Football game day experience changes coming for 2019 season
Notable changes are coming to the Central Michigan football game day experience for the 2019 season, including a live DJ in the student section at the 50-yard line.
The Chippewas open the season Aug. 29 against Albany at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, where the revamped attractions from CMU Athletics will be on display.
In Jim McElwain's first year, CMU plays six home games: Albany (Aug. 29), Akron (Sept. 14), Eastern Michigan (Oct. 5), New Mexico State (Oct. 12), Northern Illinois (Nov. 2) and Toledo (Nov. 29).
When these teams come to Mount Pleasant, the spot those squads occupy won't be the same as in the past.
Due to the construction of the Chippewa Champions Center, the CMU bench will be located on the west side (press box) of the stadium, and the visitors are moving to the east side.
Just because the benches are switching sides doesn't mean the same for the student section and Marching Chips. Those groups will remain on the east side, sitting directly behind the opposing bench.
The new DJ in the student section is expected to provide a mix of classic and current music along with creating a product that will "continue to feature" the Marching Chips, according to CMU Athletics.
Here are other notable changes:
The most visible change at Kelly/Shorts comes to the scoreboard at the south end of the stadium. Installed this summer was a videoboard with Daktronics 13HD and 1,691,872 pixels and an audio system with 16 speakers. The board is 32 feet tall and 100 feet wide.
The Fabiano Brothers Tailgate Village has moved to the south end of The Island, and it will feature the U.S. Army concert series and the Soaring Eagle Club. The U.S. Army concert series features Jedi Mind Trip (Aug. 29, Oct. 5), Douglas James Band (Sept. 14) and PaddleBots (Oct. 12). The live music plays three hours prior to kickoff and is free to all fans.
New to the northwest area of the stadium is the CMU Family Zone, a spot that opens 90 minutes before the game begins and remains throughout the contest. There will be kid-friendly activities, concessions and special guests with many surprises. The CMU Family Zone is free and open to all fans.
There is also a Student VIP Zone being added, which gives students an opportunity to watch the game from a tent located above the east stands with food, drinks and games provided.
Touchdown Terrace has been removed and will not be relocated because of the ongoing construction.