NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — When you hop on the bus from College Avenue for tonight's Rutgers University football game, you'll also be en route to a new experience.
The Scarlet Knights have upped their game for gameday this year, bringing new activities, concessions and more to fans, according to the Athletics Department. Among the improvements are a practice complex, app, grub (including a waffle cone filled with ice cream and apple pie) and a kids' zone.
“Located in the largest market in the country, our fans have plenty of options,” Rick Thorpe, senior associate athletics director for communications, said in a statement. “We want to show them our appreciation for choosing Rutgers football and always work to make their experience a memorable one.”
The new promotions and events offer something for pretty much everyone in your Rutgers crew. Enjoy them tonight, as the Scarlet Knights host the Washington Huskies at 8 p.m. at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Here's the list, as noted by the athletics department.
Rutgers Athletics will launch a new gameday app, complete with streaming of audio broadcasts, a robust stats package, social media integration and opportunities for seat upgrades. The "Rutgers Gameday" app will feature schedules and rosters for all 24 sports programs. Fans will be able to receive push notifications with timely and critical information, as well as special discounted offerings on concessions and promotions. The app also includes a dedicated gameday guide with stadium policies, visitor guides, an interactive map, parking information and the gameday timeline.
One of the major improvements to the Marco Battaglia Practice Complex will also be seen on football gameday as the facility features a high-definition video board that can be viewed from Scarlet Knight Way. Fully equipped with stadium quality sound, the video board will play an integral role during the team's arrival to High Point Solutions Stadium on game day. There will also be special programming during pregame, including live look-ins at other college football games across the country, as well as unique Rutgers Athletics video features.
Scarlet Walk - A longstanding Rutgers football tradition that brings fans together to cheer the Scarlet Knights as they arrive at the stadium has been extended to include other exciting elements. In addition to each player and coach departing the bus, walking past the statue and into the stadium, fans will be able to view the team on the new video board as it walks the field in anticipation of the first kick.
Food Trucks - Scarlet Knight Way will again feature food trucks that offer fans a variety of cuisines from Italian sausages to barbequed ribs. A local favorite and home of the famous Rutgers fat sandwich, RU Hungry will be joined by food trucks from Premio Sausage, Mr. C's, Backyard BBQ and Mr. Softee.
New Band Director - Todd Nichols enters his first season as director of the Rutgers Marching Scarlet Knights. A New Jersey native with 25 years of experience as a music educator, band leader and professional percussionist, Nichols spent the last 13 years as director of bands at Roxbury High School, a nationally recognized marching band program. Under his direction, the band has performed alongside Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVIII. Nichols has plenty of new ideas for the band to add to the gameday experience.
Kids Zone - The Kids Zone is a great source of entertainment on game, complete with inflatables, interactive games, face painters, magicians and much more. Located across the street from the Block R Party and the new video board, the Kids Zone takes place in a safely fenced-in area.
After evaluating current concessions operations, new food options will be offered, along with improvements to point of sales systems. These upgrades are meant to not only provide a wider variety of food selections to choose from, but also make for a faster visit to the various concession stands located around the stadium, while limiting the time spent away from the action on the field.
Highlighting some of the new food and drink options at High Point Solutions Stadium are the Cannon Ball Ice Cream Cone - waffle cone filled with hot apple pie, vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate and caramel syrup. The Three Stripe Burger - two all-beef patties, "Piscataway sauce" on a triple decker bun served with homemade kettle chips. An Acai Bowl - topped with granola, fresh fruit, Nutella, peanut butter and coconut. Our own Jersey Mikes Subs, and freshly made sushi.
Scarlet Knights Fun Zone - On gameday, there will be face painters, magicians and jugglers on hand to entertain in the Scarlet Knights Fun Zone located on the southeast concourse. In addition to entertainers, there will be special merchandising options and other fun promotions for families to enjoy during breaks in the game action.
Rutgers Merchandise - Scarlet Knight fans will have an opportunity to visit seven locations throughout High Point Solutions Stadium to purchase the latest in Rutgers and adidas branded merchandise. In addition to the North Plaza merchandise stand, there will be a merchandise kiosk on the southeast side of the stadium.
Upgraded Sound System - Rutgers Athletics officials consulted with audio experts to bring a new and improved stadium sound to High Point Solutions Stadium. As a result, the sound quality will be clearer and more impactful throughout the stadium.
Health and safety
Mist Machines - Fans will have the opportunity to visit one of two misting machines to cool off in the event of warm temperatures. One tent will be located on the west side of High Point Solutions Stadium behind section 101 and in the northeast behind section 119.
Bag Policy - Rutgers athletics will continue to enforce the clear bag policy for all games at High Point Solutions Stadium. Clear tote bags (plastic, vinyl, PVC) that are 12"x6" in size, one gallon clear resealable bags as well as small clutches no larger that 4.5"x6.5" will be permitted into the stadium, in compliance with Homeland Security standards. Due to Homeland Security guidelines, no outside food and beverage will be permitted into the stadium; however, an exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the Guest Services gates designated for this purpose.
Other prohibited items include, alcoholic beverages, selfie sticks, balloons, balls, bottles, cans, containers, coolers, fireworks, laser pointers, noise making devices, pets, smoking, sticks/poles, strollers, umbrellas, weapons and other items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate. The complete bag policy and restrictions can be accessed here.
Gameday Parking - Rutgers Athletics offers gameday cash parking lots on the Livingston, College Avenue and Biomedical and Health Sciences (formerly UMDNJ) campuses. Parking will no longer be offered in Johnson Park across from High Point Solutions Stadium. A full list of information on all gameday parking lots can be accessed here.
Ride Sharing - Rutgers Athletics reached a partnership with Lyft, the ridesharing app utilized by millions to attend sporting events on a yearly basis. In addition to the free buses provided between campuses, Lyft offers fans another safe and reliable option to travel to and from High Point Solutions Stadium. Lot 49 is designated as the pick-up location, while an area just past the roundabout across from the Blue Lot will serve as the drop off point on gameday.