Champaign-Urbana community, will be held on Saturday, May 3, when Illinois hosts Michigan State at 1 p.m. Local little league teams are also invited to the game as part of Little League Day. Full details and this year's commemorative jerseys will be unveiled next month.
Kids also are able to celebrate their birthday at any home game this season. The party deal includes hot dogs, sodas and popcorn along with personalized cupcakes, Illinois pennants, reserved seating, a birthday card signed by the team and a birthday message on the scoreboard. To reserve a birthday party, fans can fill out this order form and return it to the Illinois Marketing Office with payment at least one week before the selected home game.
Members of the Fighting Illini Kids Club also can enter to be a Kid Captain at a home game. Each Kid Captain will receive a Fighting Illini T-shirt, get to play catch on the field before the game and get announced with the starting lineup. Kid Captains must be eighth grade or younger and winners will be notified via email one week before their selected game.
Spring Cleaning Day (April 26) will feature several unique giveaways, as the marketing department will clean out the marketing closet and give out Illinois memorabilia from years past. Other promotions scheduled for this year include Super Hero Day (March 30), As Seen on TV Day (April 11), Country Day (April 12), Kids Club Day (April 13), Earth Day (April 22), Faculty/Staff Night (April 25), RST Day (May 2) and Senior Day (May 4). Complete details on each event can be found on the Illinois Marketing and Promotions Schedule.
Special concession stand deals will be offered throughout the season, such as Thirsty Tuesday (half-price sodas), Family Fridays (hot dog, chips and drink for $6), $1 frozen chills on Saturdays and $2 nachos on Sundays. The 2014 Illinois Baseball Record Book and game programs with scorecards also will be on sale at the concession stand at every game.
The 20-game home schedule features five weekend series, including four against Big Ten foes, and four midweek games. Illinois will play its home opener on Tuesday, March 18, at 3 p.m. against Indiana State. Following a schedule change, the first weekend of home baseball at Illinois Field on March 21-23 will now feature four games against Xavier. The Illini will play one game on Friday, March 21, starting at 4 p.m., a doubleheader on Saturday, March 22, beginning at noon and a single game on Sunday, March 23, starting at noon. Admission and parking is free for all home games.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also announced parking changes to begin the year. The grass parking lots surrounding Illinois Field will be closed for the start of the 2014 season due to effects of the winter weather. Fans attending games at Illinois Field should park in either the Northeast State Farm Center quadrant or the parking lot at the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building (weekend only) with entrance off Fourth Street.