Illinois will kick off its home season this Friday, March 22, when it opens Big Ten play against Nebraska.
March 20, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced an exciting slate of marketing promotions for the 2013 home season at Illinois Field. The fifth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue (April 14), Honor and Serve Day (April 28) and birthday party opportunities at every game highlight the list of Fighting Illini baseball promotions. Admission and parking are free for all regular season home games.
The fifth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue presented by FOX 55/27, the premier promotion for Fighting Illini baseball, will be held Sunday, April 14, when Illinois hosts Purdue at 2:05 p.m. at Illinois Field. The event has quickly become successful, as the previous four editions have drawn an average crowd of 3,134 fans to Illinois Field, including an all-time high of 5,214 in 2009. This year's event will feature free food for the first 700 people along with face painting and balloon animals. More details will be released in the coming weeks.
For the second 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 Sunday, April 28, when Illinois hosts Northwestern at 1:05 p.m. Full details and this year's commemorative jerseys will be unveiled next month.
Fighting Illini Kids Club members also are able to celebrate their birthday at any home game this season. The party deal includes hot dogs, sodas, bags of Cracker Jack and scorecards along with personalized cupcakes, Illinois pennants, reserved seating, a birthday card signed by the team, a birthday message on the scoreboard and the chance to throw out the first pitch. 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.
Other promotions scheduled for this year include Student-Athlete Day (April 9), Little League Night (April 12), Kids Club Day (April 13), Camper Reunion Day (April 27) and Bark in the Park (May 11). Easter weekend (March 29-31) will feature Fish Fry Friday, an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday and special appearances by the Easter Bunny. 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 Two-for-Tuesday (buy one hot dog or brat and get one free), Five Dollar Friday (hot dog, chips and drink for $5), $1 frozen chills on Saturdays and $2 nachos on Sundays. The 2013 Illinois Baseball Record Book and game programs with scorecards also will be on sale at the concession stand at every game.
The 18-game home schedule features five weekend series, including four against Big Ten foes, and three Tuesday games against in-state opponents. Illinois will host its Big Ten and home-opening series against Nebraska this weekend from March 22-24. The Illini and Cornhuskers will play at 4:05 p.m. on Friday, 3:05 p.m. on Saturday and 12:05 p.m. on Sunday.