Chaos of Coastal
The logistics of the season finale
Beat Coastal mania will reach a fever pitch on Nov. 19 as the Flames football team will host its rival in a nationally televised primetime game.
Things will look different around campus on the Thursday before Thanksgiving break. As ESPN News invades campus to televise the game across the nation, Liberty staffers will work hard to ensure the event goes on without a hitch.
Parking lots that will be closed off all day Nov. 19 include Speakman (between bookstore and Elmer Town’s Religion Hall), Evans (baseball lot outside of right field fence), the Pavilion lot behind LaHaye Ice Center and parts of the LaHaye parking lot, according to Senior Associate Athletics Director Mickey Guridy. This parking is reserved for donors, season ticket holders, etc.
Commuters and faculty who are unable to park in their normal parking lots on game day will be able to park in Bailey (off Liberty University Drive), the parking garage or the Doc’s parking lot without fear of getting towed.
For those who have to park farther in Zone 4, beyond the East Campus athletic fields, there will be extra shuttle busses taking students, faculty and staff where they need to go. Shuttle buses will also run from the TRBC lot by the 911 center.
“It’s going to be kind of unique with school going on and having people at work,” Guridy said. “We normally cut (parking lots) off every Friday night at midnight so all day Saturday you don’t really have a lot of issues, but (with the game) being on a school day presents some challenges. Everyone has been very helpful in preparing for this special situation. We appreciate the cooperation.”
Parking lots will be closed all day to allow the game day tradition of tailgating to continue.
The two hot spots for off-campus tailgaters are the Speakman and LaHaye parking lots. However, many on-campus residents find creative spots to tailgate throughout campus.
“People find little spots all over campus,” Director of Athletics Jeff Barber said. “I’ve had people here from other leagues say that (we) have a lot of people tailgating, a lot more
than other schools do.”
While specified parking lots will be coned off all day, those with tailgating parking passes will be permitted to park at any time on game day, according to Guridy.
What About Classes?
Classes will not be canceled. While faculty and staff get off at 3 p.m. in honor of faculty appreciation day, those with classes remaining after that time are still obligated to teach them in their respective time slot.
Barber’s message to students who complain about there not being enough time to prepare their painted bodies and posters prior to kick-off was, “they’ll have to do it a little quicker.”
What’s In It For Me?
While Liberty football games are normally equipped with promotional giveaways, there will be extra incentives to not only come to the game, but also stay for “Four Quarters of Fury” during the Coastal game.
Kicking off the week is a banner contest. Students who submitted their bed-sheet decorated with “Beat Coastal” propaganda by Nov. 16 have a chance to win a grand prize of $1,000.
For those who crave healthy competition, a brother-sister dorm contest is in place. Students will swipe in while entering and exiting the stadium, and the group with the highest percentage of students who stay the entire game will win.
There are three different groups of halls depending on their group size, and the winner of each bracket will win a free catered Super Bowl party on the Club Level of Williams Stadium, per an online press release.
Moreover, the first 5,000 fans wearing Liberty red will receive a limited edition Flames Alpine Hat upon entering the gates.
The Big Picture
With all of the fanfare and commotion that goes into a weeknight college football game, some might ponder whether or not it is worth it. However, Barber said, “It’s going to give us an opportunity to showcase to the nation who Liberty is.”
“Liberty is unbelievable,” Barber said. “It’s a wonderful place, and this game allows us an opportunity to get that message out to people.”
Keating is a sports reporter.