The University of Kentucky announced new efforts Friday to upgrade the game-day experience for football fans, including a new menu of concession foods, additional bench-back seating, a new-look Cat Walk and updated ribbon board displays.
Kentucky kicks off its seven-game home schedule on Sept. 3 with a 7:30 p.m. game against Southern Mississippi.
Several new food items were taste-tested at season-ticket holder open house events this summer and will be available at select concession stands, including Bourbon Ice Cream, Hot Brown Nachos, Pork Chop Sandwich, Pulled Pork Nachos, Chicken & Waffle Cone, Twisted Tator, Beef and Cheddar Croissant, Cat Tail (Sausage/Donut) and Hot Chicken Sandwich.
Fans will also find that the entire lower level of Commonwealth Stadium now features either chair-back or bench-back seats, with the exception of the student section in the east end zone.
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The Cat Walk, during which fans cheer on players upon their arrival at the stadium, will still begin outside Gate 1 two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff, but the team will proceed past Gate 1 and between Commonwealth Stadium and Nutter Field House and to the locker room in the new Kentucky Football Training Facility. UK expects the new Cat Walk route to be more engaging and intimate and encourages fans to line up between Gate 1 and Commonwealth Stadium.
After the Cat Walk, fans will have a second chance to cheer their team before the game. Beginning 75 minutes before kickoff and in groups for approximately 30 minutes, the Wildcats will make their way from the training facility and through the plaza to enter the stadium through Gate 12.
Back inside the stadium, the ribbon boards will offer expanded team and player statistics throughout the game. Previously, these stats were shown only during timeouts.
Additional activities and features UK revealed Friday include:
▪ The continuation of last year’s pregame concerts at selected games this season. Concerts will move to a new stage outside Gate 12.
▪ The new Coca-Cola Fan Zone inside Nutter Field House will include activities such as inflatables, mascot appearances and autograph sessions.
▪ The previously announced 1865 Club will allow fans to tailgate in private chalets that may be rented by the game or for a full season.
▪ Additional concession options include Papa John’s pizza, Dippin’ Dots and Frito Lay Top N’ Go Walking Tacos. UK will announce more details about pricing and locations at a later date.
▪ Complimentary water will be available at all concession stands.
▪ The concourses will include new interactive areas, allowing fans to pose for pictures next to specially designed graphics. Season ticket holders who renewed for the 2016 season will be honored on the Wall of Commitment.