World's Largest Softball Tailgate XI Set for April 5

Enter the Opening Act contest for your chance to play at World's Largest Softball Tailgate XI!!
Enter the Opening Act contest for your chance to play at World's Largest Softball Tailgate XI!!

March 6, 2014

Urbana, Ill. - Illinois softball is pleased to announce the promotional schedule for 2014, including the 11th-Annual World's Largest Softball Tailgate to be held on April 5. The Illinois marketing staff have some new events planned for every game, as well as several special days at the ballpark.

Every Illinois game at Eichelberger Field this season will feature a Kid Captain, as well as an opportunity to play Illini softball Bingo. Kid Captains will receive a Fighting Illini T-shirt, have the chance to throw out the first pitch, will stand with the team for the National Anthem and be announced during the game. Anyone eighth grade or younger may sign up for the chance to become a Kid Captain by filling out the form found here. Winners will be notified via email one week before their selected game.

Softball Bingo, sponsored by Olive Garden, will be available at every Illini game, and all participants will receive an Olive Garden coupon. All players will receive a bingo card featuring different in-game plays that the Illini could achieve throughout the game, such as a triple, a stolen base, or a double play. There will be three opportunities to win each game, with winners receiving a free dinner courtesy of Olive Garden.  

The Illini home opener is scheduled for Friday, March 14, at 5 p.m. against 2013 Summit League Champion North Dakota State in the night cap of the first day of the Second-Annual Fighting Illini Classic.

Illinois opens Big Ten play at home against Iowa on Friday, March 21. The first 100 fans will get free Illinois cups, which will be filled for free with the soft drink of their choice at the concession stand.

Kids Take Over the Ballpark returns for its second season on Saturday, March 22, against Iowa. This special promotion allows fans the unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at Eichelberger Field to help out with ballpark operations, such as playing music, serving as the P.A. announcer, operating the scoreboard, running promotions, serving as a bat kid, and more. That Saturday will also feature a free post-game youth clinic. The deadline to register for Kids Take Over the Ballpark is March 19. Pre-registration for the youth clinic is strongly encouraged, but kids may also sign up at the game. Click here to register for either event.

The 11th-Annual World's Largest Softball Tailgate will be held on Saturday, April 5, prior to the Illini's game against nationally-ranked Nebraska. Fans should be ready to start their tailgates at 10 a.m., with the Illini taking on the Cornhuskers at 1 p.m. There will be a live band beginning at 11 a.m.

In addition to live music, the tailgate will feature inflatables, kid activities, and a jersey sale featuring Illini softball jerseys from every season of Illinois softball dating back to the inaugural season in 2000.

Sunday, April 6, will be Girl Scout Day. All troops will receive a free team poster, an Illinois Softball patch and the opportunity to run the bases after the game. Click here to register.

Team Night is scheduled for Friday, April 25, against Michigan. All teams will get a tour of the clubhouse, a Q&A session with Coach Sullivan, and the team that brings the most members, family and friends will get to play a softball game against the Fighting Illini! Click here to register your team.

Saturday, April 26, is Alumni Day. Don't miss your chance to see your favorite Fighting Illini of the past back at Eichelberger Field, and this will be your last chance to purchase jerseys from past seasons of Illinois softball.

The home regular season concludes on Sunday, April 27, with Senior Day against nationally-ranked Michigan. Help honor and say goodbye to Illini seniors Alex Booker and Jenna Mychko, who have contributed tremendously throughout their four years in Champaign-Urbana.

All dates, times and promotions are subject to change. For the complete schedule of promotions, along with all registration forms, click here.  For questions regarding promotional events, contact Stacy Dally at (217) 300-8135 or via email at