A strong slate of promotions, including the second-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue, is on tap for Illini fans to enjoy this weekend at Illinois Field.
April 26, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Less than a week remains until the second-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue presented by WDWS, WHMS and the News-Gazette on Friday, April 30, at Illinois Field. Only the first 6,000 fans will be granted admission to the festivities, so fans are encouraged to arrive early for the 6:05 p.m. game against Northwestern. Gates at the northwest and southwest corners of Illinois Field will be where fans can enter the ballpark, and they will open at 5 p.m.
"Last year, we broke both the single-game and series attendance records, and I believe we can do that again this year," Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb said. "I'm confident that our great fan base will respond to all of the activities we have planned for this weekend and will make it a special three days at Illinois Field."
Admission is free for all fans and the first 1,000 fans will be treated to free food. Kids will be able to play on the inflatable games and parking will be free on any of the lots surrounding Illinois Field with the exception of the grass lot north of the Atkins Tennis Center. In the event of wet weather this week, parking will be available in any of the Assembly Hall lots as well as the parking lots at the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building and Ubben Basketball Practice Facility after 5 p.m.
Since only the first 6,000 fans will be admitted to Friday's game, any fan not able to watch Friday's game will be given a ticket to Saturday's game. In addition, everyone admitted to the Bleacher Bum Barbecue also will receive a ticket to another game during the weekend.
First Federal Savings Bank will be providing T-shirts for the first 1,000 students and children, and Olympic medal-winning speed skater and Champaign native Katherine Reutter will throw out the honorary first pitch.
The Bleacher Bum Barbecue isn't the only promotion during this weekend's series against Northwestern, as all young baseball players who have participated in Fighting Illini Baseball Camps will gain free admission to Saturday's game at 3:05 p.m., and Sunday is Little League Day, where all current Little Leaguers can wear their uniform and receive free admission. Also on Sunday, MIX 94.5 morning show host Kevin Lambert and his son, Mitchell, will be throwing out the first pitch before the 3:05 p.m. start.
Fans should be advised that with Saturday's 3:05 p.m. start, traffic should mostly be restored to normal after the Illinois Marathon ends at 1:30 p.m. The only exception is that a stretch of Kirby Avenue from Oak Street to Fourth Street will be closed until later in the evening, meaning fans coming to Illinois Field on Saturday should use St. Mary's Road rather than Kirby Avenue.