The Drake Bulldogs invite fans to a tailgating party before their first home football game of the season, where they play the UNI Panthers. There will be food, inflatable attractions and plenty of Bulldog spirit from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at the north end of Drake Stadium (enter either at the corner of Clark and 27th Street or Clark and 28th Street).
Then it's a 7:08 p.m. kickoff for the first football game to be played in the newly renovated Drake Stadium, under permanent lighting for the first time since 1962. The stadium also sports new seats, a new digital scoreboard, new Field Turf playing surface, new concession stands and restrooms.
For $20 fans can get tickets to the tailgate and game. Game tickets alone are $13. Youth (18 and under) pay only $12 for tailgate and game admission. Tickets are available at the Drake Knapp Center ticket office, 515-271-DOGS.
"It should be a great atmosphere," said new Drake Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. "This is an all Iowa matchup to open the football season. We encourages fans to be the twelfth player on the field by wearing Drake blue and cheering loudly for the Bulldogs."
Roosevelt High School will also be holding its home football games at Drake Stadium this season, for the first time since the 1960s. For more information contact Roosevelt High School.
Other football firsts at Drake:
- Drake became the first Division I team in Iowa ever to win 10 games in a season in 1981 when the Bulldogs posted a 10-1 record under coach Chuck Shelton.
- The Bulldogs were the first Iowa college team ever to play in a bowl game - appearing in the Raisin Bowl, Jan. 1, 1946, at Fresno State.
- Drake was the first school to install permanent lighting for its football field. The first game was Oct. 6, 1928, with the Bulldogs beating Simpson, 41-6.