ISU has quite a regional following. Tailgating begins six hours before game time, with motor homes, old converted school buses and students converging on Ames. Of course there is also the opposing team! This weekend was UNLV which does not have the big following on the road that other schools have. When Nebraska, Colorado or Texas A&M are in town, you know it!
Jack Trice Stadium holds approximately 55,000. The great thing about Cyclone fan(atics) is that there will be ANOTHER 55,000 people OUTSIDE the stadium partying for as much as ten hours on game day!! It's actually pretty amazing how peaceful and safe 100,000+ people are with all the beers that are flowing. It truly is an excuse to throw the mother of all keg parties.
This afternoon, I stopped through the campus area once the parking lots opened for the tailgaters. Adults (the old farts like me) and students alike, were friendly and willing to share the tent and a brewski with you.
ISU has approximately ten parking areas, all well lit after nightfall so that people and their stuff are safe. Tomorrow morning, the grassy areas will be disturbingly littered with beer cans. Not just the litter is disturbing, but the nickel a can that was lost in the deposit when the beers were bought. I've been told that there are litter cleaners who work the lots after ISU games who make nearly $1,000 for their efforts. Not bad for a few hours of clean-up detail. On Monday morning, as I drive through the campus to work, I will not even be able to tell that there was a home game this weekend. It is pretty remarkable!
Getting tickets from outside the ISU system is a bit of a challenge. Students have an "in" for them, as it should be. After all, isn't college football for and about the students? Alumni and faculty are probably next in the pecking order. I've been told that locals can pick up tickets on game day for about four times face value. I don't know, I've never been able to score!
My husband thinks I'm weird, but I must admit . . . I LOVE driving through the campus on game day. The sea of red and yellow . . . the young people having fun . . . and school spirit running rabid! AWWWW to live in a college town!