Aug. 19, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - Help kick off the 2014 Northern Illinois University football season and kick up your Huskie spirit on Thursday, August 28th in "The Yard," the new official tailgate of NIU Athletics. Located on the west grass outside of Huskie Stadium, The Yard opens at 3:30 p.m., two-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff of the NIU Huskies' 2014 season opener versus Presbyterian with food, live music, games for the kids and on the giant screen television, Huskie celebrities and more.
The Yard is completely free to enter and open to fans of all ages. Prior to every home game this year, watch other games, the latest ESPN highlights and more on the giant video screen. Purchase reasonably-priced food items from one of the three food vendors. DeKalb favorite Lukulos will offer burgers, hot dogs and brats and their famous beer nuggets, or enjoy ribs or another house specialty from The Lodge on 64. Finally, Maple Park's excellent restaurant Acquaviva will have an Italian food offering.
Adults will want to stop by The Yard's beer garden, and enjoy a beverage while listening to live music. "Mighty WheelHouse" is the featured band prior to the game versus Presbyterian. Also in The Yard, check out the latest in NIU gear from the Village Commons Bookstore (VCB) and buy your copy of Huskie Illustrated, the official NIU Football game program. At 4:30 p.m., get fired up for the game when the NIU Cheerleaders, live mascot Mission, the Huskie Marching Band and NIU Silverettes come by for a pre-game mini-pep rally.
The Kids Zone in The Yard will feature different inflatable games and other activities. This week, kids are invited to try out the sign-making station. Take those signs into the stadium and get featured on the stadium scoreboard during the game! Or take the kids by the Huskie Athletics Team of the Week Tent to meet and interact with student-athletes from a different NIU team before every game.
Other areas inside The Yard include the Huskie Legends Tent, where past NIU greats will greet fans and where members of the Varsity Club (former student-athletes) are invited to stop by. This week's Huskie Legend is former NIU quarterback Bob Heimerdinger. The NIU Athletics tent will contain information about everything happening in The Yard, plus ticket information and more. The NIU Admission Office will also be set up in The Yard with staff, materials about the University and maybe even a giveaway, available for pick-up, or stop by the Corn Fest tent to get information about Downtown DeKalb's weekend celebration. In short, you never know who or what you will find in The Yard!
Huskie Athletic Fund donors at the $1,000 level and above are welcome inside the Champion's Club. Located inside The Yard, the Champion's Club will have a sports bar atmosphere with cable television and a full service bar provided by Fatty's. Acquaviva will have a wine-tasting station inside the Champion's Club, while the featured local restaurant for the Presbyterian game is Nat's on Maple from Sycamore. For information on the Champion's Club and the Huskie Athletic Fund, call 815-753-PACK (7225) or go online to www.commit2NIU.com.
In The Yard - NIU vs. Presbyterian
3:30 p.m. - The Yard opens with the band "Mighty WheelHouse"
3:30 p.m. - Champion's Club opens
4:30 p.m. - See the Huskie Marching Band and Silverettes, the NIU Cheerleaders and Mission
4:40 p.m. - Welcome from NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier
5:30 p.m. - Beer Garden closes
5:45 p.m. - The Yard closes (Get in the Stadium!)
6 p.m. - Kickoff: NIU versus Presbyterian
Season tickets for NIU home games, as well as single game tickets for each of the five Huskie home games, are on sale now through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office, online at NIUHuskies.com or by calling 815-753-PACK (7225) during regular business hours. Season tickets provide a substantial savings over single-game tickets and provide the same ticket location for every game.
Don't forget, the NIU-Presbyterian game is the Huskies' Corn Fest game and the team will wear special jerseys which are being auctioned off to benefit three local charitable groups. For more information on the Corn Fest jersey auction and to see an illustration of the jersey click here or bid on a jersey at www.cornfest.com between now and September 5th.
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